THIS time last year, few could’ve predicted that Lochie O’Brien would play 19 of 22 games last year.

Delisted and re-rookied the previous off-season, O’Brien was coming off six games across two years, but a career-best season was in store on the back of a strong summer.

However, the sixth-year Blue knows he can’t afford to rest on his laurels. 

Permanently stationed on a wing, O’Brien saw the likes of Blake Acres (via the trade period), Ollie Hollands and Jaxon Binns (both via the draft) all enter IKON Park. 

Rather than worry about his spot in the side, O’Brien has used the additions as a source of motivation.


“I [was] rooming with Blake and we get along really well. With the two new draftees in ‘Binnsy’ and Ollie Hollands, there’s plenty of healthy competition around,” O’Brien told FOX Sports News.

“In the end, all of us need to bring our strengths, especially the two new whippets!

“It takes our running to another level, there’s plenty of competition.”

O’Brien thrived under the tutelage of Michael Voss in the AFL Senior Coach’s first season at the Navy Blue helm.

Sharing an insight into Voss’ message to the group, O’Brien revealed it had remained consistent to the previous.

While last year was chapter one, this pre-season marked another instalment in the playing group’s overall story.

“‘Vossy’ is really big on conveying that we’re going to write our own,” he said.

“It started with him last year and we got off to a great start — we didn’t finished off the way we wanted to, we accept that and we made sure we reviewed that heavily.

“Now that we’re into the new year, we’re looking forward to making sure we get a really good start on Round 1 and moving into the season itself.”