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FIFA inspires Higgins' debut genius

Round 3: Higgins' mid-air special First gamer Jack Higgins gets his second goal in outstanding style.
I play a lot of FIFA with my mates, (I) kicked a nice goal during the week when I was playing, and it sort of came in the moment and I kicked it.
Jack Higgins

A FIFA game with friends and watching Cristiano Ronaldo inspired debutant Jack Higgins' mid-air soccer goal in Richmond's win over Hawthorn on Sunday.

The livewire became an instant fan-favourite at the MCG, kicking two goals that came with two massive celebrations as he was swamped by teammates.

After he joined the first kick, first goal club, Higgins had the soccer video game and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to thank for a quick-thinking mid-air effort in the third term.  

"I play a lot of FIFA with my mates, (I) kicked a nice goal during the week when I was playing, and it sort of came in the moment and I kicked it," Higgins said post-game.

Higgins post-game: ‘I kicked two snags’

"I just got my boot on it and luckily enough it went in, I hit it so sweet, it was unreal."

Higgins quit school last year to focus all his efforts on being drafted, and four months after achieving the first step, he found himself breaking into a premiership team after two matches.

"It was absolutely unreal. When I walked out there for the first time I was getting shakes and stuff like that," he said.  

"I missed a few set shots when I was warming up but when you get your first touch, you're all good." 

The first touch was more than good. Higgins, the second shortest player on the ground at 177cm, marked in front of Hawthorn ruckman Ben McEvoy before snapping quickly. 

"I heard it was touched, no one else heard it was touched and then everyone stopped still and I just snapped it around my body." 

"The boys got around me which was an unreal moment, I'll never forget it.

"I saw a few blokes (in the crowd) I knew which is always handy and they were getting around me so it gave me an extra leg."

And while many think Melbourne's traffic is bad, try being a 19-year-old draftee summoned back to the football club immediately by your senior coach in peak hour. 

That's what Higgins experienced on Wednesday night, the hour-long journey from Caulfield to Punt Road worth it, even after coach Damien Hardwick tried to delay the news.  

"I was driving away and then one of the ticket ladies said 'Dimma' (Hardwick) wants to see you," Higgins said. 

"I sort of had a bit of an idea and then I drove back all the way into the club, was stuck in traffic for about 45 minutes, an hour, just getting mad as, blasting the tunes.

"Then I got to the club and Dimma's like 'Oh, I can't really see you getting a spot this week' and then he just sort of screwed me around and then he's like 'Nah mate you're playing this week' and I was over the moon.  

"I had the biggest strut going down Punt Road." 

Higgins' youthful exuberance was on show in the rooms after the Tigers' win, doused in Gatorade by teammates.  

He'll be waiting by the phone for the next call from Hardwick ahead of the Tigers' clash with Brisbane on Saturday.

With premiership trio Nathan Broad, Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy in line to return, Higgins is looking to lock down a spot in a forward line alongside Jason Castagna and Dan Butler. 

Longer term, he will have to contend with Daniel Rioli returning from ankle surgery and the dropped Shai Bolton waiting in the wings.