Fremantle’s Alex Silvagni made a shock appearance at Casey’s best and fairest count on Friday night, delighting his former teammates.

Silvagni, who was plucked from the Scorpions in last year’s rookie draft, played 15 AFL games this year, including the Dockers’ semi-final loss against Geelong at the MCG.

The 191cm defender is holidaying in Melbourne for two weeks before Fremantle’s best and fairest count but kept his appearance a secret.

When general manager Brian Woodman quizzed him on stage about his transition to the AFL Silvagni was met with a warm applause and treated the audience to some light-hearted humour.

“I went over and just trained as hard as I could and got a NAB Cup game and then made my debut in Round 1,” he said.

“I thought I was going to be the first player in AFL history to faint before the game, but once you get out there you just absorb the atmosphere and it’s good.”
Silvagni also said full-time football had left him with far more free time so he went out and bought a PlayStation to fill the void.

The favourite tracked the Scorpions this year but could only watch a couple of games, one of which was their 124-point humiliation at the hands of Williamstown.

Silvagni, who knows the difference in standard of VFL and AFL football better than most, predicted many more second-tier players to receive call-ups.

“With the new teams there’s going to be double the amount of recruiters coming along and watching the VFL now. Guys like (Michael) Stockdale, Kyle Matthews, (James) Wall and (Ben) MacReadie would all be pretty good.”

Silvagni revealed he found out he was heading to Fremantle only when the Dockers read out his name.

“I went over with five other guys to try out but they said nothing. There was one spot but they didn’t say anything and we came to the draft and they said no guarantees but they gave me a spot at the rookie draft.”

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