New Brisbane Lion James Tunstill has described his frantic first week as an AFL footballer, including leavers celebrations, the “elation” of a lifelong dream realised and a mad dash across the country. The 18-year-old Busselton product was met by senior coach Chris Fagan at the airport, just days after celebrating the end of school in his hometown. He had spent the first part of the week at leavers, which he said helped “take his mind off” Wednesday and Thursday night’s draft, before his selection by the Lions at pick 41 changed his life in an instant. He said after a night of celebrations, his attention focused to a move to the Sunshine State. “When my name got read out it was just elation,” Tunstill, pictured, said. FULL ANALYSIS ON THE SOUTH WEST’S TRIO OF RECRUITS “My mates came running over from one of their houses and my phone blew up with calls and messages. “I had to sort some things out, do some paperwork and then get a COVID test done. “It was good to say my goodbyes, but it all happened pretty quickly. “At the moment it is all new, and to think I am now on an AFL list is pretty unbelievable.” Tunstill came into draft calculations after a stellar season in the midfield for East Perth in the WAFL colts, averaging more than 21 disposals a game and starring for the State under-19s. He began training with the club in Queensland on Monday and said he was itching to learn from some of the game’s best on-ballers. “The Lions have been really good the last couple of seasons,” he said. “Obviously there is Lachie Neale and Cam Rayner, the Berry brothers and Hugh McCluggage, who have all been ripper players in recent times. “Hopefully one day I can play alongside them.” McCluggage and Jarrod Berry are among the senior Lions to return to training, in a group which also includes former Essendon forward Joe Daniher and experienced wingman Mitch Robinson. Tunstill said the Lions were one of two clubs he felt were most interested in him, and revealed that recruiters made the trip west mid-season to meet his family. “They were probably one of my top two likely outcomes,” he said. “They came to my house mid-season which showed their commitment, to make it all the way down to Busselton.” The Busselton Magpies product will spend two more weeks training with the Lions before returning to WA for Christmas and continuing pre-season with the full squad in January.