LEETON-Whitton product Cooper Sharman enjoyed an early birthday present by making his AFL debut for St Kilda in their eight-point loss to West Coast on Saturday.
Sharman, who enjoyed his 21st birthday on Sunday, was named the Saints 'medi-sub' but was never activated during Saturday's game at Optus Stadium in Perth.
It means that he sat the game on the bench but it still counts as an official AFL game.
Sharman would have come into the game had the Saints suffered a game-ending injury but their initial 22 got through the game unscathed.
The AFL debut continues Sharman's remarkable rise, after being picked up by the Saints in the mid-season rookie draft.
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten spoke highly of the impression Sharman had made at the club leading into game, hinting he may have been in line to make his AFL debut.
"He's showed a little bit at VFL level, which has been really encouraging," Ratten said.
"He's been with the squad for probably six weeks now, or something like that, and to play at VFL level, try to understand what the players at Sandy are like, and his teammates, he's done a good job.
"His name, whether it's this week or down the track, he's starting to show some form that will give him a chance to play AFL this year."
Sharman hails from Leeton and played in the Crows' drought-breaking 2017 premiership as a teenager.
He returned to Leeton-Whitton for last year's AFL RIverina championship, where he showed how much he had developed, kicking a league-high 23 goals in the shortened competition.
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In between times, he spent a season at Balwyn under Rodney Eade in 2019, where he finished the season winning a premiership at Oakleigh Chargers.
He moved to the SANFL this season, where had spent the first half of the year at Woodville-West Torrens.
Sharman was one of 29 players to make the trip to Western Australia last Saturday, and was named as one of four emergencies before being chosen as the sub.
He became the 1628th V-AFL player to make their senior debut for the Saints.
Sharman pressed his case for selection with six goals in his last three appearances for Sandringham, impressing with his strong overhead mark and clean foot skills.
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