New Coolamon recruit Jake Barrett says he is grateful for the chance to play at the highest level.
Barrett ended months of speculation when he signed with Riverina League club Coolamon on Wednesday night.
He is the first player since Chris Daniher in 1998 to sign with an AFL Riverina club straight from an AFL list.
The 23-year-old says he only needs to look at one of his new club’s products, Michael Gibbons, to appreciate the opportunities he was provided in his time at Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to miss out (on the draft) but at the same time, on the positive, I’m looking forward to cracking in at Coolamon,” Barrett said.
“I’m grateful of the time I spent in the AFL and consider myself pretty fortunate.
“You only need to look at Mick Gibbons and how unlucky he’s been. He deserves a red hot crack at it, there’s not much more than he can do.
“So I consider myself pretty lucky.”
Barrett played 23 AFL games during his five years in the system.
He managed one AFL game in his three years at the Giants, before being picked up by the Lions where he was given much more opportunities over the past two seasons.