MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Nic Martin of the Bombers high fives fans after winning the round one AFL match between Hawthorn Hawks and Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on March 19, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

There's not a day that goes by where Nic Martin doesn't find himself pondering what he'd be up to had it not been for a training invite from Essendon almost 18 months ago.

The Subiaco youngster arose on the Bombers' radar as a potential Supplemental Selection Period recruit, contending for one of two vacant list spots alongside axed Essendon midfielder Dylan Clarke, Northern Territory prospect Ronald Fejo junior and Tex Wanganeen, the son of club great Gavin.

Martin would land in Melbourne for trials at Tullamarine from December 2021 through to February the next year, with the club confirming the then-20-year-old had earned a rookie list spot shortly after his practice match performance against the Western Bulldogs.

In just over a year since signing on the dotted line to call himself a Don, Martin has quickly emerged as a staple in Essendon's plans to return to finals contention, even recording five goals from 27 possessions on debut against Geelong last year.

With a further 24 games under his belt and a role on the wing now his, Martin will be forever grateful for the chance Essendon cast his way.

"It's probably every day where I'm wondering what I'd be doing," he told Zero Hanger. 

"I'm incredibly grateful that Essendon gave me the shot and opportunity. I owe them a big one.

"I'm enjoying Melbourne life. Maybe not the weather and beaches here, but I'm really enjoying Melbourne and my time at Essendon."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Nic Martin of the Bombers avoids a tackle during the round one AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 19, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

The Western Australian has been pivotal in Essendon's promising start under new coach Brad Scott, being one of just 11 players across the AFL to be averaging over 20 possessions and one goal per game from the opening month of the season.

Still cutting his teeth at the top level, Martin has looked to senior figures in Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett for advice on honing his craft as a midfielder, both on the inside and out.

Working in tandem with fellow winger Sam Durham and new recruit Will Setterfield, Martin isn't short on avenues for advice at Essendon, with the silky ball-winner eyeing off a spot inside Scott's engine room in the near future.

"I sort of float between a couple," Martin said of his mentors.

"If I'm working on my midfield craft I'll go to Merrett or Setterfield, who is a similar height and similar build.

"With my wing stuff I'm mostly with 'Hep' or Durham, we work closely together.

"I think in the future I'll soon put on a couple more kilos and hopefully move into the midfield and get an inside role."

Martin has also looked to 'pick the brain' of livewire teammate Jake Stringer, who has emerged as an "extremely knowledgeable" teacher when it comes to splitting his time across the forward half of the field.

Speaking after last Sunday's 13-point win over GWS, where Stringer stole the show with four goals - including an outrageous torpedo on the run from outside the 50-metre arc - Martin said the premiership Bulldog adds a new level of energy to the playing group when he pulls on the red sash.

"He's an absolute spark," Martin said of Stringer.

"Especially that barrel, he pulls it out of nothing and puts us a couple of goals ahead. You can't help but smile sometimes when you're out there when he's got the ball, because he just does some pretty cool things.

"He's actually extremely knowledgeable with forward craft and midfield craft, so any chance you can get to sort of pick his brain a bit (helps). He's always happy to help and he's got immense knowledge about the game.

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"He's one that's quite good for my development."

The Round 4 win over the Giants saw the Bombers collect their third win of the season, a benchmark Essendon, and Martin, didn't reach until Round 14 last year.

After being thrown into the deep end to start his debut campaign last year, Martin revealed the sky is the limit for Essendon in 2023 as they look to improve on each passing result.

"It's just about building consistency. My first year was a bit of a whirlwind," he said.

"I was sort of just playing on instinct, but I think now I'm used to it, I'm 25 games in. It's been an experience and I'm just trying to build consistency.

"We've sort of put no expectations on ourselves (this year).

"There's no ceiling, we're just playing to a system here and are trying to build some continuity throughout the year through every game we're trying to get better, which is really great.

"It's resulted in a couple of wins on the board."

Martin will be tasked with the difficult task of negating Melbourne wing pair Ed Langdon and Lachie Hunter this week, as Essendon heads to South Australia for Gather Round.

The Bombers and Demons will face off at Adelaide Oval 3:40pm local time for what will be a hotly contested clash between two top four sides.