JARROD Williams didn’t have much of a choice.
With his father Kevin being a champion woodchopper and regularly carting his family around the country to compete, it was only natural that Jarrod followed his lead.
He was given his first “real” axe as a two-year-old and two years later won an under-10 title.
“I just love the atmosphere of it,” Williams said yesterday.
“The people are good and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
Besides playing football for his beloved Barnawartha Tigers, that is.
Williams, 22, savoured the best of both worlds in a space of weeks last year when he won the Australian Tree Felling Championship in Perth and followed up by collecting a Tallangatta and District league premiership medal at Sandy Creek.
While he admits there are challenges combining the sports, he wouldn‘t have it any other way.
“It normally works out OK,” he said.
“The woodchopping season runs on a lot of weekdays and normally they work the royal shows around school holidays so there is often a bye.
“I would say I miss four or five games a year, which isn’t too bad.
“It was an unreal month or so last year when I won the Australian title and the premiership.”
It could easily have been a different story for the lively forward after he broke his collarbone against Dederang-Mount Beauty earlier in the year and spent almost three months on the sidelines.
Williams started 2014 well with two goals against Thurgoona last week but will miss Saturday’s clash against Wahgunyah to compete in the World Woodchopping Championships at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
“I probably cut a few logs a week but we have some good competitions around here to prepare,” the Victorian team member said.
“I’d like to make a final in Sydney, but 250-odd axemen will be there so it will be tough.
“Tree felling is the event I would like to do well in after winning the Australian title.”
Williams, who moved to Barnawartha from the Blue Mountains as a 10-year-old, isn’t talking back-to-back premierships but said the Tigers couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.
“We have a few recruits and they have fitted in well,” he said.
“It should be a good year.”