Season on hold but Tigers teen remains focused on debut
The competition is on hold due to coronavirus, but Richmond recruit Noah Cumberland still hopes to make his AFL debut this year, after making great strides during the pre-season.
The Sunshine Coast teenager should have been in Melbourne with his teammates this week but is instead back in his hometown waiting for their campaign to resume.
Number 43 in the Draft, Cumberland is setting up his house in Yandina, but he'd prefer to be pressing his claims at training and in games.
"I'm spewing. It's devastating, of course, not being able to play the (full) year out … but what can you do?" he said.
The 19-year-old midfielder enjoyed a concerted build-up with the Tigers before the pandemic essentially brought sport to a standstill.
"I've never felt so fit and ready to go," he said.
"I feel like I've developed heaps.
"The more you have the footy in your hands and the more you are training, you just feel like you're getting better and better and stronger because of the gym.
"There's been a lot more progress in my football but there's still a lot more to come."
Despite the season hiatus, Cumberland hopes to make his impact in the competition sooner rather than later.
"That's my top goal at the moment: to get back on the track and of course be able to debut this year and if not, then next year.
"So that's my end goal and that's what I'll fight towards.
"It's good to have that two-year deal. If you keep training and doing everything right, it will be a long career ahead."
Cumberland, who came through the ranks at the Maroochydore Roos, said he was trying to keep active while at home.
"I have my own gym equipment and I can get on the stationary bike and do a lot of work on that so I'm just always trying to get fit and do the extras."
And he's taking precautions to stay healthy.
"They (Tigers officials) are trying to keep us isolated as much as they can," he said.
Cumberland said there were plenty of people doing it tough at the moment.
"I didn't think it (the impact of the virus) was going to get this bad and at the moment, you've got to help each other get through it," he said.
"People are going through some tough times (and) it's not just about yourself."
AFL officials hope to resume a shortened season from May 31, after one round was played in March.