New Essendon VFL recruit Josh Toy hopes his experiences playing for the Bombers in 2013 will set him up for another chance at AFL level.
The 20-year-old managed thirteen matches over two seasons at the Gold Coast Suns and believes playing at VFL level next season could provide a stepping-stone to reignite his AFL career.
“A lot of mature aged guys are getting recruited later on so I think it is a good opportunity for anyone to get back in the system,” Toy said.
“I am obviously not expecting anything but that is the main drive.
“I personally think this is the best opportunity to get down and play with some listed AFL players and train hard whether it be for two, three or five years.”
Toy said being fast tracked into the AFL system, as an 18-year-old was an invaluable experience that assisted his development both on and off the field.
“You learn to grow up a lot quicker moving out of home and there were a lot of boys my age.”
“You are only 18 or 19 at the time and you can’t use it as an excuse but you are thrust into play senior games much quicker than most club’s would want to.”
“You get out there and are up against stronger and bigger people.”
Toy was unable to find a new AFL home in the off-season after requesting to be traded back to his home state of Victoria.
He took part in pre-season training with Richmond but once again missed selection in the pre-season or rookie draft.
“My head is still spinning a little bit from the off-season.”
“After I left the Gold Coast I came back and didn’t really know what was going on in the trade period, the national draft and rookie draft.”
“I decided Essendon was the best fit for me, staying nice and local and I knew a few of the boys around the area that were coming down to play.”
Toy said he was looking forward to playing whatever role coach Hayden Skipworth set him this season.