Former Deni Rams star to play against Demons tonightSHAUN CONNOR February 14, 2014 4:55am
Sam Lloyd of the Victorian State Side in action during the 2013 VFL State match between the Victorian Football League and the Western Australian Football League at Northam in Western Australia on May 11, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Ex-Deniliquin footballer Sam Lloyd will make his debut for Richmond tonight at Etihad Stadium.
The Tigers are playing Melbourne from 7.10pm in their opening game of the pre-season NAB Cup Challenge.
Lloyd found out about his selection on Wednesday morning and is expected to play about half the game, which is being aired on Fox Footy.
The 23 year-old Deniliquin Rams premiership player said it has been a long pre-season and he is excited to finally hit the big stage.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity. I was just absolutely rapt to get down there and hit the track, and it’s been a great start,’’ Lloyd told RSN Radio yesterday morning.
‘‘I played a lot as a forward last year and I’ve been training as a forward down at the Tigers, but I’ve played a lot of midfield at lower levels.
‘‘This year and certainly on Friday [I’ll play as a half-forward], but I want to develop my fitness further in the coming years and who knows, maybe I’ll push up to a midfield position.
‘‘At the moment I’ll be playing as a forward.’’
The 180cm jack-in-the-box is one of six players wearing the black and yellow for the first time tonight.
Lloyd, a senior listed player picked in last year’s National Draft, will wear no. 42.
It has been a long journey from Deniliquin to Mt Eliza and then Frankston to Richmond, but the dual Deniliquin best and fairest said he has been made welcome by coach Damien Hardwick and the Tigers.
‘‘I’ve been lucky because the Tigers have a really good culture and they’ve made it really easy for myself to come in,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘Pretty much all the older guys have been really good.
‘‘Jack (Riewoldt) being a forward line player as well, I get along with him really well and he’s been a really good teacher for me.
‘‘I get along with a lot of the older blokes like (Brett) Deledio, who’s a country boy as well, but they’re all great and they’ve all been really good in helping me through the pre-season.’’
Richmond’s other pre-season matches are against Collingwood at Wangaratta on Saturday, February 22, and against Essendon at ME Bank Centre on Friday, March 7.
Tickets for NAB Cup Challenge games can be bought online at www.ticketmaster.com.au.
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