They say good things come to those who wait.
On Thursday night, Cooper Hamilton waited anxiously for his name to be called in the AFL National Draft.
Most AFL Draft experts and the Pioneers' representatives were left stunned when Hamilton's name wasn't read out.
He was forced to play the waiting game, again.
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The Colbinabbin teenager waited until pick 11 of Friday afternoon's Rookie Draft when the Greater Western Sydney Giants, finally, called "Cooper Hamilton".
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster, that's for sure,'' an elated Hamilton said from his home in Colbinabbin.
"Just before the GWS had their pick I received a phone call from the Giants' recruiter (Adrian Caruso).
"When he told me I was a Giant, my head hit the roof, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't speak.
"It was pretty unreal. The Giants were in consistent contact throughout the year and, luckily, they picked me."
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The heartbreak of not hearing his name called on Thursday night was long forgotten by Friday afternoon.
"This is the best feeling in the world,'' Hamilton said.
"This is what I've been working for the whole time. To finally have it happen is a bit surreal.
"It feels as though everything has paid off in the end."
A relieved Bendigo Pioneers' coach Danny O'Bree said Hamilton deserved his chance at the next level.
"It's super exciting because he's worked incredibly hard,'' O'Bree said of Hamilton.
"I didn't know what to think when his name didn't get read out last night.
"He had quite a bit of interest from clubs, so thankfully the Giants picked him today."
Selection 11 in the Rookie Draft has produced two AFL premiership players - Hawthorn's Michael Osborne and Richmond's Jayden Short.
Other prominent pick 11s in the Rookie Draft include Fremantle key forward Matt Taberner, North Melbourne forward Cam Zurhaar and Geelong defender Tom Atkins.
Two familiar faces from the Bendigo Pioneers, who are now at the GWS Giants, were among the first to congratulate Hamilton.
Former Pioneers' coach Damian Truslove is now the coach of the Giants' VFL team, while former Pioneers' team-mate Will Shaw is on the Giants' rookie list.
"I've already had a phone call from Damo and I've had a message from Shawry,'' Hamilton said.
"I've already felt welcomed."
The Giants were pleased with their draft steal.
"Cooper is a player we think adds some flexibility to our list in the roles he can play,'' GWS national recruiting manager Adrian Caruso said.
"We see him playing down back to start with, but his elite endurance base might help him play in some higher roles down the track.
"He is a well-rounded player and we know he will bring a strong work ethic to give himself the best chance to succeed."
As excited as Cooper was to achieve his goal of making an AFL list, he also felt the pain of his twin brother Hugh, who missed out on selection.
"Hugh is happy for me, but he's disappointed he missed out because he was still a red-hot crack to go today.
"It sucks that he didn't get picked. He's been really good to me about it all.
"I'm confident he'll make it (to the AFL) one day. I'd back him in to do it."
Cooper Hamilton and his family have little time to celebrate the achievement - the Giants want the teenager in Sydney on Sunday and his first training session with the Giants will be on Monday.
"I've got a bit of packing to do,'' he said.
"Mum and Dad are ecstatic that I'm on an AFL list, so I don't think they mind that I'm moving interstate.
"They can come and visit me in Sydney where the weather is warmer, so they'll be happy with that."
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