Jack Chesser has vowed to come back stronger in 2022 after exceeding expectations in his first year of senior football.
The 19-year-old booted 48 goals in 14 games for Culcairn, a figure only surpassed in the Hume league by Shannon Terlich, Luke Gestier, Ewan Mackinlay, Damian Cupido and Hayden Armstrong.
Chesser put smiles on plenty of Lions faces after following coach Craig Bosley to the club from Wodonga Raiders and he's determined to give defenders even more problems next season.
"I wasn't expecting to kick as many as I did," Chesser said.
"I had a pretty good season but it could have been better if I was a little bit fitter.
"That will come.
"I'm going to have a big pre-season next year and hopefully achieve more and kick more goals.
"Fitness will be a big focus for me next year and making sure next year I'm ready to go from the start."
Chesser, who played in grand finals as a junior with both Raiders and Wodonga Bulldogs, quickly adapted to the different style of play in the Hume league.
"I've been around some good players at Culcairn this year, especially Adam Prior," Chesser said.
"He's played a lot of O and M footy as a forward man and he's helped me a lot with little tactics here and there.
"We'd be in the first quarter and he'd say 'I'll block for you', little things like that which would give me the open runs to get marks and obviously kick goals.
"Little things like that have improved my game and made me a better forward man."
Bosley was thrilled with Chesser's contribution as one of 12 first-gamers the Lions fielded in 2021.
"He played out of the square for most of the year so you'd expect decent numbers but 48 goals from 14 games is probably even higher than we expected," Bosley said.
"He carried a knee injury for most of the year too.
"Jack's extremely confident, he plays with plenty of passion and he's got real potential.
"He's a likeable young fella who took the votes for best-on-ground at the one function we had this year.
"He's also a bit of a crowd favourite with his flashiness."
"I don't know what to say to that!" Chesser laughed.
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"I've done a few sneaky goals here and there so maybe that would have got the crowd speaking.
"When I'm playing footy and getting goals, I get around the crowd and get the atmosphere going.
"I go out there to have fun and enjoy my footy and I like to let other people enjoy it, whether they're watching or playing.
"At this stage, I'm keen to stick around.
"Culcairn's a good club, the supporters are real good and I liked my first year out there.
"I reckon I'll be sticking around for a little bit."
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