THIS season has been Lachie Exell’s first back at his junior club, Kalkee.
After a year away from football, he returned to play alongside brother and Kalkee co-coach Hamish, as well player under former coach Stuart Farr.
“With my brother coaching that was a big draw-card,” he said.
“I was overseas last year for the whole season, so I didn’t play any football. I did want to come back and play Wimmera league but I also wanted to support Hamish.”
Exell has spent the majority of his senior playing career at Dimboola and in 2013 played in a premiership with his brother. The side was also coached then by Farr.
“I did all of my juniors at Kalkee and then I went to Geelong and Melbourne, came back and played at Dimboola for close to seven years,” he said.
“The Dimboola premiership in 2013 was pretty nice. We had worked for two or three seasons to get in that position. It means a little bit extra considering the next three years we probably won two games.”
Exell stuck through some tough times with Dimboola after the flag before taking last season off.
“I didn’t miss football last year but then when you come back and get into training, it’s great,” he said.
“It’s good to play in a grand final after five years. Footy careers aren’t that long.”
Exell was a part of a host of new recruits that signed with Kalkee before the start of this season, along with Farr who joined as co-coach.
“A lot of guys who previously played for Kalkee came back. There’s a few of us who played juniors together and have now come back to seniors,” he said.
“We started pre-season in the middle of November. Stuart Farr likes to leave no stone unturned, but I will say this pre-season wasn’t as hard as a couple I had at Dimboola with him. That’s a note to Stu for the future ones, he will need to get back up to his level.”
Exell has played in one senior grand final for Kalkee – it was in 2007 when the Kees lost to the same opponent they will face on Saturday.
I will say this pre-season wasn’t as hard as a couple I had at Dimboola with him. That’s a note to Stu for the future ones, he will need to get back up to his level.Lachie Exell
“I played one year in seniors when I was 17 and we lost to Harrow-Balmoral in the grand final in 2007. Then Kalkee won those five in a row but I wasn’t there,” he said.
“The rivalry has been around for a while, even in juniors. They are always quite tall, big and strong and we are a lot smaller.
“It’s going to be a massive task for us and we haven’t beaten them all year. We need everyone to buy-in to what we are doing.
“I’m very excited about playing on City Oval again. It’s one of the better grounds in the area, so hopefully I can kick a few goals and support the team.”