Madison, Jessy, Matt, Philicity and Adrienne Keeffe are looking forward to seeing Lachlan make his Collingwood debut on Sunday. Matt and Madison were packing for Melbourne yesterday.
Madison, Jessy, Matt, Philicity and Adrienne Keeffe are looking forward to seeing Lachlan make his Collingwood debut on Sunday. Matt and Madison were packing for Melbourne yesterday. Renee Pilcher

Keefe makes debut

RUNNING on to the field as a Collingwood player this weekend will be a coming-of-age for Lachlan Keeffe.

He was yesterday named one of four interchanges in tomorrow's match against North Melbourne at the MCG.

Matt Keeffe said the whole family was “very excited” about Lachlan's Magpies debut.

“We're heading down,” the proud father said. “We're somewhat relieved he will play. He has been in the system for a number of years.”

The AFL Players' Association has organised flights to Melbourne today for Matt and Karen Keeffe and daughter Madison.

At 21, Matt said his son had put in a lot of hard work to make it this far.

“He's not too nervous, but the closer it gets ... He will have a training session tomorrow. He felt he was ready a while ago.”

Interviewed by CTV's Paul Licuria yesterday about the selection, Lachlan said he was feeling good.

“Hopefully I can put my best foot forward have a crack and hopefully play well,” he said.

There is speculation the ex-soccer player will get his break into the reigning premiers as a tall defender.

It was a case of eight times lucky. Lachlan was named as an “emergency” player seven times previously this year.

The former Gympie student was discovered by AFL talent manager for NSW and QLD, Mark Browning, when he was boarding at the Marist College in Brisbane.

Lachlan had never played a game of AFL but on Sundays with his school mates used to kick the Sherrin around to fill in time.

“The first time I saw him kick a ball, I couldn't believe he hadn't played AFL footy,” Browning said.

“He was the best rookie I'd seen with his kicking.” After Browning saw him kick, word got around about this 204cm “natural” and Collingwood signed him.

“He has developed ever since. It's a great story. He's got an unbelievable work ethic and is determined to make it, but it hasn't come easy. It's taken two to three years.

“He's playing with the best team in the comp, he's earnt the right to play.”

Lachlan played soccer from the age of 6 to 17 and when nothing panned out in football, he jumped at idea of becoming professional sportsman in a different code.

The story now continues.

Gympie Times


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