Wylie still buzzing following Cats call
FOR new Geelong cult sensation Wylie Buzza, it's all about keeping a lower profile as he does the hard work required to make it as an AFL footballer.
And so the pink boots that were just one part of the likeable Queenslander's attention-grabbing image after being recruited by the Cats last month have been put away ... at least for now.
A combination of catchy name, unique background, cool outlook, trendy hair and those boots quickly made the 19-year-old from Gatton, west of Brisbane, a favourite with Cats fans after he was selected in last month's national draft (at No.69 overall).
Buzza said the club's podiatrist quickly got him into a pair of black Asics as opposed to his more flamboyant Nikes.
"He's put the pink boots away," Buzza said with a laugh, before adding he may be allowed to slip into them again if his performances warrant it.
Whatever he's wearing, the laidback 197cm key position prospect has been taking the new-found fame in his substantial stride.
After explaining to the media horde about why he took up Aussie rules in rugby league country - in order to wag a day of school - he said he was happy to be a cult hero, but just didn't want to be a "dud cult hero".
Buzza told APN he didn't believe there was any extra pressure on him, but was committed to backing up his statement.
"The first week from when you get drafted everyone wants a piece of you. There's articles here, articles there," he said.
"Now it's just about doing all the hard work. There's a lot of great players I've got to get past to get a game."
From that first school game, Buzza progressed through various rep teams before becoming a part of the Brisbane Lions academy, playing with Redland in the NEAFL and representing Queensland at the national under-18 championships.
Buzza, who is back home for the holiday break, had been rubbing shoulders with Cats superstars such as skipper Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel and star recruit Patrick Dangerfield.
"It's been unreal so far," he said. "It still feels a bit like a holiday. You still feel like you're just a visitor.
"When I come back after Chrissy and actually have my own car and have my own permanent address, and won't be living out of my bag, it'll feel a lot more like home."
Buzza said training was "like nothing I've done before".
"Gym and football sessions in the one day, with sometimes running on top of that. They haven't made us do everything the senior blokes are doing - we're doing maybe 60 or 70% of the load.
"But, in saying that, it's still extremely tough because none of our bodies are used to it."
Buzza, who uses his height to take strong pack marks, has been told by the Cats' coaching staff that "my running ability needs to be worked on". "They've made it known that that's a real weakness of mine," he said. "But, there's nothing that needs to be fixed straight away ... they've given me time."
While his family were die-hard rugby league supporters, long-time Broncos fan Buzza is adamant "they're all die-hard Geelong supporters now".
"Everyone's on board. It was pretty easy to get them to follow Geelong when they've never followed any other AFL club."