AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Michael Alvaro chatted with Gippsland Power’s Zach Reid at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.
Standing at 202cm, Reid is a raw and athletic tall who can play on each line, but has most prominently been used as a key defender. The Power product combines his undeniable aerial presence and positioning smarts with astute field kicking from defensive 50, proving a cool head on the last line and filling the modern-day prototype of a tall who uses the ball like a small.
Reid was a mainstay among last year’s stacked Gippsland side, running out for 15 NAB League appearances while also suiting up for Vic Country in an early-season trial game, and capping off 2019 by running out on AFL Grand Final day for the Under 17 All Stars showpiece fixture.
Read what the promising top-ager had to say about his journey and the year ahead in our latest Q&A special.
MA: Zach, how’s the day been so far?
ZR: “It’s been long, a lot of standing around but it’s good to have a crack at all the testing.”
Which are some of the tests you were keen to get a crack at?
“I look forward to the vertical (jumps), the running vertical especially. I think that’s probably my best test.”
As a versatile tall, what are some of your on-field strengths?
“I think my kicking is good for a tall and I think reading the game and taking intercept marks down back are my strengths.”
Are you looking to lock down one particular key position spot this year?
“I think I’ll start locking down in one position but the coaches will probably move me around, it’s up to them really.”
What was it like running around last year with the likes of Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders in a stacked Gippsland team?
“It was awesome, I learned heaps. I’ll just take what I learned from them last year into this year, it’ll be good.”
How have being part of the Vic Country Academy Hub and training with Hawthorn in the pre-season been for your development?
“It was awesome training at the Hawks, it gave me a good insight into what it’s like to be an AFL player and the Academy is just always good so I’ve learned a lot.”
What are some of the goals you’re looking to tick off now in your top-age season?
“I hope to just start the season well at the Power and then hopefully play nationals and play well there. Then hopefully a combine invite or something like that at the end of the year would be good.”