Ash admits obscurity of Giants in the west works in his favour

Lachie Ash with the ball. Photo: Ryan Jones/GWS Giants.
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A country boy at heart, Giants star Lachie Ash admits he’s still getting used to life in the big smoke – despite living in Sydney the past five years.

The 22-year-old was born and raised in country Victoria and made the move to western Sydney following his draft into the league back in 2019.
Ahead of the 2024 AFL season, Ash said he misses farm life and tries to return to his country roots as often as he can.

“I’m originally from the farm, so I enjoy going back there from time to time,” he told the Weekender.

“I’m still struggling to get my head around the city a little bit – I’m a country guy at heart.”

Playing in a predominantly rugby league city like Sydney does have its advantages for AFL players who prefer less attention when out in the ‘wild’.

Unlike his Victorian counterparts, most of the Greater Western Sydney squad go unrecognised when they’re out and about grabbing lunch or a coffee from their favourite café. Ash said he enjoys that aspect of living away from the AFL bubble down south.

“You don’t envy what your mates go through down in Melbourne. You can fly under the radar here, which is nice,” he admitted.

“We don’t get recognised too much unless we’re in a big group together, but not really just walking around by ourselves.

“The Tobys might get recognised (Greene and Bedford), but as for me, it’s actually really good to get away from the game, let your hair down, and go about living your life.”

And it appears not being under the microscope has paid off for the defender after he put in a career-best year last season. Ash’s stats were up right across the board in 2023 and he believes his coach Adam Kingsley had a lot to do with it.

“Previously I’ve been flicked around a bit with a few roles, but Adam gave me some clarity on what he wanted from me and being able to play a set position has been really good,” Ash said.

“Also playing in that backline has been real handy as well. There are some good names getting around in that backline and we’re all pretty close. Hopefully that connection can only get stronger this year and we keep getting better as a backline and that makes us better as a team as well.”

The Giants are preparing for their opening round clash against reigning Premiers Collingwood on March 9.

Ash said getting the opportunity to kick off the new season in primetime is exciting.

“Previously we haven’t had too many big games on Friday and Saturday nights against big clubs,” he said.

“Obviously we all remember that game (Preliminary Final) at the end of last year against the Pies, so we’ll be out there with that front of mind, ready to roll, and hopefully get our season off to a good start.”

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