WARRNAMBOOL ruckman Dan Weymouth takes pride in introducing the next generation of Blues into the pressure-cooker environment of senior football.
The Emmanuel College teacher, who has signed on to coach the club's under 18.5s side for a third season, knows how his young charges feel progressing up the ranks.
"Nigel Kol was coach of the seniors when I played my first game and I remember training with the seniors and I was really nervous," the 31-year-old said. "I remember being intimidated because it was just so new."
Now the Blues' big man is making the transition easier for his group of under 18.5s - ultimately helping their future and the club's.
"I think it helps them that I can pass on any advice in afternoon and helping them deal with game day," Weymouth said.
"If they need to ask anything or feel intimidated about approaching the other guys they can speak to me about it and I can help.
"When I started it was intimidating to speak to the senior players, and I'm not saying any of our players are but it's more comforting to have someone like me there because of that relationship."
Weymouth is proud to have four of his 2019 crop of under 18.5s debut in the Blues' senior side.
Harry Ryan (seven games), Tom Jenkins (two), Angus Lowe (one) and Zacc Dwyer (six) have all been given a chance to showcase their skills by Matt O'Brien at some stage this year.
Weymouth believes his players' dedication was fast-tracking their development.
"The guys train regularly, love their footy and are hanging around the club more and are growing and learning new skills and are getting better," he said.
"Seeing them hanging around after our training, when they don't have to, to train with the seniors is really encouraging."
The results of Weymouth's leadership is starting to shine through with the Blues' under 18.5s preparing for their first finals series since 2016.
The Blues, who are 14 points clear in fifth spot, have pre-finals tests against ladder-leaders South Warrnambool and third-placed Portland in the final two rounds.
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