Opinion

Seagull takes flights

by
September 28, 2016

Moama's Lachie Schultz made his state league debut on Sunday for Williamstown in its VFL win over arch-rivals Port Melbourne.

Moama’s Lachie Schultz made his state league footy debut on Sunday for Williamstown’s Seagulls.

And at his new home by the sea, he had a win.

In fact, it was a hard-fought seven-point final term comeback victory in tough conditions at home against arch-rivals Port Melbourne.

Speaking after the match, Schultz described the experience as ‘‘different, but everything I expected’’.

‘‘I loved it. It was a really good contest.’’

The highlight of his debut was simply being part of a winning side. And having joined last year’s VFL premiers, that’s some side.

‘‘It’s great to run out with such a strong team,’’ Schultz said.

The Seagulls were nine points down at the last change of ends after being kept scoreless in the third term.

The final scores were the Gulls 8.4 (52) to the Borough’s 5.15 (45).

‘‘The wind takes a lot of getting used to here, playing down by the sea,’’ Schultz said.

‘‘It was really hard but I thought the boys did really well adapting to the conditions.’’

And his team-mates’ pre-game advice to the new lad?

‘‘I guess they just really said play your own game, do exactly what you’ve been doing to get here — and enjoy it,’’ Schultz said.

The move from Moama in the Murray league to state league via the Bendigo Pioneers has taken its time. It’s a three-hour-plus car trip, after all.

But what changes has Schultz had to make in his footy thinking? And has he been deployed differently by each coach he’s played under — from Simon Maddox (Moama) to Brett Henderson (Bendigo) and now Andy Collins (Williamstown)?

‘‘I’ve definitely taken on a new role this year, playing predominantly forward instead of through the midfield,’’ Schultz said.

‘‘So there’s a lot of new things to learn like structures and setting up but it’s been good.’’

Coach Collins was happy with the way his side fought back in the final quarter to get the competition points, Schultz added.

The Seagull-Borough rivalry had its 246th instalment on Sunday — a clash to rival AFL heavyweights Collingwood and Carlton in history terms at the second tier of footy.

It was also screened live on Channel Seven.

But for Schultz, one doubts that being seen on telly is topmost in his mind, career-wise.

He’s hoping for as many appearances as possible for Williamstown this season, whether as a starter or off the bench.

‘‘Being such a strong team, though, a position isn’t always guaranteed,’’ Schultz said.

However, he said he did not think he would be back too often up Moama way if things continued to work out well with the Seagull flock.

And if he can fly all the way into the AFL one day, he would.

‘‘I’ve definitely got ambitions to be drafted,’’ Schultz said.

‘‘But at the same time I want to play the best footy that’s possible (for me) and if that’s VFL, then that’s it.’’

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