FORMER Guildford Grammar School student Zac Langdon kicked one goal in his debut game for Greater Western Sydney against the Western Bulldogs.
Langdon, who played for Claremont in the Western Australian Football League for two years before being drafted by the Giants last year, said he always dreamt of playing AFL football but never actually thought it would come true.
His debut may have been less of a surprise to those around him including Guildford Grammar School football director Geoff Valentine who was Claremont’s assistant coach during Langdon’s time at the WA club.
Valentine said Langdon had mainly played in second-18 football sides at school and physically had been a bit of a late developer.
After finishing school Langdon had gone back to his home town of Dampier and completed an electrical apprenticeship before approaching Claremont.
He said it was Langdon’s determination and effort, which had got him to where he was now.
After the Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs game, which the Giants won 20.13 (133) to 7.9 (51) Langdon said he had felt calm walking onto the ground on Sunday as he had played a previous game there against Collingwood but admitted to a few butterflies.
He said his excitement probably showed in the first quarter.
“But after that I got myself into the game and was able to apply a bit of pressure,’’ he said.
“I dropped a couple, which was pretty embarrassing – yeah was a bit fumbly.
“In the second quarter I suppose the nerves started to drop off and I had nothing to lose so it became a bit easier after that.’’
The Giants, who were 70 points in front at three quarter time, went on to win by 82 points.
Jeremy Cameron kicked six goals and Toby Greene four.
When he was named to play against the Dogs Langdon said he got very emotional.
“It’s four months I’ve been here now and I didn’t really expect it but it was also a possibility.
“I just kept chucking my hand up every week and was probably fortunate enough to get my chance now.’’
He said he thought he had been drafted to lay some big tackles and apply forward pressure.
“Obviously to kick a couple of goals is a big bonus but (my job is) just mainly putting on a couple of big tackles.
“I spent two years at Claremont before that I never really played much senior footy.
“So my two years at Claremont definitely helped me obviously playing against some big bodies there so coming here I had a bit of experience but also a lot to learn.’’
Greater western Sydney football general manager Wayne Campbell said Langdon’s work rate on the training track had been impressive throughout the summer and the professionalism he had shown since November had been a real standout.
“Being 22 and having spent time in the WAFL means he’s come to the club with a real hunger and energy, and everyone around the club really noticed that from the day he walked into the club,” he said.
By Anita McInnes