Alwyn Davey Jnr’s raw talent has already been clear to see in 10 AFL games.
The 19-year-old made a flashy start to his debut season in 2023, booting his first career goal in the round one victory over the Hawks and appearing in eight of the first ten games, taking home the club’s Lindsay Griffiths Rising Star Award at the conclusion of the year.
Davey Jnr’s start to life in red and black has been promising, with an emphasis on bulking up his physical frame powering the approach to his second full pre-season with the club.
“I wanted to build a bit more muscle and try not to get pushed off the ball as much, that was a big reflection coming away from my first year,” Davey Jnr said.
“I’ve pulled up pretty well into my second pre-season, it’s tough as always but we’re tracking really nicely as a whole.
“I’m still trying to have a lot of fun in my game and not overthink things too much, focusing on using my strengths to my advantage.”
In addition to his forward craft, Davey Jnr’s ability to impact as a midfielder often caught the eye of recruiters throughout his junior career.
Seven games in the VFL last season provided opportunities for Davey Jnr to develop as a midfield option and provide some outside run, gathering 22 disposals in a round 15 win over the Suns at Windy Hill.
For Davey Jnr, staying adaptable to different positions is an asset he wants to translate into his AFL career.
“I want to play as many positions as I can, especially if it gives me more opportunities to play in the AFL side,” Davey Jnr said.
“I’ve been happy with what they’ve done with me in the VFL when I haven’t got the chances to play seniors, I’ll keep looking to stay flexible.”
Factored in with early exposure to games such as ANZAC Day and Dreamtime at the ‘G, Davey Jnr is gradually getting acclimatised to the speed of AFL level and wants to carry the experience over to a new season.
Driven to play his best footy on the big stage, Davey Jnr is loving the prospect of suiting up for more marquee fixtures in 2024.
“I couldn’t thank (Senior Coach) Brad Scott enough for giving me those opportunities last year. Those games help you a lot in trying to maintain your composure for the season to come, and you always want to perform your best on that stage,” Davey said.
While competition for spots in the best 23 is always at the forefront of an AFL pre-season, Davey Jnr is sensing a growing rapport among the Bombers’ forward ranks as competitive games inch closer.
With forwards Nate Caddy and Jade Gresham entering the fray and twin brother Jayden Davey integrating back into main training post-injury rehab, the Bombers’ depth is taking shape.
“We’ve had a really close connection with all the small forwards and even guys like Matt Guelfi who fit into that mix as a pressure player,” Davey Jnr said.
“We’re happy with how we’re going and it’s not just about that competition (for spots) either, it’s about making each other better and the additions of ‘Gresh’ (Gresham) and Nate Caddy have really helped that.
“It’s great news with Jayden coming back, I couldn’t be any more proud of him and the work he’s put in over the last year which had been really tough for him. He’s making quick transitions and settling well, I think with some more time he’ll be looking to get into the team this year.”
As excitement builds towards the upcoming season, the shift of training sessions into longer match simulation and full-ground competition has Davey Jnr and the Dons ready for action.
“The general atmosphere around the group has been amazing, the boys are loving (the increased focus on match simulation),” Davey Jnr said.
“The work during the Christmas break and the off-season sets you up for that reward with the competitive blocks, all the boys are just keen to get ready for games.”