Essendon recruit Kyle Langford has the number five at the forefront of his mind heading into the 2015 season.
The 17th selection in the 2014 National Draft is determined to have an immediate impact in his first year and isn’t shying away from his goals.
“I’d love to play a few games this year, I’ve set myself probably five minimum,” Langford said.
“I’d love to play a few games this year, I’ve set myself probably five minimum” – Kyle Langford
It’s not the only occasion the figure has been linked with the Bombers’ top pick. Langford rose to prominence in the draft pecking order after two five-goal hauls early in the Northern Knights’ TAC Cup campaign.
Though a proven ability to hit the scoreboard points to a player oozing with forward half potential, Langford says he’s got ambitions to play as a midfielder in the years ahead.
“I wouldn’t pigeon hole myself playing anywhere, but I guess going into this season I’m really focusing on trying to break into the forward six at Essendon.
“Play as that high half-forward and then down the track, become a midfielder.”
For his future midfield ambitions to flourish, Langford is likely to need time molding his self-confessed light frame. At 191cm, his height is an asset and rivals some of the AFL’s midfield elite – Scott Pendlebury (191cm) Nat Fyfe (190cm) and Josh Kennedy (188cm) as examples.
The glaring difference at 80kg is how much heavier those physically mature brutes would be bashing and crashing against him. Kennedy, the heaviest of the aforementioned names, carries an extra 16kg advantage.
“Obviously I want to try and put on a bit more weight, but I’m feeling pretty fit.” Langford said.
Fortunately for Langford and his fellow Essendon newcomers, the club’s coaching staff has put no limitations on who could play and when it could happen.
“They said ‘look, if you’re playing good footy and you’re fit and healthy, you’ll play.’ So if you’re in the best 22 you’ll play regardless of your age, weight, anything and that’s good to hear.“
There are many exciting perks that come with being at a club of the Bombers’ magnitude, including the chance to perform in blockbuster matches drawing 90,000-plus crowds. As far as blockbusters go, none come bigger than Anzac Day against Collingwood at the MCG.
Always a match of great significance, acknowledging an even more significant day on the Australian calendar, 2015 has the added importance of being the 100th anniversary since Australian and New Zealand forces first fought in Gallipoli.
The standing and respect associated with the football fixture and day of commemoration are not lost on Langford.
“Obviously I watch that every single year, it’s a massive game. And 100 years… It would be a massive honour and privilege to be able to play that game.”
Langford could just be the type to thrive on such occasions. The big stage can bring out the best in those who relish the moment and remain unflustered by the spotlight, traits attributed to the highly credentialed Bomber.
Should they shine through, the five-game aim could prove to be mere child’s play.