Lachlan Woods will play his 100th Senior match for the Western Magpies when the Pies host Sandgate on the weekend of the club's celebration of 50 years of Senior football.
Woods is in fine form leading into the match, being named in the best players in recent matches for his strong work in the clinches and hard ball gets. That is no surprise as Woodsy has been noted for his attack on the ball and ball carrier and is renowned for his ferocious tackling and fearless style of play. He throws himself at the contest with no thoughts for his own safety and that is why his teammates love him --there in no backward step in the Pies Number 27!!
No 27 has an illustrious history at the Pies, being worn by 10 year skipper, 3 time premiership captain and 200 Senior game player Chris Mihalopoulos. Micka bequeathed the no 27 to Woodsy and he wore it proudly as a co-captain for a further 4 years from 2013 to 2016, leading the Pies to 2 finals series in that time.
Due to work and other commitments, Woodsy had a year off senior footy in 2017 - spending the season with the Woodsmen playing about 10 games and gaining plenty of wise words from his older teammates who immediately encouraged him back to QAFL Footy in 2018.
He was able to devote more time to training this year and after a late start to the season then a foot injury, he fought his way back into the Seniors mid way through the year and now would be one of the first players penciled in at selection each week.
Woodsy started at Auskick in Gladstone at Boyne Is-Tannum Sands (BITS) as an 8 year old due to the influence of his step-father Kent Honour, who had played as a junior at Sherwood. His family moved to Brisbane as a 9 year old and it was only natural he join the Magpies and some of his coaches included Chris Fozard, Des Lashman, Chris Arnold and Tim McEvoy. He played in an Under 12 premiership under Chris Arnold and then played in an Under 16 Flag under Des Lashman.
He started playing some Reserves matches in 2010 under Peter McClennan and recalls his first training run for the Seniors. The players trained in club jumpers and they were hanging on the fence and players grabbed their guernsey as they ran onto the ground. He says " I grabbed the first guernsey as I did not have a number and later on I got a tap on the shoulder--I had taken No 4 and Val Pope wanted his jumper back--I quickly ripped it off and gave it to him and then had to get another guernsey. You realised quickly that you had to earn your stripes at the Magpies".
He earned his stripes pretty quickly and graduated to Seniors and played on a half back flank in the Pies 2012 Senior premiership triumph over Palm Beach-Currumbin, by then coached by McClennan. The Pies half back line of Woods, Ed McDonnell and another youngster Conrad Hudgton was superb that day and Woodsy reckons he was best on ground in the first half!!
His teammate in that side was Tim McEvoy, who had coached him as a junior. He rates T-Mac highly and says while he was not the flashest or best player, but he absolutely loved playing next to him. " T-Mac never let you down and I learnt so much off him as a junior then as a Senior teammate. He was and still is a mentor and a good mate on and off the ground".
Another mentor who had a major influence on him was Peter McClennan, who coached him as a young player starting out in Senior Football. "Peter was not only a football coach but he has been a life coach to me who has helped me when I started my personal training business and always had time for me in all aspects of my life".
Paul Grentell also influenced him when he was a teenager and Craig St John showed faith in him when he was appointed co-captain of the Magpies Senior side with Gerard Moore as a 21 year old in 2013, so he has had many great role models at Chelmer.
The Pies win over Morningside on Saturday (he was among the best players) recalls the first win the Pies had over the Panthers for many years in 2015 when he had injured his shoulder badly in the third quarter. It was a tight contest with finals on the line so coach Glenn Humphrey asked Woodsy if he was OK to go on early in the last quarter. Woodsy, despite being seriously winged, gave the only reply anyone knows he would give and that was "yes". In a masterstroke, Humphrey put him in the goal square and told him not move too far. His opponent gave him little respect as he only had one arm working and Lachlan snagged four last quarter goals to lead the Pies to a famous victory.
He says he has loved playing with his teammates over the years and it wouldn't matter if it was table tennis or soccer if he was with his mates. That said he says he is "more Black and White than you could ever know" and loves the club.
He still stays in contact with his father Dale, who was a rugby league player but takes an interest in his games. " It was from my Dad that I suppose I developed the physicality to my game".
His Mum Melissa has been his greatest supporter over the years and his girlfriend Kaitlyn, who is a paramedic, also has given great support. He says she has helped patch him after most matches and as all Pies supporters know there would not be one game he does not need patching up!!
He is loving his football now under Brydan Morgan and believes the flag is there for the taking--the Pies just need to win their last 2 matches to secure a finals spot. One thing is for sure-- the Magpies No 27 will leave nothing in the tank in the Pies quest for their first ever top level QAFL premiership.
Congratulations to 'Duck' on 100 Senior games, a genuine heart and soul player, a natural leader and a player the Magpie fans and players love to see pull on the #27.