THERE was great excitement last week when local lads, Lachie McNeil and Jacob Wehr, made their SANFL league debut together for Woodville-West Torrens Eagles against South Adelaide.
With their proud families watching on, Lachie started in the forward lines, rotating through the mid field, while Jacob started on the interchange bench before playing on the wing.
“I was very nervous, and while I have usually played mid field, it was exciting to play forward, mainly half forward flank with small bursts in the centre,” Lachie said.
“It was intense at every contest, we’re now playing against bigger bodies with harder hits.”
“But I really enjoyed standing Matthew Broadbent (ex Port Adelaide) and Joel Cross in the midfield.
Lachie said he had a good preseason, training ‘flat out’ since mid November, and had kept up his fitness during COVID time.
“We’ve had about nine months to prepare – so since November, I’ve improved my strength and fitness, and am trying to focus on improving an developing my game,” he said.
Lachie and Jacob had shots on goal on Saturday, both scoring a point, with Lachie having 15 disposals and Jacob 10.
Jacob, who is now in his fourth year at the Eagles, was rewarded for his great off-season training program when selected for the league team.
“Jacob has stuck at it for three years, which included being dropped in the reserves in that time, but he persevered and made a dramatic improvement in fitness during the off-season,” his father, Gary, said.
“He started on the bench and rotated on the wing, and while he was nervous, when he got the ball, I think he used it pretty well.”
“The Eagles started and finished well, but were out-contested in the second and third quarters.”
The boys must attend five compulsory trainings, with an optional weights session on Thursdays.
“It’s a bit of a juggling act sometimes, working full time and training, but we make it work,” Lachie said
Due to COVID, the boys had limited full ‘contact’ trainings with just one internal trial match, and while ‘a bit sore’, said they ‘pulled up ok.’
While the Eagles lost by six points in a tough encounter, the lads are looking forward to this Sunday’s contest against Norwood.
Bute lad, Lachie Jones, also debuted with the boys, playing a great game in defence.
Former BSR player, Todd Slade also made an appearance on the weekend playing league for Glenelg, and had five disposals in a thrilling three point win over Norwood.