Jake Florenca knows he can compete at the AFL level and is letting his football prove it.
The South Fremantle midfielder’s breakout 2022 went to another level on Saturday with a career-best performance to lead the Bulldogs to victory over Peel.
His stats alone stand as reason enough to be looked at for next month’s mid-season draft – 41 disposals, 25 contested, 13 clearances, eight inside 50s, nine score involvements and two goals.
It comes after the 25-year-old impressed for West Coast as a top-up player against Brisbane in round eight when he had 19 disposals, four clearances and laid seven tackles.
Florenca said he hadn’t heard from West Coast since he suited up for them a fortnight ago, but still wanted to try his luck in the mid-season draft and got an exemption to nominate earlier this week.
“I was pretty happy, but also if it didn’t happen I am happy playing down here,” Florenca said.
“I think I’ve shown what I can do. I am in good nick. It gave me a load of confidence and just knowing I can play at that level.
“I’ve had a little taste of it and it’s left me wanting more.”
Florenca was at another level at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, dominating a game that featured 13 Fremantle players in Peel’s line-up, including midfielders Darcy Tucker, Connor Blakely and Mitch Crowden.
But they were powerless to stop Florenca, who said he knew he was on top.
“I felt like I was going pretty well,” Florenca said.
“I thought I went pretty well, but the boys in there really helped me out. When you have Scoot (Haiden Schloithe) and (Brendon) Ah Chee in there as well it takes off the attention away from you.”
For now, Florenca will go back to work as a cabinet maker and wait to see if his name is called on June 1 by an AFL club.
“Life is normal. Just work Monday and play Swan Districts next week down at Bassendean,” he said.
“We’ll just see what happens.”
The Bulldogs are once again in the mix for the premiership, leaving Florenca with a bittersweet feeling should he be picked up.
“It will be mixed emotions, these are all my best mates, so it will be hard leaving them,” he said.
“Whatever happens, happens.”