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Smith relishing return to elite level

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January 18, 2018

Former Kyabram superstar Lachie Smith is enjoying his return to the VFL ranks. 4. Lachie Smith (Kyabram)

Dual Kyabram premiership star Lachie Smith is enjoying the challenge at his new home with VFL club Footscray.

Smith was touted as a possible smokey in last year’s AFL draft after another stellar year with the Bombers.

However, after being overlooked, the key position player shifted to the VFL to place himself under recruiters’ noses.

Smith trained with Footscray and Geelong before deciding to settle at Whitten Oval.

‘‘I’m really enjoying myself at the moment and enjoying the challenge, it’s a bit different to country footy obviously, but something I’m looking forward to,’’ Smith said.

Moving back to play in a major state league competition was not something that originally interested the former Collingwood rookie after he was delisted in 2011.

However, a dominant five-year stint in the GVL — which included two premierships at Kyabram and one at Benalla — came to an end when the desire for one last crack at making it back into the AFL system came knocking.

‘‘A bit of interest at the end of last year sort of pushed me back down to Melbourne. I didn’t really want to look back in 10 years and say that was something I could’ve done,’’ he said.

Smith said Footscray had a couple more cuts to make until finalising its playing list.

‘‘There are about 30 of us who train together at the moment, and I think that’ll get cut down to about 25 by the start of the season,’’ Smith said.

With versatility a key component of any AFL draftee in the modern game, Smith is keen to use his chance in the VFL to show his ability to play across the ground.

‘‘They have me across half-back at the moment, centre half-back mostly, but they’ve also said they can see me filling a number of roles, so that should be good — I am pretty much happy to be thrown around anywhere,’’ he said.

Footscray’s VFL campaign starts on Saturday, April 7 against Sandringham.

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