Radio personality and former Adelaide Crows player Stephen Rowe has broken down with emotion during a live show after his son James was selected by the Crows in Wednesday night’s AFL Draft.
Speaking on the FIVEaa Breakfast program in Adelaide on Thursday morning, Rowe was overwhelmed when asked about his kid’s dream coming true.
The joy was made all the sweeter by his son doing it the hard way.
21-year-old Woodville West Torrens player James Rowe had been overlooked by every club in three previous drafts.
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His dream of playing in the AFL — for the same club his father represented — came true on Wednesday.
The Crows made the surprise selection with pick No. 38, making him the first mature age state league player selected in the 2020 draft.
James Rowe’s dream has come true.Source:News Corp Australia
It was all too much for his dad.
“Oh my god, how did that just happen? My little Jimmy is a Crow,” Stephen said.
“It still hasn’t sunk in, fellas. I truly don’t know what to say.
“I think I stopped crying at about 3.30am this morning … We’re emotionally wrecked, we’re just drained. That was his dream.”
Rowe choked up when revealing Crows coach Matthew Nicks visited the family after midnight to congratulate the small forward and his family.
LISTEN | FIVEaa’s Stephen Rowe has broken up on air while talking about the moment Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks came to visit his son after the club selected James Rowe with pick 38 in the AFL Draft… Play the video. pic.twitter.com/oPAEGtfSQH
“Matty Nicks came around about midnight. He put a Crows hat on his head and a Crows polo shirt — it was just — that was his dream. I’m sorry fellas,” he said before needing a moment to compose himself.
Rowe said his son spoke to eight clubs in the lead-up to the draft and was expecting to be selected by Carlton at some stage.
When the Blues overlooked Rowe with their second round pick, the family got nervous and feared he was going to miss out again.
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Woodville West Torrens’ James Rowe celebrates a goal in the SANFL.Source:News Corp Australia
Rowe said the waiting was “torture” for the family.
“He prepared himself for the disappointment of not getting picked up,” Rowe said.
“Carlton was pick No. 37 and he walked out of the lounge room, went into his bedroom, shut the door and he couldn’t even hear it. He was overlooked there and then he’s walked out.
“The Crows were the very next pick. I turned to him and I said: ‘Son, could they pick you here?’ And he couldn’t talk. But when they yelled out ‘Jimmy Rowe’, we just exploded.
“I stopped crying at 3.30 in the morning.”
He broke down again when talking about his pride in seeing his son earn his reward after years of being overlooked.
“You’ve got to pick your kids up when they have disappointments, you’ve got to put them back on the train tracks and just say ‘go’. Well he’s on the train tracks – the ones he wants.”
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