It was late in the trade period when the Geelong opportunity came about. I’d come off a frustrating last two years at North where I only managed three games across that time, and I had another year to run on my contract, so I thought it’d be good to look elsewhere and get a chance.
In the end, it was an easy decision for me and I jumped on it. The environment really suited me and thankfully my interview went well and the trade went through.
At the time, there was talk of Shane Kersten and Nathan Vardy leaving so my thinking was that could potentially open up a spot, but even if that didn’t occur I still would have pushed to go to the Cats.
The last few years at North Melbourne were particularly tough, and I’m sure other players who play regularly in the VFL understand that it’s not where you want to be. I still felt that I could play at the highest level so I wasn’t going to give it up and that’s why we thought the best chance would be to look elsewhere. North’s forward line was really strong the last few years and it was a difficult group to break in to.
My plan during that time was just to go back to the VFL and enjoy my footy, don’t think about things too much and play the best you can, with the view that perhaps another club is watching.
At times, doubts do cross your mind when you can’t break into the senior team. You just have to find a way to blank it out and play well, even if you still can’t break into the side. At least I could walk off the field and the training track knowing that I was giving it my all.
It’s important to focus on things off the field when this all happening, and thankfully I had some things on the go.
My partner and I have a clothing label called ‘LA Black Apparel,’ so I’ve put some work into that. I also find going out and fishing for a few hours just takes my mind off things and allows me to relax. Hopefully Danger will have me on his fishing show soon!
I’m sure a few people were surprised that the Geelong opportunity came up. It did come out of nowhere, and there had been some commentary about me in recent years that linked me back to Western Australia.
That couldn’t have been further off the mark — I’ve loved my time in Melbourne and my partner being from here has always been a strong motivation to stay and not seek a move back home. There was a bit of a feeling on my end in 2013 but really the last three years have just been about a lack of opportunity and I would have moved anywhere.
Since being traded I’ve moved down to Torquay and I love it down here. I’m originally from Bunbury which is a coastal town in WA so there’s a similar, casual feel. It’s such a nice environment and it makes me feel really comfortable.
It’s only 25 minutes from training which is the same length of time it’d take me to get to training at North but I didn’t have to sit through the annoying traffic jams! You’re not as frustrated when you get to training, that’s for sure.
The club has been so welcoming to me. They’re all friendly blokes and I couldn’t be happier with how things have panned out. The coaching group and staff have been really helpful as well, although for those interested, I can confirm that I haven’t cracked any jokes with Chris Scott about being coached by his brother for so many years. I need to wait until I get more comfortable before I start with those jokes.
As a forward group, we all work together closely so I’ve latched onto guys like Harry Taylor and Dan Menzel who have taken me under their wing. We have dinners together and myself and my partner feel right at home
I need to apologise in advance for the cliché, but after debuting last week, I want to take things week by week. There’s no room to get ahead of myself or start thinking long term about cementing my place.
At the minute, I’m in a situation where I’ve played just one game so I can only focus on helping us get some team success because we have a group that can go all the way if we do the right things. It takes everyone to play their role for us to achieve what we want to.
Playing with Joel Selwood and Paddy Dangerfield is unreal. I think Selwood had something like 29 disposals in the second half against the Saints, and the amount of clearances the two get between them is amazing.
Playing in the forward line, you’re going to get some pretty decent looks when they’re delivering it.
The first 10 minutes of the last quarter over the weekend were really tight, so to be able to kick a goal around that time was important. The ball came into my area and I decided to hold my opponent down and I was lucky enough that the ball just fell in my lap.
We had the belief that we could pull away at three quarter time and thankfully it opened up.
The message from the coaching group for me personally is to play to my strengths which is what a player wants to hear. At times I’ll play deeper, and other instances I’ll be up the ground.
My best position is probably a bit further up the ground as a link-up player between the midfield and the forwards. After I run myself into the ground, I’ll have a rest on the bench or a bit deeper.
It’s great to be 5-0, but North last year started 9-0. A lot of things can happen — you can be struck down with injuries or form issues can arise. We just have to take it slow and keep trying to improve because we haven’t played a consistent, four-quarter game yet. We’ve been playing one good half and one bad half.
If we can put it all together then hopefully we can make a big push into the bye, and then launch into the second half of the year.