Having the patience to improve at his own pace is helping Josh Schache to realise his potential at AFL level.
The key forward, who only turned 22 years of age last month, has put faith in hard work and persistence in training over a sustained period, ahead of unfair expectations placed on young players to develop at a rapid pace.
Schache has played nine of the last 10 games for the Bulldogs (he missed Round 19 with concussion), kicking 18 goals in that period.
“Early days I wanted to come on as quickly as what I suppose everyone else wanted it to come,” Schache told SEN’s Bob Murphy and Andy Maher.
“It can be pretty difficult at times to really sit back and say what can I do each day to really benefit myself for the years coming forward, to become the player I want to be.
“It was a bit tough. I wanted it quick, as much as what everyone else wanted it. I just really noticed that it takes a little bit of time, and if I put the work in, eventually hopefully it comes.”
Schache was taken with pick two in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft and moved from Victoria to Brisbane, and he took time to adjust to life in the elite football system.
“Coming out of junior footy you’re not really subject to all the criticism. You don’t really have to worry about it,” Schache said.
“Once you get into the professional side of things and the system that you’re in, there is stuff coming at you from every way.
“It was a little bit full on, but I’ve had great support around me, and the family has been really good. Even people around the footy club, and people who want to help you through that, have been amazing.”
This week, Schache will line up for his first career final alongside 19-year-old spearhead Aaron Naughton, in what the Dogs will hope will be a key forward partnership for a long time to come.