WHEN it came to Lachie Fogarty’s ambitions, he saw Carlton as the perfect fit.
It may have seemingly come late to some, but the former Cat had his eyes on a move to Ikon Park a week prior to the move being made official on Wednesday morning.
The 21-year-old made his way to Carlton and got used to his new home on Thursday for a media opportunity, meeting fellow new Blue Adam Saad in the process.
You couldn’t wipe the smile off of Fogarty’s face, declaring that he was “over the moon” to have found his way to Royal Parade.
“I saw it as a really good opportunity. All I want to do is play AFL football and I felt like Carlton was the right place for me to achieve that goal,” Fogarty told Carlton Media.
“I’ve been hoping for the last week or so that the deal was going to get done and both clubs pulled through in the end.
“It wasn’t something I was thinking about until my season with Geelong had finished. Obviously Geelong made the Grand Final, so it was when I had my exit meeting where I spoke to the football club and Carlton came calling.”
The Blues ultimately exchanged pick No.51 for Fogarty while also sliding their second round pick from No.30 to No.38.
It was an astute deal for a player who was taken with pick No.22 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft after he impressed with a dual midfield-forward role.
The addition of Fogarty means that Carlton has once again added to its young core to go with the acquisition of experience through Saad and Zac Williams in recent weeks.
“It’s a really exciting list, and it’s a young list as well,” he said.
“They’ve got some great players coming up and as I said before, the opportunity to potentially play AFL games — I know it’s not going to come easy.”
With 23 senior games under his belt, where does Fogarty see his future exactly?
Everyone looks better in Navy Blue. pic.twitter.com/XaE6zY4mo0— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 12, 2020
“I think long term, I definitely want to become a midfielder,” he said.
“I think that will come with more pre-seasons and getting more continuity in my training, which I haven’t been able to do.
“Initially, I think I can become a small forward… with my tackling pressure and decision-making.”
Turning a corner
With pre-seasons for first to fourth-year players just three weeks away, the excitement was palpable for Fogarty: someone who hasn’t quite got to ‘enjoy’ the rigours of a pre-season.
Fifteen of Fogarty’s 23 games came in a bright debut season, but his preparation has been affected in the last two years due to injury.
Groin soreness at the end of his first season set him back before year two, while he was working his way back from an ankle injury prior to 2020.
However, as he arrives at a new club, Fogarty is itching to start on day one of pre-season for the first time in his career.
“[The injuries] meant I couldn’t do any of pre-season: that’s one thing I’m excited about being at the Blues,” he said.
“I’ve gone into an off-season where I’m finally feeling fresh, ready to go and I can really attack this pre-season.”
As a budding midfielder, there may not be a better initiation than learning from the likes of Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield.
That was the case for Fogarty, who rubbed shoulders with the two stars of the competition in his three years at Kardinia Park.
So what exactly did the youngster learn from the triple premiership player and Brownlow Medallist?
“One thing that stood out for me is their training standards, it’s no secret why they’re the best,” he said.
“They work the hardest and when they are training, they’re certainly getting the best out of themselves.
“That’s something I want to try and bring to this football club, having those high training standards and getting the best out of every single session.”
From one Patrick to another, Fogarty has already had contact from one of his new co-captains in Patrick Cripps.
“I spoke to ‘Crippa’ on the phone yesterday and he already seems like a great bloke,” he said.
“He was just welcoming me to the Club, asking where I’m living and things like that. He’s in WA at the moment so he said he’ll have to catch up with me in January when he’s back.”
Priding himself on his physicality and ability to win his own ball, pressure is the name of the game for the new recruit.
More than that, it’s what he’ll offer off the field that Nick Austin was also excited by.
The Head of List Management said that Fogarty’s attitude and character is “first-class”.
“What the fans will see from his is his really tenacious attack on the ball and on the man: he loves to tackle,” Austin said.
“I think Lachie will add some real depth to our midfield group. Between that midfield and forward role is where we see Lachie doing his best work for us.
“He’s done some really hard yards at Geelong and we’re rapt to be able to give him an opportunity. He’s a quality person, first and foremost.”