2017 has been a huge year for Lachie Fogarty, and it’s only set to get bigger come draft night. After starring for the Western Jets in the TAC Cup, and gathering 14 disposals in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, it’s easy to assume that it’s gone to his head. However, the opposite is true. In the midst of his year 12 exams, Footy Prophet had the chance to speak to Lachie Fogarty about all things footy, and how he managed to stay grounded in what was a big year for him on, and off, the field.
The temptation for many in Lachie’s position would be to let school fall by the wayside, especially with the expectations surrounding where he is set to go in the draft. However, being immersed in his exams has actually allowed him to escape this draft stress. “School’s actually been a really good distraction for me, I knew a few boys who aren’t at school so they might just be working, so during the day all they might be thinking about is the draft. I try to keep it in the back of my mind, but not worry about it too much.” He says that staying in school was “really important to (his) mum and dad as well, they want me to do really well.” Dropping out was never an option for him, and he’s glad he didn’t. He didn’t do it solo, though, with GWS player Tim Taranto giving him some advice throughout the year.
The nerves are there though, however, he’s not the only member of the family who’s nervous. He says he thinks his parents are sometimes more nervous than he is, “mum in particular, especially when the clubs come over she’s cleaning and getting the house ready. They’re really excited, but the prospect of going interstate is a bit nervewracking.” Lachie himself says it’s a frightening prospect, but one he embraces. “It’s pretty daunting, I don’t have many skills like cooking and cleaning, but I am a pretty independent person and I know if I went to an interstate club they’d be very supportive and help me develop certain skills. To be honest, I’ve wanted to play footy since I was a young kid, and if I have to go interstate, I’m willing to do that.”
“It’s been a dream since I was a young kid. Making a living playing footy, I can’t think of anything better”
Lachie realised that he wanted to be a footy player when he made the U16 Vic Metropolitan representative team and had the opportunity to play alongside the best young Australian footballers. It was also during this time that he made the AFL Academy. “I spent two weeks at the Bulldogs, and took part in all their training. It made me realise that’s the lifestyle I want. It’s been a dream since I was a young kid. Making a living playing footy, I can’t think of anything better.” The experience at the Bulldogs was only made better by the fact he is a Bulldogs supporter. “The first two people I saw were Bob Murphy and Easton Wood having a chat, so I was a little bit nervous.” Not a bad way to be introduced into the club atmosphere.
Representing the Western Jets this year, as well as playing school footy for St Kevins has meant a lot of highlights for Lachie this year. However, one game in particular sticks out in his mind. Playing against a top of the table Oakleigh Chargers in Willliamstown was a big confidence booster for the team, along with a win the following week against the Northern Knights. It showed the team they could beat anyone. The season hasn’t been without its downfalls, however. Lachie recently missed the national draft combine, where the brightest draft hopefuls have one last chance to impress the recruiters. “I was devastated, I kept ringing my mate and asking if I should be going in. I was struggling with illness at the time. I spoke to Mike Sheahan, Luke Ablett and Luke Power and they said not to worry about it, and Luke said if that’s the worst thing that’s gonna happen, you not going to the combine then we’re doing pretty well.”
Heading into 2018 and beyond, no matter what it may hold, Lachie clearly has a bright future. We can’t wait to see where his AFL journey will take him.