New Western Bulldogs recruit Josh Schache struggled to find consistent form for Brisbane during his two seasons at the Lions, although that doesn’t mean he wasn’t 100% committed at any stage during his Lions career.
After making the move south in the final minutes of last season’s trade period, Schache is now relishing a fresh start, and he’ll be determined to prove those wrong who wrote him off in 2017.
“I think I’m competitive, and I was pretty pissed off when I heard I wasn’t competitive enough,” Schache told AFL.com.au.
“I’m not here to run around the ground and do the little things, I’m here to compete really hard and do what I need to do for the team.
“I want to prove everyone wrong and show that I am competitive.”
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has already begun to mold Schache into a key member of the Dogs, with the 20-year-old spending time in the ruck during the pre-season.
Schache has been training alongside fellow tall Tom Boyd in both positions, and the former Lion is looking forward to splitting those duties this season, if he’s asked to.
“In match simulation, I’ve been playing in ruck and trying to develop that side of my game, so I’ve pretty much half and half between the ruck and up forward,” he said.
“I’m down to 95kg at the moment after being over 100kg up in Brisbane, and now I’m running and recovering a lot better.
“Now I need to build on the muscle side of things and make sure I’m harder to move in the contested situation, but I feel like I’m tracking OK in that area.
“It’s not an excuse, but I’m up against guys more experienced and a bit heavier than me, so it’s something I need to continue to work on.”
There’s no guarantee Schache will regularly feature for the Dogs this season however, given Boyd and Jack Redpath will be fighting with Schache for two spots in the forward line.
Schache welcomes the competition though, and is excited to prove his worth under Beveridge.
“It was a big drive for me to come to the Dogs and play with those boys,” Schache said.
“Just working closely with Boydy and ‘Red’ has helped with my development.
“I think my kicking, my hands and match awareness are building, so I feel more comfortable with each training session.
“I’m enjoying coming to the club and seeing all the boys each day.”