JIMMY Conlan remembers watching his home club Port Fairy struggle week in, week out during its dark days.
Now 17, the life-long Seagull is on the other side of the fence, making his mark in a team considered a Hampden league premiership threat.
"It is really different. When I was under 12s, under 16s were playing senior footy and now under 18s are struggling to get a game because there are so many quality players,” Conlan said of the Seagulls’ rise.
"There's a lot of people around the club. All the old players are coming back to watch.”
Conlan made his senior debut against Cobden a fortnight ago, held his spot and kicked four goals as a small crumbing forward in Port Fairy’s drubbing of Portland.
He credited being in the “right place, right time” for his scoreboard damage.
"Hopefully I stay in the side but there are a lot of players coming back from injury,” Conlan said.
"It was good to get a game. It was a bit hard to work into it. I struggled a bit not knowing everyone that well but it was good in the second week.”
Conlan said the Seagulls had a number of capable junior players.
"Lochie Gunning has played the whole year so far and Blake Carroll is an under 16 player who could get a game I reckon,” he said.
Conlan, who left Brauer College last week, is hoping to fit in as much surfing as he can in before starting a plumbing apprenticeship in July.