THE 2016 AFL draft bolter says he’s surprised with the acceleration in his football.
Allansford-raised teenager Hugh McCluggage is being touted as a potential number one pick following his All-Australian selection at the AFL under 18 championships.
"It's a pretty big surprise, at the start of last year I was playing back at South Warrnambool, not even in the TAC Cup yet, then it's all gone pretty quickly from there,” McCluggage said.
"I was just stoked to be able to make the Vic Country team. You learn a lot through the coaching and playing against such good players.”
McCluggage was named Vic Country’s best player after four steady performances for the Paul Henriksen-coached side at the national titles.
The goal-kicking midfielder also claimed Vic Country 19th man honours and was named in the All-Australian side.
"It's a massive honour to be able to take that home,” he said of the Vic Country MVP.
“There's some pretty good players that have won that in the past. I'm honoured to be able to achieve that."
The unassuming North Ballarat Rebel said he would now focus on TAC Cup duties, not the draft hype.
"I try not to take too much notice of it,” he said.
"I just try to not read too much stuff and not get caught up in it and take it week by week."
McCluggage will return to the Rebels’ outfit in coming weeks, eager to improve facets of his game in the lead-up to November’s draft.
"Just winning my own footy a little bit more, especially when I'm a midfielder,” he said of his goals.
“I've probably got to win more contested possession and be as clean as I can around the contest.”