Having dreamt of one day following in the footsteps of his idol Paul Puopulo, Fan scoured the internet for a team that could give him one last chance to get into the big league.
Enter the Tokyo Goannas Football Club.
"I saw this superb looking website and decided to send an email. I wasn't expecting an answer since I was a bit flat Hawthorn didn't pick me up. Fortunately Sam Ghirardello got back to me and asked me to come in for training".
It didn't all go to plan though and Fan soon found out he would need to start making some adjustments to his expectations. "Pre-season was a good run out. It was good to blow off the cobwebs, however I was expecting training to be on an actual ground and not on some random patch of grass by some old folks playing bocce".
Despite this, Fan put his head down and trained as hard as he could turning coach Ghirra into a fan himself. Round 1 was coming and he knew with the JAFL now streaming games live, there was a chance the scouts at Hawthorn could be watching again.
Asked how he felt before the game, Fan was surprisingly nonplussed. "I didn't really feel any nerves before the game. I had confidence in my preparation and I was just excited to be named in the team and get a run".
He ended up with 7 disposals and 2 tackles in an encouraging debut that showcased his will to harass the opposition. The highlight being a game-saving mark at half back that turned the momentum back the Goannas way. Pragmatic as ever though, Fan saw some room for improvement. "I felt that I have to improve my skills and position further. I want to make more of an impact Puopulo-style and I'm hoping that will come over the course of the season. To be honest I felt like a bit of a passenger".
His parents who made the trek down for his debut didn't mind his game though throwing massive gang signs when Fan almost scored a goal, and at the end had quite a bit to say.
"The folks were here and the weather turned out for them too. They felt a bit sorry for the other team getting smashed though. They also thought big Alex Wyatt and Douggie, our twin towers, were big bullies up in the forward line".
With that, Fan the player also had some choice words for captain Daniel Last. "He's a bit of a clown".
Asked to elaborate, "I better not. He is the captain after all".
It seems for the time being the Goannas number 21 is content staying out of trouble and quietly working up to the kind of form that could have him lining up alongside his hero Puopulo one day. "For now I'm just here to learn how to play the game properly and get along with everyone. Including Dan Last".
So it seems with the changing of the guard this year, a new Fan has us sensing there may also be a change in the wind. Stay tuned.