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Battle lives his dream on disappointing night

Josh Gabelich  July 17, 2017 3:32 PM

Post-match: Josh Battle (Rd17) Josh Battle spoke to SAINTS.com.au post our round 17 loss to Essendon (Friday 14 July, 2017)
AFL 2017 Round 17 - St Kilda v Essendon

Josh Battle celebrates his first career goal.

It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little kid, so to play my first game out on the big stage was pretty phenomenal.

While the result was disappointing, the week was still very special for Josh Battle.

The Haileybury College schoolboy stepped onto the AFL stage for the first time, transforming a lifelong dream into a reality at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

“It was obviously a disappointing result going down, but the week was very special,” Battle told saints.com.au after the 61-point loss to the Bombers.

“It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little kid, so to play my first game out on the big stage was pretty phenomenal in front of a pretty big crowd.”

Battle, who was the Saints’ second pick in last year’s National Draft at No. 39, described the pace of the game as ‘ridiculous’ and said it was the biggest challenge stepping out of the under-18s and the VFL and into the AFL.

“It was so quick; that’s probably the biggest learning curve I faced out there tonight,” he said.

“Just going from VFL to AFL – the standard and how quick it was; it was ridiculous, but I loved being out there.”

On a difficult night for St Kilda, especially for a key forward, Battle got the opportunity to flaunt his composure and class in front of goal in the third quarter.

The 18-year-old marked just inside 50 before calmly going back to slot what Battle will hope is the first of many.

“It was pretty good to kick my first goal. I guess we were down so it would have been better if we were winning,” he said.