A HAMPDEN league export training with Essendon's VFL program says the chance to wear the famous red and black like his grandfather was special.
Ned Timms, 19, played in a practice match against Sydney on Sunday.
It was a step forward as he strives to earn a place on the Bombers' state-league list.
He is training with Essendon twice a week and studying a dual diploma of business and leadership at The Hangar.
Ned has barracked for the club his whole life, eager to follow his poppy Ken's footsteps.
Ken played in the Bombers' 1962 premiership.
"I wore his number. They let us choose and I saw the 25 so I made a beeline for it," Ned told The Standard.
Ned, who moved from North Warrnambool Eagles and joined Avondale Heights in the off-season, said it was a thrill to play and highlight his skills.
"Essendon had the bye and they set up a game with the Sydney VFL side, so I flew up and played in that," he said.
"I have been up here since mid-February and been training. They said 'we think you're good enough to play VFL footy and we want you to stay on and train for the year'.
"I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play in Sydney on the weekend. It was an unreal experience."
Ned, a forward-wingman, said it was surreal to be working and training at The Hangar as he worked towards earning a VFL contract in 2023.
"I am in here at the moment, just working on the basketball court," he said.
"You see photos and stuff but it's just unreal being here. There's unreal facilities.
"I am grateful I get to use them. I am more than happy to use this year as a growth year.
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