JUST days from a potential AFL career lifeline, two-time premiership Kyabram star Lachie Smith isn’t getting ahead of himself.
Smith has nominated for Friday’s AFL Draft, with speculation Geelong may be interested in the gun defender with a late pick or in Monday’s Rookie Draft.
Viewed by many as the best player in the Goulburn Valley League, Smith said multiple clubs had been in contact with him, but hadn’t given him any guarantees.
‘‘I’m not too confident to be honest — I don’t think it will happen,’’ he said.
‘‘If it does that would be great but either way I know I’ll be playing VFL footy.
‘‘Probably two or three clubs have been in touch. It’s just really hard to get a gauge on where the club is at with you and you never really know until the night.
‘‘I’m going in with no expectations, which is probably a good thing because I won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t happen.’’
Smith said he’d been able to inform clubs he was a different player from the one Collingwood rookie listed for the 2012 season.
‘‘They just ask about if you’re really keen about doing it,’’ he said.
‘‘I had a year at Collingwood when I was 18 and I probably wasn’t ready for that. This time I’m ready to go and make the most of the opportunity.
‘‘I reckon when I was 18 I was undersized for the position I was playing, and I’ve put on a lot more weight and strength. There’s also the maturity and being able to cope with the AFL environment.’’
Smith’s record in the Goulburn Valley League? Exceptional.
And at Kyabram? Impeccable.
He hasn’t missed a single game in the Bombers’ 42-game winning streak, having never lost a game at the club. He joined the Bombers from Benalla where he also won a grand final.
The 24-year-old was full of gratitude for his time with Kyabram.
‘‘Just the way they welcomed me from the start; I had some ties to Ky before I got there but as soon as I was there I knew it was a special team,’’ Smith said.
‘‘I’m forever grateful for my time there and I look forward to getting back when I can.
‘‘It’s been pretty indescribable. I played in the 2014 grand final at Benalla too, so to play in four straight grand finals and three straight premierships is something I won’t forget.’’
A plumber by trade, Smith grew up just outside Euroa, his father Peter a horse trainer.
‘‘I actually enjoy plumbing and enjoy working — and outside of that I’m just a pretty normal guy,’’ he said.
‘‘I love my horse racing, golf and that kind of thing; and I try not to take myself too seriously which I think is the way to do it.’’
At 24 years old and coming straight from a country league, to even be in the draft mix is an accomplishment.
And what would it mean to be back on an AFL list?
‘‘It would mean absolutely everything to me,’’ Smith said.
‘‘I know this time I can make the most of the opportunity and make a career out of it. I know I’m ready if the opportunity does arrive.’’