With notable family figures in the AFL world (his Uncle Tim Watson is a former Essendon great and his cousin Jobe is Essendon’s current captain), it’s little wonder St Kilda’s first pick in the 2011 National Draft, Sebastian Ross, has his feet firmly on the ground.

He credits his parents as the most influential people in his footballing career, and during his first year with the Saints he is focused on getting his fitness and skill levels to where a professional AFL footballer’s need to be.

“Mum and dad used to drive me to every game. I’m especially grateful to them during the under 14s when my games would be at 9am and it would take an hour to get there.”

Being one of the youngest in the playing group, ‘Seb’ has not only been experiencing the demands of his new career, but he has also learnt how to live away from home.

“Being from Horsham, I had to move closer to the Club’s base at the Linen House Centre in Seaford, so I now live with [players] Jamie Cripps and Warrick Andreoli.”

From buddy to housemate, Cripps, a second year player, has taken Seb under his wing. However, he credits fellow midfielders Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo as Mentors.

“They’re so good at what they do. Anytime I have a question they’re happy to take some time to answer it and help me out.”

Ahead of the National Draft his cousin Jobe (Watson) advised him on how football becomes the priority in your life, and Uncle Tim offered his services whenever he needed.

“Jobe told me I’d be surprised how it becomes your absolute priority … how everything you do revolves around your job. Tim also said I could come over for dinner whenever I needed.”

Although just starting out on his blossoming football career, Seb’s ultimate dream is to win a Premiership with St Kilda, but for now, he’s content focusing on his pre-season.