Gympie golden boy 'thriving' on professional AFL scene
AUSTRALIAN RULES: If former Gympie Cats player Zac Willis' (pictured blue and white) early pre-season form is anything to go by, securing a spot in Aspley's top squad for 2017 will not be a drama.
The recruit has returned to Gympie after the Hornets paused their pre-season training for Christmas.
Willis, who was one of the shining lights for the Cats last season, has wasted little time impressing coaching staff.
He finished second in the club's 2km time trial, beating a host of seasoned and elite players in the process.
The Hornets are one of Queenland's best Australian rules sides and Willis said he was "thriving" in the professional environment.
"It has been amazing," he told The Gympie Times.
"(It's) such an eye-opening experience."
The on-baller is pressing his claims for a starting spot in the centre but acknowledged he still had a lot of work in front of him once training starts on January 17.
"I just have to maintain a certain level, keep my standards high; consistency is the key," he said.
The 18-year-old said he would make the permanent move to Brisbane in the new year, securing a promotional job with the Brisbane Lions.
Willis said he would continue to train over the Christmas break, saying at a state level players could not afford to take their foot off the accelerator.
"The way the game is played, if you can run all day and chase the footy, you are halfway there," he said.
He will join fellow Sunshine Coast players Daniel Osberger and Jacob Simpson after Christmas when training resumes.
The Cats commence training next month.