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Perfect scenario for Humphries to head to Geelong

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - 4:38 PM

He is already a Colts and Reserves premiership player with Swan Districts, and played some impressive League football in 2023, but now Lawson Humphries is an AFL-listed player and he can't wait to head to Geelong.

When Humphries ran out onto Steel Blue Oval for a pre-season training session on Tuesday with his Swan Districts teammates, as far as he knew he was still getting ready for the 2024 WAFL season to build on what he did in 2023.

It was a season where the colts premiership player from 2021 took the next leap into senior football. He showed some exciting signs in his nine league matches with the black-and-whites, and then topped it off as one of the best players on the field at Stadium in the reserves grand final.

The smooth moving and skilful 20-year-old has shown great versatility too with the ability to play off half-back, to go through the midfield or he also did well in stints in attack in 2023.

Going into the AFL Draft, he did have hopes that Geelong would select him with the interest they showed in him, but once he started training on Tuesday night he tried to put it out of his mind until coach Andrew Pruyn pulled the team together unexpectedly.

"I was half expecting it I would say. I had spoken to Geelong on the Tuesday morning and they had spoken to me a few times, and seemed quite keen but they still couldn’t give me any guarantees," Humphries said.

"That was probably the hard bit because I was trying to contain myself knowing that it could just go either way. To be honest I think it was really good for me to be training because it just meant I wasn’t sitting around thinking about it too much.

"Early on in the session we were just doing our skill drills and that's all I was focusing on, so that was good. Then as the training went on, I started to think that if I got picked up it would have to be pretty soon or else I would miss out so as the session went on I was starting to get a touch nervous.

"Then Pruey called us in and I felt like that drill was suspiciously quick so I thought something might be going on. Then he called me out and I guess the rest is history that I got picked up."

Humphries is actually delighted with the way it all turned out that he found out that the Cats had selected him while he was with all his teammates and at the Swan Districts Football Club because he has so many people in black-and-white to thank for making it happen.

"Those boys are the reason that I'm sitting in this position and the club as well have been such a huge support for me," he said.

"So to share it with the club and the people who helped me out, it does mean a lot and those boys I've played colts with them, won a flag with them and then won a ressies flag.

"To share it with them, they've been such a big part of my development and 100 per cent, I think it was the best way possible for me to find out."

Once Lawson walked back into the changerooms at Steel Blue Oval after the Tuesday night training session, his phone was ringing and he almost choked when he heard Geelong captain and Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield's voice on the other end.

"I literally just came off the training track and the first call that came through was from an unknown number, but I picked it up and it was Patty Dangerfield," Humphries said.

"I was a bit choked up to be honest and didn’t really know what to say, but it was pretty cool. Chris Scott has flicked me a message as well but I haven’t got to talk to him on the phone, but I can't wait to meet him and play for him too."

Humphries still can't believe that he's about to call players like Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins and countless other Cats greats as teammates come this time next week.

"It's going to be really tough to adjust honestly and it might be hard to not fan boy and actually get to work with those sort of teammates," he said.

"Especially at the Geelong, there's a lot of legends and they've had a lot of guys in the last 20 years who have been greats of the game so it's definitely going to be tough to compose myself at the start.

"But I think once we start kicking the footy around I'll be straight back to business and be able to focus, I'm just super excited to start."

As the 2023 season rolled on, Humphries looked more and more comfortable at WAFL level with Swan Districts. He feels there are two reasons for that – the trust his teammates had in him and just the learning and growth he made from being out there.

"The more I played I felt like I started to work out how to get myself in the right positions," Humphries said.

"I think when you first play at league level, as a defender you just make sure you defend first and then work through that. Then as it went on, if I saw a lane I started to really try to attack it and take the game on, and I felt the confidence from the boys and the coaches.

"I think as the year went on the boys started to look for me more too so when it started I just had to win my own ball, but by the end I was kind of able to get on the end of a couple of chains because guys were looking for me."

Life now gets hectic for Humphries as he prepares to make the move to Geelong, but he feels it's the perfect place for him to be moving to and he'll feel right at home in the city once he gets there even if he can't remember being there before.

"I believe I leave on Sunday, that's what I've kind of had hinted at so far. I need to do a little bit of shopping first to get some stuff to move across with so it's all about getting organised now," Humphries said.

"We used to live in Mildura so I reckon we did visit Geelong at some point, but I just don’t remember it because I was only about five or six. So I might have been there but it hasn’t been for a long time.

"I think being a country boy living outside of Melbourne is going to be really good. I think it's actually the best case scenario to be honest and just being away from the buzz of Melbourne will help me settle in quite a lot."