Port Fairy's Sedgae Lucardie has only played football for two seasons but already shapes as a key piece of the Seagulls' future.
The 16-year-old moved to Port Fairy from Vietnam just two years ago and has already played 13 senior Hampden league games for the Seagulls.
After one season of junior football, he made his senior debut in round one this year before playing 12 more matches.
Before his move to Australia, Lucardie spent 13 of his formative years growing up in Vietnam.
He admitted his new environment was a culture change but wasn't too shocked having visited the country once a year previously with his Australian dad and Irish mother.
As expected, exposure to Australian rules football was limited for a child raised in Vietnam but Lucardie developed a passion for the game by watching the Western Bulldogs play and kicking the football with his dad.
"I'd always wanted to come over to Australia and play footy," he told The Standard.
"It's been one of my favourite sports for a long time but I've really enjoyed the experience.
"I feel like the Port Fairy footy club have really offered me family, really created a good environment and made me enjoy footy."
On Wednesday night the youngster was one of 30-or-so Seagulls putting in the hard yards at pre-season training after a season that saw them go winless at senior and reserve level.
"I'm really looking forward to getting around with the boys and putting a good pre-season in," he said.
"We've got really good numbers at the moment and all the boys are getting around each other."
He said he relished the challenge of playing the highest level and the opportunity to learn from Seagulls stars Kaine Mercovich, Tom Sullivan and Matt Sully.
This campaign Lucardie hopes to build on his first season by improving his fitness, speed and ball-use and also plans to work on his inside-midfield game.
As a 17-year-old in 2023 he will also be eligible to play under 18.5s.
Port Fairy's struggles in 2022 were well documented, with the club forced to forfeit its round 16 senior clash with Koroit, as well as nine reserves games
Despite the struggles, Lucardie has a positive outlook on the seniors' season ahead.
"I definitely reckon that the boys, if we all come together can hopefully be competitive for games, win some games and even make finals," he said.
The teenager's talents aren't restricted to the football field either.
He is school captain of Warrnambool's Emmanuel College and has aspirations to study medicine post-school.
In general, Lucardie is embracing his new life in the South West.
" I love the lifestyle over here in Port Fairy," he said.
"I get to go for surfs, play footy, and I really love my mates.
"So it's been a good change and I'm really fortunate."
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