And then Schultz was made a Docker

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT -

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.

Ro­han Starkey

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.

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