Jack Martin is done waiting around.
After enduring a protracted trade period, Martin finally made it from Gold Coast to Carlton – but managed just one official game in navy blue before the AFL season ground to a premature halt.
When the campaign was suspended in March, Martin planned to return to the Gold Coast to stay with family.
Acutely aware of Queensland’s impending border closures, he and his partner Brittany acted fast to make sure they did not have the decision on heading north made for them.
“We had the meeting at the club and they said ‘boys, go away for six weeks’,” Martin told AAP.
“We woke up at pretty much 1am the next morning and got in the car and did the drive – 18 hours straight.
“It was a tough drive but we didn’t know when the borders were going to close so we had to get there in a hurry.”
Now back in Melbourne ahead of the season restart, the former Sun is raring to go for the long-awaited game two.
“I was excited to get out there (in round one) and play in front of 90,000+ and it turned out being an empty stadium,” Martin said.
“But (after) the whole process, the whole trade period, whether or not we were going to play round one and finding out a couple of nights before, I’m just itching to get back out there and try and win some games.”
The season suspension was timed horribly for Martin – who won the hearts and minds of the Carlton faithful with a stellar four-goal showing in the 24-point defeat to Richmond in the opening match.
When he returns to action against Melbourne on Saturday, Martin is keen to build on his promising start to life at Princes Park.
“Everyone’s there to get better,” Martin said.
“They’re all self-driven. It’s a great footy club, it’s obviously a big footy club … it’s an exciting group and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
Martin already knew new teammates Patrick Cripps and Mitch McGovern through WA schoolboy representative teams, but since arriving at Carlton he has formed a tight trio alongside Eddie Betts and Sam Petrevski-Seton.
The 25-year-old is looking forward to playing alongside Betts, who missed round one but is set to face the Demons.
“I was spewing – a week out from round one and he does a calf, the old boy,” Martin said.
“But he’s good. He’s up and flying and training well. I’m excited and can’t wait to run out alongside him.
“We’re just ready to go out and play some footy and try and win as many games as we can.”