Garfield friends Thomas Fitzpatrick and Lachlan Brown will both make the trip to Perth with the School Sports Victoria football team next month, but their roles will differ greatly.
While Thomas undertook a rigorous selection process to make the final team, his involvement led to Lachlan’s successful application to umpire at the national carnival.
While Thomas worked his way through the trial process that started at 273 players, it was a conversation between Thomas’ father Adam and Lachlan during the second stage of trials that led to a successful nomination as an umpire.
With the playing squad whittled down to 80, Thomas took part in several practice matches to eventually win a ticket to Perth as a member of the final School Sports Victoria under 15 squad.
Having made his senior debut at Garfield recently, Thomas will continue his preparation by playing locally before a three-day camp with the SSV team.
The camp will include gruelling practice matches against much older opponents, taking on year 11 and 12 students from Melbourne based colleges.
Lachlan’s preparation for the carnival has been vastly different. Having broken his leg shortly after being accepted onto the panel, Lachlan has recently resumed walking and is in a race to prove his fitness to participate in his chosen discipline of field umpiring.