Anakie ruckman Luke Wilson is no stranger to representative football.
The Roos’ high flyer has been confirmed as the GDFL’s first ruck option this weekend, likely to challenge Heathcote & District big man Mitch McEvoy from start to finish.
And fewer were more excited throughout the Raiders’ penultimate training session last night than the tap out specialist himself.
“This is my fourth time playing for the GDFL and it’s still a massive honour, I always wear this jumper with a lot of pride and respect,” Wilson said.
“To be voted amongst your peers and play (and train) alongside the competition’s best players is a great experience.”
Wilson will be no stranger to his opponents on the weekend having played against Bendigo regional leagues Heathcote, Maryborough and North Central in years past.
Now the 26-year-old finally gets to don the famous maroon and white on home soil.
“I’ve played in three away games so to be able to play in front of a lot of family and friends will be very special on this occasion,” he said.
“I don’t know if Jamie Phillis is playing or not but hopefully if he does then we’ll have two Roos and there will be a big Anakie contingent in the crowd.”
He added, “We’re a standalone game so we’re expecting a big Geelong crowd in general to head down to the game.”
Last year Wilson combined with former Bell Post Hill big man Renn Lovitt against Birchip-Watchem tall Lochlan Sirett in the Raiders’ four point win over North Central.
When Lovitt would contest at the stoppage Wilson played back and collected nine disposals and three marks off half back in a superb showcase of versatility.
Though he would cap off a successful individual season by finishing fourth in the 2017 Whitley medal with 17 votes (six behind the winner) his team success has been limited at Anakie.
While the Roos showed promise when capturing a 6-1 start in 2012 (eventually finishing seventh) they are yet to have played finals since 1998.
“This means a lot to me, whether it means as much to other people in the group I don’t know because they are the ones who are fortunate enough to be in that premiership race,” he added.
“Hopefully these boys are just as excited to come out with a win but for me this will be the highest level of footy that I’ll play this year.”
Next week Wilson will return to Anakie to prepare for a big test against Bell Post Hill before the Roos then host fellow bottom sides East Geelong and Corio in June.
Wilson assures Anakie fans he is only driven for team success despite talks that he is on track for a fourth senior club best and fairest.
“Brad Gerrard would be leading our club best and fairest by a country mile but in saying that things like best and fairests don’t come until the end of the year,” he revealed.
“So when we return back into the normal fixture all I’ll worry about is helping Anakie win a few more games.”
By Alex Tigani
GDFL Media (16/05/2018)