Lachie Weller is averaging a career-high 22 touches this season with the Suns. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Lachie Weller is averaging a career-high 22 touches this season with the Suns. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Anxiety goes as Weller blooms

IT STEMMED from a high-profile trade from Fremantle, which had demanded the Suns hand over its coveted No.2 pick at the 2017 National Draft.

Weller, a Queensland product (albeit born in Tasmania) who wanted to come home, had just completed his third season and had 47 senior games to his credit.

"I probably didn't handle it as well as I wanted," he said.

"There was a lot of pressure coming over ... what we gave up and stuff.

"There was a bit of anxiety, stress. I worked with a lot of people around the club who deal with these sorts of things.

"They've supported me through all that.

"I just tried to concentrate on the team and what we're doing together. It's a fun place to be around at the moment ... building a really good culture - really invested in that, instead of more individual games."

Weller had moved to the Gold Coast with his family from the Apple Isle when older brother Maverick become part of the first Gold Coast playing list in 2009.

The younger Weller was later a Gold Coast academy graduate and taken with pick 14 by the Dockers in the 2014 National Draft.

He was a promising young midfielder, but some questioned whether the Suns had simply given up too much. For the record, that No.2 pick was used on Andrew Brayshaw - still a work in progress at the Dockers.

Fremantle used the No.2 draft pick from the Weller trade to secure Andrew Brayshaw. Picture: Sarah Reed
Fremantle used the No.2 draft pick from the Weller trade to secure Andrew Brayshaw. Picture: Sarah Reed

After losing Jaeger O'Meara, Gary Ablett and countless others, the Suns were willing to pay what was perceived as "overs" to welcome back one of their own to the fold.

"I just I wanted to come home and play footy for the Suns," Weller said. "Play under Stewy (coach Stewart Dew). I had a really good feeling (about him) when I first met him."

Weller is living up to his side of the deal. He played every game last season and finished third in the club champion award. This year, he's averaging a career-high 22 touches in five games - he missed four with a hamstring strain - playing off halfback and through the middle.

Weller feels "a bit like one of the older guys" in a midfield that includes rising stars Jack Bowes and Brayden Fiorini.

"The group's gelling pretty well together," he said.

The Suns were written off at the start of the season as a basket case. Three wins and a number of brave losses later, they've earnt respect.

"You can use it (negativity in the media) as a bit of motivation," Weller said.

"We've got some really good players and we had a great preseason, so I always thought we were going to be a lot more competitive than what people were saying."

Two players who continue to make an impact are Jack Martin and club games record- holder Jarrod Harbrow.

They have been front and centre this week, leading up the Suns' Indigenous Round clash with Geelong at Metricon Stadium tonight.

"Both those boys are just so humble. They do such great work in the community," Weller said.

"Harbs really leads that. He's been such a great mentor ... especially for the Suns' academy and indigenous boys who come through that

"They are always willing to help. They live and breathe the club really."

Weller hopes WA boy Martin is invested enough to commit to the Suns long term.

"It seems to me that he really likes it here," Weller said.

"He's really valued. We love him here.

"Hopefully something can get done, but that's a decision only he can make."

Lachie Weller went against the tide in leaving an established club to join the Suns. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Lachie Weller went against the tide in leaving an established club to join the Suns. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Weller is loving being able to once again enjoy the Queensland lifestyle, with long-term girlfiend Nicola, but admits it would've been nice to be reunited at the Suns with older brother Maverick.

He was delisted by St Kilda at the end of last year.

"Yeah, I spoke to them (the Suns), but it was their decision at the end of the day," Weller said. "You always want to play with your brother. But he's landed at a pretty good club (Richmond) and he's loving it.

"I'm happy for him."

The Suns will welcome back another ex-player today in Gary Ablett when the ladder-leading Cats arrive.

"It's a tough one this week," Weller said.

"When we bring the contest and pressure, we can match it with anyone. We've just got to do that for four quarters."

News Corp Australia


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