Q&A: Rome Burgoyne (Woodville-West Torrens)

WHAT’S in a name? For the Burgoyne family it’s class, silky skills and smooth movement. Rome Burgoyne is the latest member of his clan looking to reach the pinnacle of Australian rules football as his father Peter, Uncle Shaun, and brothers Trent and Jase have done before him.

The Woodville-West Torrens top-ager is clearly cut from the same cloth, offering clean skills and sound decision making as a high half-back. Burgoyne spoke to Rookie Me Central about his game and the year ahead at last month’s preseason testing event in South Australia.

>> Top 5s: South Australian preseason testing

Rome Burgoyne

Height: 182cm

Weight: -

DOB: 29-08-2006

Q: Rome, start off by telling me a bit about how you got into football and what it’s been like growing up in a pretty famous family?

A: Obviously growing up with my dad and stuff I started playing footy at a pretty young age, when I was about six down at Port Districts. I progressed all the way through there to Under 16s and then also started at Woodville in Under 13s. Now I’m obviously in my top-age year and also play school footy out at PAC as well.

Q: Do you have any memories of when your dad was still playing AFL?

A: I don’t remember too much because I was about three when he retired, but I do remember sometimes us being in crèche. They used to like just look after near the change rooms and have the game on the TV. That’s all I really remember.

Q: What about seeing your brothers Trent and Jase both be drafted?

A: It’s pretty inspiring. It sort of shows me that I can do that as well if I really put my mind to it and like work hard. So hopefully I can crack into the AFL system as well and get a few games.

Q: What would it mean to you to go to Port and play where your family has?

A: It’d be a dream come true, obviously having growing up watching Dad and Uncle Shaun play there and seeing my brothers go through the ranks as well. It’d be pretty cool to get drafted by Port, but I’m just happy to get drafted anywhere.

Q: You seem to play a pretty similar brand of footy, but for you, what are your strengths and where do you play your best footy?

A: My top three strengths I’d say are my kicking and my decision making, and maybe my cleanliness. I probably play my best footy as that rebounding half-back type of player.

Q: Do you anticipate you’re going to have that same role between Eagles and State?

A: Yes, probably a higher half-back for Eagles and State, and probably for school footy as well. I’ll chop out through the middle for maybe five minutes a quarter.

Q: What are some of the things you’re looking to improve on?

A: Definitely my fitness, I’d say it’s probably my weakest point. Other than that, probably also my overhead marking as well. That sort of dropped off as I’ve progressed through the grades, so I really want to improve that.

Q: How has being part of the state program last year and again in 2024 helped develop your game?

A: It’s been pretty good, it’s been challenging. For this pre-season I’ve had a few little niggles with my groin and my shins… but it’s been pretty good just seeing what it takes to be a professional athlete, and also getting around the boys and meeting new boys as well.

Q: How long have you sat out with those couple of injury issues?

A: I was out for a week with my groin, it wasn’t very long. Then with my shins, I’ve been modified for about three weeks with my training, so I’ve been doing most of it.

Q: Is there anyone at the top level you’re inspired by, or have you had directive from Port to mould your game on someone in particular?

A: Port hasn’t said anyone in particular, but I like looking at like Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera. He’s a half-back as well, I like how he plays. He’s pretty smooth and composed with the footy, so I’m going to try and model my game after him.

Q: Do you have any goals set up for the year?

A: Hopefully just to make the state squad and the national draft combine. Then, hopefully get drafted.

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