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Trew-blue Swan looking for a shot at the big time

Monday, July 6, 2020 - 10:09 AM by Matthew Ogg

Breaking into an AFL team’s midfield can be quite a daunting feat. It takes natural talent, strong decision making skills and an elite work ethic.

Luckily for Zane Trew, his talent and ability comes as smoothly as writing his surname on a qwerty keyboard.

One of the most exciting midfielders leading into this year’s draft, Zane has been likened to Richmond’s Trent Cotchin in his style of play, professionalism and dedication to the game.

With talk around him being picked up as early as the first round, we sat down with Zane to learn more about his footy journey so far.


When did you start playing footy?

I have played ever since I was young. I started out in Auskick, played at Upper Swan and Hills Rangers, then the rest of my development was through Swans. I’ve played footy my whole life. It’s been good.


Do you remember your first coach?

I think it might have been my old man at Auskick. I’ve had a few great coaches throughout my time.


Are there any that stand out to you?

Probably Peter Sumich, Tony McHale and Pickers (Adam Pickering). They’ve been great for my development. I've been really lucky to have had some great coaches.


At what point did you think you’d like to turn footy into a career?

I’ve always wanted to play footy. I remember being asked when I was in junior school what I wanted to do as a job when I got older, and I would always say I wanted to play AFL. People would say there’s not much chance of that happening and tell me it’s not very likely, which has motivated me more to know that that's what I want to do. I want to play AFL and I've always had that mindset of wanting to play footy as my career, and I've always stuck with it.


When did you first start at Swans?

I think it would have been year 7 development, so maybe from around 13yrs old. The early days when they had all the development squads, that’s when I first started. I’ve been through them all and Swans has been very good to me.


What’s been the biggest difference between training with the colts and league sides?

It’s definitely different. You notice it when you're lining up on someone like Matt Riggio, Sam Fisher or Frank Anderson. They are a lot stronger and a lot more physically developed then the Colts boys I’ve lined up against. You’ve got to try harder to push off them and stuff like that. It's been great. I’ve been able to learn from them a lot so far. They’ve all had a lot of experience in the AFL, WAFL or VFL, so it’s been great to learn off them. It’s going to help me a lot, especially when I play in the 18s, if that happens.


Would you say they’re the players you’ve learnt from the most so far in the league side?

I’d say Frank especially has been the main one in the midfield. I've spent a lot of time in the off-season with him doing a lot of running and things, and he's been great. He’s really been a strong on-field and off-field mentor for me.


Has there been talk about you breaking into the league side this season?

I was hoping to play at the end of last year but I hurt my shoulder and I didn’t get the opportunity, which was unfortunate. There’s of a bit more work to do leading up to the season, but I'm confident in my body and how I’m feeling. I'm ready to go, but it's all about what the coaches think and if they are ready to play me or not. We do have a lot of great players in the midfield, so if that means I play up forward, I will happily play forward and hopefully be damaging up there. If I get the opportunity, I’ll be more than excited to get out there and play for this team. I'm hoping to maybe crack into it in round one.


What strengths do you bring to the team?

I’m a midfielder and would like to think I’m pretty damaging in there. Obviously it’ll be a bit different playing against bigger bodies, but I think that with my footy knowledge, composure and my ability to win the footy, I'll do alright. I’m good at getting the footy out, hitting targets up forward and breaking the lines. I'm ready to play good footy in the seniors and play my role for the team, whatever that may be.  


You were named in the All-Australian team for the Under 16s. What does that mean to you?

It was awesome. Especially playing with Denver (Grainger-Barras) being one of my close mates, it was unreal! Just running out there and playing on Marvel before an AFL game, that was special and I will definitely remember it for a very long time. I also made some lifelong friendships with the boys.


You had an injury last year. What happened?

It was a dislocation of the shoulder. I actually did it in the game against New Zealand. It subluxed in the first quarter and happened a few more times during the game. I didn't want to come off, so I kept playing through it. Looking back, it probably wasn't the smart thing to do, but when you’re in the game, there is no way you want to come off. So I kept playing, kept pushing through, and I played alright that game. I came off in the early stages of the last quarter. It had fully come out at that stage and it was literally hanging out of the socket.


Do you remember the moment it first happened?

Yeah, I got pushed into the ground shoulder first. There were some big blokes in that New Zealand team. I was driven straight into the ground and it came out.


What were some of the positives you took out of the injury?

Probably one of the main things that was eye opening is how much support you’ve really got around a footy club. I had that much support throughout the state footy, Swans, everything. My family was unreal also. It will prepare me for if I do have another injury, I’ll know what to expect and what the outcome will be in the end.


Do you think having gone through a proper rehab gives you a bit of an advantage, having learnt more about your body?

100%. I’ve definitely learnt a lot more about my body and how to take care of it. I think it’s also given me an advantage since I haven't played a lot of footy recently so my body feels really fresh and ready to go, which is another positive from the injury. I’m feeling really good now that’s for sure.


You've played alongside some guys that have gone on to be drafted. Does that give you more motivation to reach that level as well?

Yeah it does. It has also helped me as well, seeing how they went about things. When I was training with the under 18s, blokes like Deven Robertson (Brisbane Lions) and Luke Jackson (Melbourne Demons), you just see how they go about things and how much they wanted it. It made me really think about how much more I want it as well. It was good to be with them and be along their journey. They made me realise even more how bad I want it and how good it can be.


It’s a shortened season this year. Are you confident with what you've been able to achieve so far?

Yeah I am. This is my year for the 18s as well, so I am hoping that we’ll be able to play at least a couple of games through that. We don’t know what that’s going to look like yet but I’m hopeful to play in that.


Thinking about draft night, what’s it going to mean to you and your family if your name is called out?

In all honesty it would mean the absolute world to me if I get drafted. Everything I've done in my life has been dedicated to becoming an AFL player. I’ve made many sacrifices to get to this point, so it'll be great to get my named called out. I know as soon as I get there, there will be plenty more work to do as it’s only the start of my journey. It’ll be great to get called out that’s for sure, but you don't want to think about it too much until it happens. It’s definitely on my mind a bit though.


Along with playing for Swan Districts, what else do you do?

I work at Midway Ford, which is one of the sponsors of the footy club. It works well with footy. It’s been great and really handy for me.


What team did you grow up barracking for?

Sydney. I’ve always been a Sydney supporter. I think I used to go for the Eagles, but something happened during the 2005 Grand Final, and I switched over. Dad said do you want to come back to the Eagles and I said no chance, I’m going to stay loyal. So yeah, I go for Sydney.


Would that be the dream AFL team to play for?

I’d love to play for the Swans. There are a few legends there. I think I’d be packing myself kicking it to Buddy though. I’d love to play anywhere and would give 100%, given the opportunity.


Be there at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday July 18th as we hope to see Zane make his debut appearance in his first league game for the mighty black ducks!