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Paton earns debut

First-year Saint Ben Paton will make his AFL debut this Friday night against the Bombers. The skipper tells Ben Paton that he'll be making his AFL debut this week.

Ben Paton has been named as an emergency ten times.

Ten times he’s completed the warm-up, ten times he’s watched on from the sidelines.

But this Friday night, the ex-Murray Bushranger will finally get his shot at senior footy, Alan Richardson this morning confirming Paton will line up against Essendon.

READ: Pick No. 46: Ben Paton

After being overlooked in the 2016 Draft, Paton returned to the Bushrangers in 2017 as a 19-year-old overage player and thrived in a new role in defence.

Paton cemented a spot in the championships and performed so strongly he was rewarded with All-Australian selection in the same defence as new teammates Oscar Clavarino and Nick Coffield.

At the end of the championships, Paton played two games for Collingwood in the VFL, impressing with his seamless transition against senior bodies.

The 19-year-old has excelled for Sandringham this year under the guidance of ex-Saint Aaron Hamill, showcasing both his ability to win his own ball on the inside and his elite foot skills on both sides of his body.

Ben Paton becomes the seventh Saint to make their senior debut in 2018, and the 1597th player to wear the famous red, white and black.