Woods stepping up for Western Magpies

By Beth Newman

When Lachlan Woods became Magpies co-captain, he had a slew of senior players behind him.

This year, the 21 year-old will be leading a vastly different Magpies team, but he will still be drawing on the advice of those players.

“Last year, it was interesting. I still had those 10 older players around to help me, who I grew up playing with so that helped a lot,” he said.

“I think had I been sprung into that position without them around, it would’ve been a lot tougher, but it was okay.

“Now that they’re gone, I’ve stepped up, listened a little bit more and lead where they were.”

Woods said he wasn’t worried If that leadership role meant having some difficult conversations as well as some easy ones.

“I’m always happy to pull the young fellows and the old fellas, for that reason, whether they’re 10 years older than me, I’m still happy to get in their ear and tell them to do something,” he said.

“Whether it’s at training, off the paddock, good or bad, it doesn’t bother me.”

As one of the few constants at the Magpies in 2014, with a major regeneration happening on and off the field, Woods is itching to see their new structures in action.      

“There are massive changes on or off the field with coaches, new players and the club itself is changing but it’s so exciting,” he said.

“Personally, I’m itching to get into it and I know a lot of the other players are.

 It’s showing by the fact that numbers are increasing and there are smiles all round.”

The appointment of Glenn Humphrey as senior coach has brought a fresh approach to the Magpies, Woods said.

“Glenn’s a little old school compared to the other coaches I’ve had, which is good,” he said.

“I really enjoy it and I reckon it’s toughened a lot of the young fellas up in particular.”

With an influx of younger players this season, Woods said a recent pre-season camp had helped to shore up bonds between the players ahead of round one.

“One of the best things to come out of it was that blokes who weren’t necessarily best of mates, now are,” he said.

“I’ve never played at a football club that’s been as friendly as this, whether it’s been the social club or the players themselves.

“We’ve got new guys coming in daily and they’re still slotting right in.”

Woods said a big part of his responsibility in his second year as captain would be to help keep those players at Chelmer in the long term.

“We want to have blokes stick around for the next few seasons and whatnot rather than do a season and take off, or not enjoy this season and just really enjoy their footy,” he said.

“I love these blokes more than my family probably, so as long as I’m out there having a good time with them, then I’m happy.”

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