Lachie Schultz credited a conscious lift of his work rate as the main driver to claiming his maiden Glendinning-Allan Medal in Sunday’s 55-point RAC Derby win over West Coast at Optus Stadium.
Judged best afield, the small forward had a career-high 23 disposals at the weekend to go along with nine score involvements, eight marks and two goals.
“It was a great honour to receive the medal,” Schultz told SEN WA Breakfast.
“When you are out there on the field you don’t even know how much of the ball you get.
“It was probably just my work rate that just lifted, and I was lucky to get onto the ball a little bit and it came my way."
Schultz acknowledged that the small forward position can be a ‘frustrating’ role to execute at times, but said he aims to focus on the controllable outcomes of his game.
“As a small forward, you have those days where the ball falls your way and then sometimes you might not change anything that you are doing and you don’t touch the ball at all,” Schultz said.
“It can be a frustrating position at times, but there are always things you can control like your tackling and your pressure.
“I try to look after that, so the rest can take care of itself.”
Schultz spoke of his connection with experienced Fremantle forward Michael Walters, with both of Schultz’s goals for the match sparked by an assist from Walters.
The first assist came in the form of a hit-up kick from Walters to Schultz deep in Freo’s forward pocket, while the second was off the back of a contested ground ball win from Walters before firing off a handball to an open Schultz streaming into goal.
“He is awesome to have as a role model at the Club,” Schultz said.
“I came in and both him and ‘Ballas’ (Hayden Ballantyne) took me under their wing straight away.
“To still be able to play today with Sonny, it’s been four years now of building a really good connection with him and a good relationship, and on the field we sort of just click.
“We know where each other are at all times and we have this special connection on the field.
“He is a bloody special player, and we love playing with him.”
The crafty forward has donned a new look in 2022, taking on guernsey no.5 after Adam Cerra’s departure to Carlton.
Schultz jumped at the opportunity to adopt the no.5, with the number holding a significant meaning to him from his VFL days before joining Fremantle.
“I spent three years in the VFL at Williamstown before I got drafted to Fremantle,” Schultz said.
“I was given the number five there by a retiring vice-captain, and it meant to a lot to me at the time.
“I just fell in love with the number and when it became available, I was lucky enough to get my hands on it.
“As sad as it was to lose Cez to Carlton, I do thank him for going, because it opened up the jumper!”