And then Schultz was made a Docker
IF LACHIE Schultz had been watching the AFL draft on Friday he would have been rapt when his Bendigo Pioneers’ mate Marty Hore’s name was read out as draft pick 56. But not as delighted as he would have been with the very next announcement – that he was pick 57 and he was going to Fremantle. The silky midfielder could not have asked for a better early birthday present – he turns 21 on Friday. But when the moment that might change his life occurred he was on the job in Melbourne as a plumber. The first the former Moama Magpies and Williamstown Seagulls gun forward learnt of his selection was when his phone went berserk. Schultz had been playing his trade with the Seagulls after a good run with the Pioneers in the TAC Cup. Before that he was a junior with Moama. If Lachie was up to his elbows in plumbing his mother wasn’t – she was glued to her TV and said she could barely believe her eyes when her son was drafted to Freo.
“It took me a few goes to get through (to Lachie’s phone), but when I did he was just in shock, it was so exciting for him,” Jan said.
“He had been speaking to Fremantle in the lead up to the draft but he hadn’t had any sort of promises from them.
“And now he is finally going to Freo he will be doing it with Brett Bewley (pick 59), who is one of his good friends from Williamstown.
“He went to work today (Friday), but I don’t know whether that was because he really wasn’t confident or whether he was protecting himself from the attention,” she said.
Jan said Lachie had been contacted by “four or five” AFL clubs, but she was confident it would be Freo that would come calling.
“I thought it’d be the Dockers. He thought a few others might be contenders, but Freo asked where he’d be on draft day which I thought was telling.
“I’m not too sure how long we have with him, it sounds like it’ll be Sunday or Monday when he leaves. It’s that quick.
“I think he’ll be there for two or three weeks, we hope he might come home for Christmas,” she said.
Although he has been directed not to speak to media yet, on its website Fremantle provided the following quotes:
“I wasn’t actually watching the draft, I was at work and then my boss called me and informed me that I had been taken,” Schultz said.
“My boss was at home watching it and he said he’d let me know if anything happens and that’s how it played out. I didn’t find out about Brett (Bewley) until later when mum called me to congratulate me.
“I couldn’t be happier for Brett. To have him coming over with me just makes everything that little bit easier.
“Hopefully, he says the same thing about me. We get on really well, so to have both of us over there is unreal.
“I feel we are both ready to go,” Schultz said.
“We have such a good connection with each other on the field and have a willingness to learn. “Hopefully, we can make Freo even stronger.”
Schultz’s Moama under-17s coach Adie Daly remembered him as the most talented player he had ever coached and he had been one of the cornerstones of his team.
‘‘He was outstanding when he played for Moama and he led us to our first grand final win as our captain,’’ Daly said.
“It just shows the pathway is there for country talent, and credit to him for getting there.
“He’s super talented and probably the most gifted boy that I’ve ever coached. He just always wanted to do it, and make it all the way,” he said.
Daly said it was never in doubt that Schultz could get to the top level if he applied himself.
“You see a lot of gifted kids but some don’t go the extra yard, but he’s made the right decision to go and play VFL and it’s a great thing for other locals to see and aspire too. “It’s a great honour for him and he deserves everything he gets.
“You could see from an early age he was oozing talent and everyone knew he would go on to bigger and better things, no one doubted that,” he said.
DOCKER DUO: Lachie Schultz, left, and Wlliamstown and now Fremantle team-mate Brett Bewley with their new jumpers after being selected in Friday’s AFL draft.