K rock Football

Tanner keen for a taste of the real thing


Geelong Falcons star Tanner Bruhn at Vic Country training on Friday. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

THE opportunity to spend a week with Geelong has provided further incentive for talented Falcons youngster Tanner Bruhn to find his way onto an AFL list later this year.

The Newtown & Chilwell product trained with the Cats as part of his Vic Country Academy commitments before Christmas, crossing paths again with former Falcon Cooper Stephens, who arrived at GMHBA Stadium only a fortnight earlier.

“Seeing the boys that just got drafted go off, it wasn’t long ago they were in the same position we’re in now,” Bruhn told krockfootball.com.au during a break in this week’s Academy camp at Deakin University.

“And seeing them in the AFL environment creates a bit of jealousy for me and makes me eager to get where they are now.

“I had a week at Geelong, and training with Coop; I didn’t really want to leave.”

Bruhn is coming off an injury-impacted 2019 season after suffering a knee injury at last year’s Vic Country camp that limited him to just a handful of matches with the Falcons and Geelong Grammar.

Despite the limited game time, Bruhn earned a spot in the under-17 Futures match played at the MCG on AFL Grand Final day, reinforcing his AFL credentials.

And while the expectation among draft experts is that Bruhn will hear his name called come November’s draft period, he has found a way to block out the external noise.

“We had a meeting with Brooke (Brown, welfare manager) here at the camp and she was going through and asking who follows AFL Draft Central and all the write-ups and stuff,” he said.

“One way I block it out is that I don’t follow any of that stuff. I won’t search and try and look at what people are writing about me.

“I have no real interest in looking at what people write. It doesn’t really faze me.

“I feel like everything will take care of itself. I’ll just do what I do and try and put my best foot forward.”

As well as Brown, Bruhn speaks regularly with managers Paul Connors and Robbie D’Orazio, while Dad Matt, himself a premiership player with the Falcons, also provides counsel for his son.

“He’s been a big part in my footy career since under 9s,” Bruhn said.

“The last few years he’s backed off as a coach and become more of a father figure. He’s been great for me.

While disappointed to miss the majority of the 2019 season, Bruhn used his time on the sidelines wisely, tapping into the knowledge of the Falcons’ coaching staff.

“For four games I was up in the (coaches) box and helping ‘Daff’ (coach Luke Daffy) with the board and some interchange stuff as well,” he said.

“Having that perspective on the game from up in the box gave me a different perspective on what I had out there (on the ground).

“I learnt so much being up in the box; little things you don’t notice out on the ground.”

Twitter: @tom_king79