Lachie Weller’s first AFL pre-season was a lot of listening, learning and sleeping.
The Fremantle teenager knew it was going to be tough. His older brother, St Kilda midfielder Maverick, had warned him.
But knowing what was coming and actually being confronted by the torturous work was very different.
Weller turned to battle-hardened Dockers defender Lee Spurr to help him navigate the summer training block.
“When I first moved over I moved in with Lee Spurr so he guided me along,” Weller told aflplayers.com.au.
“He’s really professional in the way he goes about it and he helped me settle in quickly.
“I think as a young player there’s a lot more than just going out and getting a kick.
“There’s a lot of learning about team structures and getting used to that, and building up my strength so I can play senior football.”
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon saw enough in Weller this season to throw him in the deep end against Greater Western Sydney in Round 18.
Weller said the meeting in the boss’s office to be told he would debut was “a blur”.
“I just wanted to quickly get out of the room to be honest and tell everyone.
“It’s good to see that he believes in me and gave me a crack to go out there.
“I was on the loudspeaker to mum and dad and they were quickly on the Internet booking flights.”
Weller managed eight possessions on debut after starting as the sub as the Dockers powered towards their first minor premiership.
Thanks to all the purple army there yesterday! The roar from the crowd is something I will never forget! #foreverfreo
— Lachie Weller (@lachieweller) August 3, 2015
He played the following week against St Kilda – and Maverick – and was in the Round 23 side that went down to Port Adelaide.
The 19-year-old was recognised for his development in 2015 by being named as Fremantle’s nomination for the AFL Players’ Best First Year Player Award.