A YEAR in the making.

When Lachie Fogarty looked at his 2023 season, he couldn’t picture what the future held for him in football. 

Suffering a serious back injury that kept him on the sidelines for the majority of 2022 and returning through the VFL in 2023, Fogarty wasn’t certain that he would get back into the senior side.

But he was always confident that he could still make an impact at the highest level.

“To be honest, when I did come back, I was just grateful to be playing footy again,” Fogarty said. 

“I was coming off a pretty serious back injury and for me, it was about enjoyment and getting back to why I love the game.” 

Injury recovery was the first step of many for the 24-year-old in 2023. The next was getting some form back in the VFL, showing he was ready to return to the senior side after 43 games in his first five seasons.


Relishing being back playing football under Luke Power with the Carlton Reserves, Fogarty - who had an extended run in the VFL - was clear on what he needed to work on, praising the coaching staff's clarity on his role.

“I was playing a bit more forward in the VFL and I felt like that was my best opportunity to get a game in the ones,” he said. 

“Working closely with Torin Baker [development coach], we just focused on specific running patterns, playing as that high half-forward, and also just focusing on my strengths: my ball handling, decision making and also my pressure.

"It was pretty clear and I knew if I was getting those things done, that I was playing my role and I’d get rewarded for that."

Fogarty’s persistence certainly paid off, getting his chance in Round 14 against Carlton, which also happened to be the start of a nine-game winning streak for the Blues. 

His stat line may have shown 10 disposals and a goal, but what couldn't be measured was the mental hurdle that Fogarty cleared after a year out of the game.


“It almost felt like a first game again because it had been 14 or 15 months since my last AFL game and I remember a lot of people were messaging me, congratulating me on getting back into the team,” he said. 

“It was a great day. I remember Charlie set me up a goal in the goal square and that was a great feeling – it was the first win that we had after a couple of tough months."

While the internal faith of both Fogarty and the wider team never faltered, the momentum that followed in the second half of the season was unprecedented. 

Fogarty was a key part of that, missing just one game after his return, playing all three finals and earning a one-year contract extension as a reward for his determination and hard work.

“I always believed I could play at AFL level, I just feel like I needed that opportunity and I’m very grateful to the Club for giving me another year,” he said. 

“I’ve had a few setbacks along the way but they’ve shown their belief in me and I just want to get to work now, keep improving and reward them for trusting me.”