WHILE Collingwood defender Alan Toovey backed ex-Gympie boy Lachlan Keeffe to join the team, following Chris Dawes’ injury, Lachlan’s dad Matt Keeffe said it was the sixth time his son had been tipped to debut as a Magpie.
Matt said his son had often been talked about in the pre-selection process, but more experienced players were chosen instead.
“But if they need another tall defender ... it may increase his chances,” he said.
Asked if he thought it was about time Lachlan got a run, Matt told The Gympie Times we were speaking to a “biased person”.
“He’s very keen and feels he has done everything he can do. He needs a bit of luck.”
The Magpies are defending premiers this year and it will be hard for Lachlan to make it into the back line – which Matt said was probably the team’s best.
If coaching staff decide to re-shuffle the team in the wake of Dawes’ hand injury during Sunday’s win over Hawthorn, Lachlan might be in running for a spot on side.
Dawes will be out of action for about a month after surgery on his knuckle.
There is speculation that if the Pies send Chris Tarrant to take Dawes’ spot they could bring in Keeffe, who is due for his senior debut.
Yesterday Toovey said Lachlan was ready to take his place on the team.
Lachlan has been picked as an emergency replacement a few times this year and currently plays for the Collingwood reserves VFL.
Coach Mick Malthouse said he had so far been unlucky to not have debuted this season.
He said there had not been a call for a 204cm player so far.
Matt said his son’s selection plan was to continue to play well in the VFL.
Back in 2008 the ex-soccer player was pre-listed as a Collingwood player, after never having seriously played AFL in the past. In 2009 and 2010 he was upgraded to a rookie.
This year he made the primary list, and his chances of a debut have soared.
“We’re very proud parents,” Matt said.
“It’s a bit difficult to support him when he’s a couple of states away. He just turned 21 a couple of months ago.”
Matt said his son was very professional when it came to the game, and very dedicated.
“He very clear on what sacrifices he has to make.
“But he still needs a bit of luck under the current circumstances. It would be a wonderful achievement to break in. He might get a chance.”
If picked, Lachlan will play on Sunday against North Melbourne at the MCG.
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