LEETON'S Cooper Sharman never dreamed he would be just steps away from an AFL career.
The Leeton-Whitton product has been catching the eye of AFL recruiters in Victoria after he moved to Melbourne to start his university studies at the beginning of this year.
After having played for the Crows since a young age, as well as helping them secure a drought-breaking premiership, Sharman didn't want to hang up the boots while studying.
Through another former Crow, Liam Frazer, Sharman started playing for the Balwyn Football Club in the Eastern Football League.
The side is coached by former AFL coach Rodney Eade.
Sharman plays in the forward fine and his huge leaps have been making waves in not just that competition, but in the wider AFL world.
"A few weeks ago I got best on ground against Noble Park and I think there were a couple of recruiters there," he said.
"They saw that and then I played another pretty good game not long after where they were more recruiters, so it's all sort of gone from there.
"I haven't had any clubs contact me directly yet, but it's pretty exciting."
Sharman is currently juggling his university commitments, he's studying commerce and business analytics through Deakin University, while stepping up his football training efforts.
"I basically went down to focus on uni and just play some footy and hopefully get picked in first grade," he said. "It has been a bit of a shock to be getting the attention of the recruiters.
"The competition we're in is probably the best suburban league in Melbourne. It's definitely been interesting and different to playing at home.
"When I was growing up playing AFL professionally was for sure always a dream of mine."
The Essendon fan said it would be "awesome to go there", but if he was drafted by a club, it wouldn't matter where he went.
"I'd be happy to go anywhere if I'm lucky enough to be drafted," Sharman said.
"I've also started playing footy with the Oakley Chargers in the NAB under 18s comp, where I'm top age there, so I've had feedback from coaches there that AFL clubs have been pretty happy with how I'm going and just giving me tips ... it's just a bit of wait and see what happens now."
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