If St Kilda fans weren’t in love with top recruit Mattaes Phillipou after watching his draft year highlights, they’d have to be after his brilliant reaction to his first day at Moorabbin.
The Saints at Monday night’s national draft used Pick 10 to select Phillipou – a high-impact, versatile and competitive 191cm player with a terrific inside-outside and the nous to push forward and hit the scoreboard.
The Woodville-West Torrens Eagles product had strong interest from Essendon and Hawthorn but ultimately slipped to the Saints’ first selection, with the club stoked to pick up the big-bodied midfielder who’s drawn comparisons to Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli.
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Phillipou and his family were given a tour of his new club’s headquarters the day after he was drafted – and his reactions were priceless.
Mic’d up with a camera following him for a Saints website video, Phillipou showed an infectious, childlike enthusiasm as he walked through his new workplace and met coaches and players.
“Holy crap! Wow … Holy sh**. Far out,” he was heard saying as he walked through the door.
Phillipou was shown meeting assistant coaches Robert Harvey, Brendon Goddard and Lenny Hayes, who’ve all returned to the club to work under Ross Lyon for his second stint as Saints coach.
“Nice to meet you Lenny … Thank you it’s awesome to be here, far out,” Phillipou told Hayes.
“You’re a superhero. I watched you on TV growing up – ‘09, 2010. We were rooting for you heavily against Collingwood.”
Phillipou told assistant coach Corey Enright he wanted to officially begin Saints life on Wednesday, but “Ross wasn’t having it” and requested him to report for duty early next week.
Goddard then introduced Phillipou to his new St Kilda teammates.
“If you’ve been living under a rock, this is your new teammate from (Monday night), Mattaes Phillipou,” Goddard said.
“First day at the club, so get around him. Everyone’s been in this position before in a new environment, so welcome to the club mate.
“He’s champing at the bit to get back and start preparing for the 3k-er, he said, next week.”
Players such as Marcus Windhager, Jack Hayes, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Tom Highmore, Mitch Owens, Jade Gresham and Max King all congratulated Phillipou and shook his hand.
“I just met Max King!” Phillipou told his family.
Phillipou walked into the Saints’ locker room then the theatrette where players hold meetings with coaches.
“Oh my gosh. This is a lot different to the hot-box we have at the Eagles,” he said with a laugh.
Before Phillipou left, he was given Saints gear and apparel.
And during his brief return home to Adelaide this week to prepare for his new Melbourne-based life, Phillipou was seen training in St Kilda gear.