Leeton-Whitton midfielder, and former Northern Jets rising star, Jeromy Lucas is ready for another shot at the Victorian Football League next season.
After helping out with harvest at home in recent weeks, Lucas is heading back to Victoria to begin pre-season training with Port Melbourne, who he signed with a year ago.
"That's the plan. I'll go back this week and give pre-season a go and hopefully play there," the understated Lucas said, adding that his goal is simply to 'try to lock down a spot and go from there'.
The 20-year-old university student played a couple of practice matches with Port Melbourne before the pandemic ended the season.
Before long, he was studying at home but soon enough, there was an opportunity to play and Lucas was having a crack at the AFL Riverina Championship as a key player for the Crows.
"I really enjoyed it. It was good to come back home and play. Lots of leagues didn't go ahead so to get out there and play was good," he said.
"I thought the competition was a pretty high standard with lots of good players coming back. Everyone had lots of depth and the reserve grade standard was good too."
Leeton-Whitton gave Lucas his first senior grand final appearance, against Wagga Tigers.
"It was a good atmosphere, there was a bit of a crowd there and I enjoyed the experience," he said.
"We probably missed a few scoring opportunities early and in that second half it was hard to get momentum back on our terms. They were a pretty experienced side and knew how to play in grand finals, and knew how to win it.
"But I think it was a good learning experience for lots of our team."
The 21-point loss wasn't as much fun as the previous year when Lucas helped Oakleigh Chargers to a NAB League premiership in 2019 with three grand final goals.
(Two of his Chargers teammates, Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, were the first two picks in last year's draft and forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is tipped as a top pick this year).
With his university studies in prosthetics set to return to face-to-face learning in 2021, Lucas is excited to head back for another shot at the second-tier competition.
He said getting to play even a short season of footy this year was a bonus and he's looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season in the coming weeks to kickstart his preparation before a break at Christmas.
Port Melbourne have recently signed Coolamon talent Liam Delahunty and Lucas believes they'll be more than competitive.
"I've heard he's signed so that will be good," Lucas said.
"I haven't played any (VFL) games other than some practice matches but I think they're a pretty successful club, making lots of finals.
"They made the preliminary final in 2019 and lost to Richmond who ended up going on to win it. So I think they've got a good list and coaching staff and I think they'll be pretty competitive.
"I think they've added a few young ones as well so I think the talent's definitely there. It should be good."