DION Johnstone has picked the ideal time to hit a rich vein of form.
The Scotch College student booted a season-high five goals for TAC Cup reigning premier Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday – just a fortnight out from the finals.
His efforts came a week after a rare appearance for his Hampden league club North Warrnambool Eagles.
“It gave me confidence, bigger body-wise playing with men back home, knowing physicality-wise I can put it to them,” Johnstone said of his three-goal round 16 performance against Terang Mortlake.
Johnstone, 18, has played seven games for Oakleigh in 2016, with school commitments for Scotch taking priority.
He earned a spot in the best in his two most recent apperances for the TAC Cup team.
He kicked two goals and laid seven tackles when the Chargers took on Dandenong Stingrays in July.
Johnstone said he was happy with his form spike.
“The start to the season wasn’t as good as I’d have liked it to be but the last few weeks with my football I’ve started to knuckle down a bit and get things I needed to right,” he said.
“The feedback the coaches have given me I’ve worked on and it paid off on the weekend for me.”
The former Brauer College student, who played in the Chargers’ premiership as a bottom-age prospect, is unsure what direction his football will take next year.
“I hope at the end of the year to get picked up in the draft,” he said.
“If not, I’m not too sure – not sure if I will be at Oakleigh as an overage player or in the VFL.”
The seventh-ranked Chargers have booked a finals berth with one round to play.
Johnstone believes Oakleigh can push third-ranked Murray Bushrangers when they face them at Norm Minns Oval on Saturday.
“We knocked Sandringham off on the weekend, which was a massive scalp for us,” he said.
“This week is an even bigger game, especially on their home deck.”
Many of Johnstone’s Hampden league rivals will line up for North Ballarat Rebels as they strive to book a double chance come finals.
The fourth-placed Rebels host Eastern Ranges on Saturday in a curtain-raiser to the VFL clash between North Ballarat Roosters and Essendon at Eureka Stadium.