By Beth Newman
Morningside’s Lachie Russ will be following in his father’s footsteps when he fronts up for the QAFL against the VAFA on Sunday.
Russ was rewarded for his strong recent form, with late inclusion in the squad, joining the company of father, Steve, who played four seasons of state football for Queensland.
Steve, a former South Melbourne player, relished his time playing for his adopted state and said he was confident Lachie would wear the jumper well on Sunday.
“It was great to be playing for a state and playing for something, with that interstate competition,” he said.
“I’m proud that he’s made it and I’ll be proud to see him run out on the weekend.”
While he won’t be giving him any tactical advice, Steve said he would encourage Lachie to make the most of his opportunity, against the VAFA.
“For an up and coming kid like Lachie to step up to state level, it’s the highest thing he can do,” he said.
“I hope that the current squad understand the responsibility they have.
“He’s got a terrific work ethic and I don’t have to say too much to him, I just try to give him some encouragement.”
The younger Russ is no stranger to rep football, having played for the state at U18 and U21 level, but he knows this weekend will be another level of intensity.
“I think it will be another step up again (from previous rep games) and a real challenge,” he said.
“I’m really excited to play with a few of these boys as well as the Morningside boys, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I can do.”
The 21 year-old has moved into the midfield this season, flourishing in the more central role.
“We’ve had a pretty strong midfield at Morningside so I first got my opportunity in the forward line and it’s progressed from there,” he said.
“I’m from a running background and I’m playing more in the midfield this year.”
The Morningside junior said state selection was a nice bonus for him.
“I knew with the competition changing, it could be a good challenge, but I really just tried to play as well as I could at club level this year,” he said,
“It’s a big honour. There are only 22 blokes who get to do it so I’m feeling very privileged to have the opportunity.”