WARRNAMBOOL had plethora of key position forwards when Will Jacobs was working to become a regular seniors player.
He settled into defence and, now on the cusp of his 100th Hampden league senior game, is at home patrolling the Blues’ back line.
The two-time premiership player, who made his debut in 2012, said playing defence “comes more naturally to me”.
"In the under 18s I played a lot more forward than back line but when you have Travis Graham and Jason Rowan playing forward line key position (in the seniors), you’ve sort of got to adapt yourself and there was a spot for me to play back line and I’ve never looked back really,” Jacobs said.
“I came in playing a back pocket role and when Sam Cowling wanted to play forward line, that opened up the full-back spot for me and I took that.
“I am definitely a backman so I don’t think I will be seeing myself in the forward line too much for the rest of my career which is fine by me.”
Jacobs, 25, will return from a hamstring injury against Hamilton Kangaroos on Saturday to play his 100th game.
He’s played his entire career at Warrnambool bar for a one-year stint at QAFL club Labrador when he moved to Queensland to study.
“I played my whole junior career at Warrnambool and once you start playing senior footy there, you see blokes you’ve played with get to 100 games and how much it means to all those people, and now to finally get there it feels really good,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs, who is studying to be a teacher at Warrnambool’s Deakin University after originally taking criminology, had an interuppted start to his 2018 season.
But he now feels at peak fitness, following three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, as the Blues try to hold onto a finals berth.
“This season I had knee surgery. I carried that through pre-season and we didn’t really diagnose it until just before the start of the season and that’s when I had an arthroscope just to clean up some cartilege damage,” he said.
“I have had that same cartilege problem three times since I was 18 – one of those was at school, another one was playing basketball and another one was playing footy.
“It is pretty annoying to do it three times but I guess I am just fortunate to have not done any major ligament damage before.”
Warrnambool, which is striving for finals after one season on the outer, plays Hamilton Kangaroos (away), South Warrnambool (home) and Koroit (away) in the run home.