Dougie's deserved moment in the spotlight

Dougie's deserved moment in the spotlight

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Sam Jacobs, who has been a teammate of Richard Douglas since 2011, shares his thoughts ahead of ‘Dougie’s’ 200th game this Saturday, exclusively to Aflplayers.com.au.

Being locker No. 26, Dougie was very welcoming when I came to the footy club.

Along with Ben Rutten who was 25, and Jared Petrenko at 23, we were all really close as locker buddies. Richard and I are both country boys so we hit it off instantly when I moved over to the Crows.

I didn’t know much about him when I first came across but it didn’t take long for me to realise that he was a high-quality player and person.

The fact I didn’t know a lot probably exemplifies Dougie in a way. He frequently goes under the radar and it’s because he isn’t an outgoing personality — he likes to stick to himself.

He’s actually a really fun guy which I’m sure people outside the club and in the media wouldn’t be aware of. He has a very dry sense of humour and cracks a lot of gags.

On the field he’s really quiet, but around the club rooms it’s a different story when he’s in his comfortable surrounds and we see first-hand the kind of character he is.

Among the playing group, he’s a really popular guy but for whatever reason he doesn’t like to be in the limelight, he just wants to go about his business. He’s a club champion and a bloke who has played at a high level for a long time and being a high draft pick he’s lived up to the expectations.

Both being from the country, we’re right into our camping so we have that in common and he spends a bit of time camping up at the river.

Kyle Hartigan is a western city slicker from Melbourne but he is right into his boating and camping so we’ve started to recruit a few guys who enjoy going out and getting up to these activities. Jake Lever has begun to join the group as well.

We’re also into our property and I can see Richie finishing his career and having a few acres up in the Adelaide Hills just doing his own thing. He is very proud of where he came from in Broadford and he still considers himself a Victorian but he’s definitely warmed to the South Australian way of life, so I still see him living up there with a few acres and a little vineyard.

Now that Tom Lynch has moved into our locker area, and the fact that he’s a Victorian, it makes for some fun around there. I’ve helped to influence Dougie into becoming a half-converted South Australian so we have a lot of banter together.

While most people wouldn’t know a lot about him personally, I think his game does the talking. His versatility is something that stands out because he has the capability to play forward, midfield and back.

If you asked me what my preferred position was, it’d be in the middle of the ground.

I really enjoyed the work he did through the JLT Series playing more as an in-and-under midfielder while Sloane and Brad Crouch were out.

He practiced all pre-season with the backs and then came into the middle through the practice games and now we’re seeing that has held him in good stead throughout the main season.

When I think of Dougie playing, I think of him breaking lines and hitting the scoreboard as a goal-kicking midfielder which there aren’t a lot of anymore. When he’s at his best he’s doing all of those things.

Given his versatility as a player that should keep him in the game for a long time. While guys still have the passion and are playing at a high level there’s no reason to look anywhere else.

I think in his own way he’d be proud of his efforts to make it to 200 games. He’s a very driven guy and we always joke about the fact that he and I are getting on the older side so we’re looking for some real team success.

That’s what will really drive him now and when his career finishes he’ll be proud to look back at the games he has played, but right now he has some unfinished business and can smell an opportunity to get some team success.

As we get closer to Saturday, the milestone will be spoken about before the game because the club are really good at acknowledging and putting together a video that reflects and shines a light.

I had my 150th game in Round 1 and the club went to a bit of effort to make sure that I was able to celebrate that and I’m sure they’ll make a big deal of Dougie’s 200th and the fact that he’s a one-club player.

That shows his loyalty which is a big effort for a Victorian who came across as a 17-year-old and has spent 12 or 13 years here. He’s a life member and the club will celebrate that.

What do you think?

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