Former Victor Harbor, South Adelaide Football Club player Nathan Kreuger to make AFL debut with Geelong Cats

Even though there aren't any local footy matches this weekend, Fleurieu footy fans can still see one local in action for a very special match.

Former Victor Harbor Football Club player Nathan Kreuger will be making his AFL debut for the Geelong Cats on Saturday afternoon, July 31.

Geelong plays against North Melbourne at Tasmania's Blundstone Arena at 12.45pm South Australian time.

In his draft year at age 18, he was overlooked, which pushed him to work extra-hard at his SANFL club, South Adelaide, throughout his debut year in 2018.

As a 19-year-old, Kreuger was drafted to the Cats in 2018 - and was soon joined by fellow Great Southern player Jake Tarca.

Kreuger was the first Great Southern Football League player selected by an AFL club since Goolwa/Port Elliot's Ryan Griffen was chosen by the Western Bulldogs in 2004 at pick number three.

Now, with experience and more guidance under his belt, he said he has matured and felt prepared to play in the AFL.

"If I got picked up in my draft year, I wouldn't have stayed in the system for very long," he said.

"I think I needed that year to really find myself and build confidence in my game.

"To finally get here and do it, even though it's taken a while, I still believe in myself and what I can do, and I can't wait to get out there and just have fun."

The debut of Kreuger - known by his teammates as 'Kreugs' or 'Sonia' - was "really good news", coach Chris Scott said when he made the announcement.

Kreuger said he "had a bit of a feeling" before Scott's announcement that he would be getting the call-up this Saturday.

"They called everyone in, and I was looking around and there was a few guys with cameras out, and I was like, 'Okay, something is happening here', " he said.

"Then when Scotty (coach Chris Scott) said, 'Yep, you're debuting', I just remember feeling happy and excited, and then all the boys getting around me was great."

He will making his debut in the defensive line, but he has been playing both in defence and up forward and has become more versatile as a result.

"I think it's helped my forward craft to be honest, playing in the back line," he said.

"Hopefully I can try and get some contested marks early and just try and get involved with the chain, and hopefully sneak forward a few times if I can as well - I'm sure the boys will love that."

The game is available to watch on streaming app Kayo or Fox Footy.


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