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James Rose turning heads before AFL debut

Written on the 25 August 2015

This story originally appeared in the Brisbane Times, 21 August 2015. Author Andrew Wu. Photo: Janie Barrett

There is not much former Brownlow medallist Gavin Wanganeen has not seen in the game, so it takes something special to impress him. Sydney's next debutant and former Scotch College student James Rose has already done just that.

Rose, then a year 10 student in Scotch's First 18, had won possession deep in a forward pocket, and using his powers of evasion turned his opponent inside out and goaled with his non-preferred foot.

A stunned Wanganeen, his jaw dropping, turned towards his assistant: "Gee, I thought only I could do this s***."

That story was recounted by Rose's junior mentor Shane Radbone on the eve of the 19-year-old's league debut.

Just a few months ago, Rose touched the ball just twice on debut in the Swans' reserves team - an effort the club's development coach Nick Davis made light of during the Swans' match committee meeting this week. Rose's goal of making his senior debut this year seemed a long way off.

"I didn't realise how unrealistic that was until I first started playing and how deep our ranks go here," Rose said on Friday.

At 185cm and 79kg, there is not much to the blond-haired Rose, but he has a decent bag of tricks, as Wanganeen saw last year. Rose describes himself as "pretty evasive" and a "hard runner". Radbone, formerly listed with Essendon but who never played a premiership match, believes he can blossom into a hybrid of Hawthorn's Jack Gunston and Essendon's Dyson Heppell.

Read the full story online at Brisbane Times:


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