AT THE start of 2020, Cohuna’s Josh Treacy set himself two goals.
The first – to finish his secondary school studies – is one thousands of teenagers across Australia will match.
The other is one millions more dream of.
Earning a place on an AFL list.
Neither of those have been reached just yet, but he has shaved the post on both.
“I only have school SAC to go and then I’ll be done,” Treacy said.
“I’ve decided not to do exams and it’s going to be a massive relief when the final assessment is over.
“It’s been a difficult year with everything that has happened so it will be nice to have a little bit more pressure off my shoulders.”
When the schoolbooks are packed into the back of the wardrobe, Treacy’s full attention will shift to the NAB AFL Draft which will be held later this year.
He’s a step closer to playing against the best players in the country after recently earning an invite to the draft combine.
But with Victoria still under COVID-19 restrictions, there is no guarantee the combine will even go ahead.
It could mean he is relying on past performances
“It was a massive relief when I did get the email to say I was being invited,” he said.
“I had a nervous few weeks in the lead-up to those being sent out and it’s good to now have something to look forward to.
“If the combine does go ahead, I’ll put my best foot forward and hopefully it leads to where I want to be.”
Like so many other draft hopefuls, Treacy has been forced to train alone for large periods of time during the year.
And he admitted he has faced several challenges along the way.
“Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself, especially when you aren’t training with your mates,” he said.
“I do miss being able to go to training with the boys and working towards a common goal.
“Because you pay footy for a common goal.
“Living on a farm has definitely helped me stay fit and when I am training. I keep reminding myself of the goal I set for myself at the start of the year.”
Treacy was able to play some football in 2020, stepping out for Echuca’s only official under 18 game against Shepparton.
He also played in a practice match at home to Yarrawonga.
“The Echuca boys were very welcoming and helped me settle in really quickly,” Treacy said.
“It was just nice to be able to have a kick – even if it was only for a couple of weeks.
“We trained for about a month in the lead-up and being there helped me keep my skills sharp.
“It’s disappointing the local competitions and NAB League were called off in such a big year for me.”
Earlier in the year, Treacy had been named co-captain of the Bendigo Pioneers alongside Jack Evans with coach Damian Truslove pointing out the teenager’s leadership as a factor in the decision.
And he looked set to lead from deep in defence after playing at full-back in a practice match.
“It was a big change from what I was used to, considering I had played a lot more forward of centre,” Treacy said.
“But it was a conversation I had with the coaches during pre-season because I thought it would give me a better opportunity to get on a list.
“Now I’m just hoping all my hard work has been enough to impress the right people.”
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