State of Play: Lachie Weller

Queensland U18 player, Lachie Weller, gives us his insights into the state program.

I started playing footy basically as soon as I could walk, kicking the footy around in the backyard with my two brothers Maverick and Tyson, and my entire family are massive footy supporters.

My dad and I have been barracking for Richmond for as long as I can remember and I think it’s going to be an exciting year for the Tigers.

Growing up in Burnie in Tasmania, everything revolved around the footy club and that’s where I used to go and hang out with my friends as a kid on the weekend.

There wasn’t any club footy down there until Under-14s so I played Mini league (Auskick) and school footy, before joining the footy club when I was 12, with my dad as my coach.

We had a really good school footy team and back then it was just so much fun, because you were playing with your best mates.

All of my family were involved, with Mav helping out coaching and mum cutting the oranges up at half time.

I was 15 when my family moved up to Queensland, and I think Queensland footy is great.

The NEAFL competition is great and it gives young footballers, like myself, the chance to play at a really high standard each week.

Living on the Gold Coast was pretty easy to settle into- I  love the lifestyle, especially the warm weather and the beach.

It was also good moving in with Mav, who had moved up here to play with the SUNS.

I’ve always been really close to my two brothers and we still talk everyday despite us now being spread out everywhere.

My eldest brother is down in Tassie at the moment working in the mines, flying in and out of Queensland and Mav is living in Melbourne playing with the Saints.

Having Mav around was pretty handy over the last couple of years and it gave me a good insight into how AFL players live, but now we  don’t really talk about footy much as we try to get away from it when we have the chance.

It can be hard to get away from footy and I do think about it a lot.

You can get caught up in it sometimes and it can bring you down really quickly, but I am trying to listen to my body a lot more this year and get more of a lifestyle balance.

I’ve started working as a trainee for AFLQ, which I love, and it has helped me grow as a leader and develop my communication skills, which I am continually looking to improve.

One of my strengths in leadership is that I lead by example on and off the field but I also believe I am pretty approachable and I will always find time for someone if they want to chat.

However, a great leader has all the qualities of leadership and I am always working to improve on every aspect of that.

I captained the AIS-AFL side in New Zealand last year and I learnt so much from it.

It was hard because everyone in the team is so talented and I didn’t really know how to go about telling them what to do, but I learned being captain should give you the confidence to stand up, because the group believes you can lead and that’s why you were selected.

One of our coaches, Brad Johnson, pulled me aside at half time in our game against New Zealand and told me what to say to the group.

Having him guide me along was pretty incredible.

I’m really excited about everything this year is going to throw up, and I can’t wait for footy to get started.

From a state point of view, I think the team’s tracking really well and I’m just excited to have success with them and any team I’m playing with this year.

Footy is great because it’s got this unique team environment with all of your mates and everyone comes together to do one thing, WIN!

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