Martin gained the attention of AFL scouts from as early as 2008, with Sydney’s recruiting boss Kinnear Beatson contacting Martin in an attempt to commit him to the club. This was on the back of a previous attempt to join the club’s junior academy program. He was however just two months too young to qualify for that year’s draft and remained ineligible for the Swans’ academy program. When his draft year arrived in 2009 the Swans were again interested in drafting him, hoping he would fall to their selection at number six. That was on the back of an impressive draft camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in October of that year. He recorded strong results at the camp, finishing equal second in the kicking efficiency test as well as running the 20 metre sprint in 2. 89 seconds, the second fastest at the camp. He also placed seventh in the repeat sprints test and scored 14. 3 on the beep test despite initial questions over his endurance ability. He was described at the time by The Age draft expert Emma Quayle as “a strong-bodied, strong-minded midfielder who keeps his feet, can slip tackles, kick with both feet and go forward to take a mark. ” When Richmond officials became certain Melbourne (who held picks number one and two in the draft) would select other players before Martin, they travelled to his Bendigo home to inform him that they would be certain to secure him with their pick.