Encounter Bay's Jake Tarca has been delisted by Geelong in the AFL

Jake Tarca at home in Victor Harbor weighing up his football options for 2021.
Jake Tarca at home in Victor Harbor weighing up his football options for 2021.

Jake Tarca has experienced two "fantastic" years of AFL football at Geelong, training with the best.

It would be every kid's dream to run out to train with the likes of Gary Ablett Junior, Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins and it is a dream Jake has enjoyed for the past two seasons, after being drafted to the Cats in 2018, at pick 68.

Although he has been delisted by the AFL club, Jake has no intention of giving up hope of one day playing in the AFL.

"I played in the Geelong VFL side in 2019 and of course in 2020, it has been very different living in the hub on the Gold Coast," Jake said.

"In 2019 I had a good year, playing every game, but one and getting opportunities at half forward and onball.

"In 2020, I enjoyed the hub life, as it made us a close knit team and we had games against other Victorian teams living in the bubble. I have never had much finals experience, so it was great to be in a successful environment."

Jake Tarca in Geelong colours where he played and trained for the past two years without cracking an AFL game.

Jake Tarca in Geelong colours where he played and trained for the past two years without cracking an AFL game.

In 2019, Geelong made the preliminary final and in 2020, competed in the grand final, losing to Richmond.

"Everyone was very relaxed during grand final week. We trained as we normally would and my role was to help the team prepare for the big day," Jake said.

"Chris Scott (Geelong coach) is a relaxed guy, but assistant coach Shane O'Bree probably had the biggest influence on me while I was there. I learned about finding greater consistency with my game and develop how to play other positions.

"It really was a fantastic experience."

Jake is a laid back individual and although disappointed at the news of being delisted, he has quickly moved on to where next for his football future.

He is looking optimistically toward the AFL draft in December so his AFL dream can continue.

If Jake's name is not called on draft day, the hard running, two sided footballer will be at South Adelaide where he was drafted from.

Jake Tarca flying to take a mark playing for South Adelaide.

Jake Tarca flying to take a mark playing for South Adelaide.

Jake is an example for all youngsters to follow their dream to play in the big time and that a pathway is there if you work hard and harness your ability.

Jake went to South Adelaide after winning the 2017 Great Southern Football League Senior Colts Mail Medal.

"I was reluctant to go to South initially, but now I know it is the perfect pathway to achieve your football goals," he said.

"It gave me the chance to train and prepare in a very successful football environment. Players at Geelong are the superstars of the competition, but honestly, they are just funny, normal guys. They are great to be around.

"I learned a lot from Gary Ablett, as he played a similar position to me and he was always there for advice and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet."

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