FORMER Clare local, Lachie McNeil is heading to Victoria to join the AFL’s Western Bulldogs after being chosen in the rookie draft last Thursday.
“I was at work as a storeman when I got a text message and I rang my parents to tell them – it was amazing but there was a lot of raw emotion too,” Lachie said.
Lachie, 19, had applied for the main draft selected on Wednesday night, but wasn’t really disappointed on missing out on that as he was banking more on being picked up in the rookie draft.
“The difference between the two drafts is rookies only have a one year contract,” he said.
“It’s just amazing to have been picked up at all.”
Bulldogs recruiting manager Dom Milesi said Lachie was a driven young man who had really worked hard on his game this year at Woodville West Torrens.
“Lachie has genuine speed and he complements our midfield – this is a great opportunity for him,” he said.
Lachie headed to Melbourne on Saturday, to start training on Monday, staying with teammate Ed Richards, and will later be rehoused either with another player or a host family.
After Christmas, Lachie said training will ‘ramp up’.
“I’m not afraid of the training – I’m looking forward to it and am super excited – it was a childhood dream to play AFL,” he said.
Lachie’s favourite player was Gary Ablett Jnr, and he barracked for Gold Coast.
“I can’t do that now,” he laughed.
Ironically Lachie was chosen at number 11 in the rookie draft pick, and his father, Tim, was chosen at number 11 in the main draft pick in 1987, from Norwood to Melbourne.
Some things are just meant to be!