There has been quite a lot of expectation on young Josh Schache, but he hasn’t been able to show his true colours as of yet, as some other players have taken the limelight from the forward. With Eric Hipwood and Harris Andrews having a breakout season, the pressure and expectation on Schache has somewhat lifted. The boy recruited from the Murray Bushrangers just managed ten games and nine goals in season 2017, with most of the season being about where he will be next season. Richmond seemed to lead the speculation throughout most of the season, but when Schache signed a new two-year deal in June, it was as if all the rumours would be put to bed.
However, since the commencement of the season, Brisbane have announced that they are open to talks regarding Schache. It seems like this agreement is mutual, as it is believed that Schache has already packed up his bags and moved out of his apartment. He is currently in Melbourne, and although manager David Trotter insists he will be returning to Brisbane, there is no doubt that both the player and Brisbane will be tempted by deals that will mean Schache returns home.
Schache has shown that he has the potential to become an elite forward, but a move to Melbourne may be what he needs to step up his game to another level. In two seasons, Schache has adjusted to life in the AFL. The next season or two will tell whether he will lift his game to become one of the league’s young guns, or whether he will become one of those first round draft picks that will be put to waste. There is no doubt that he can become a great addition to some Victorian sides, but will he be able to get his move?
Richmond have led as the frontrunners for Schache for most of the season, as many questioned their credentials looking forward with only the one ‘key’ forward in Jack Riewoldt. Obviously the Tigers proved every team wrong by going all the way, but they could do with another big forward. With the delisting of Todd Elton this week and with Ben Griffiths constantly injured, Richmond could do with Schache. It is said that former Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch and the young forward have kept in touch for the majority of the season, which may be the catalyst for his move to Punt Road.
Another side that have shown interest in Schache have been Carlton. While these talks have fallen away in the past months, Carlton are certainly a club who could utilise Schache in the way he would want to be utilised. There has been a lot of pressure on Levi Casboult as the only main forward in recent years, and while he has improved, he is simply not a player who can lead a forward line by himself. The inclusion of Schache would take pressure off both players, and will result in both of them getting more opportunity. While this move is unlikely, it would be a good agreement for both parties.
News of Hawthorn orchestrating the Hodge deal along with some player swaps to get Schache over to Glenferrie have been rife. While it is really hard to tell whether they will be able to land him, there is no argument that he would be a great fit for the club. He is young, a good mark and a powerful player; just what the Hawks need up forward. Roughead has played this figure in 2017, but he is more of an agile tall forward than an out-and-out marking forward. Hawthorn have missed a key forward all season, and Tyrone Vickery seems far from the answer. Schache will thrive in this role, and will benefit from a strong coaching system, and by having good mentors around him. While the story is only building, it would be safe to say ‘watch this space’.
Brisbane have done quite well in this situation by signing up Schache earlier in the season. They most likely would have lost him at the end of the season for nothing, but now they may receive a top pick for the Victorian. With Richmond having two first round picks this season, they may opt to use one on Schache, thus leading them as favourites for the forward. Brisbane will do well to receive a first round pick for him, and it may be a win-win situation for both parties. Brisbane will be getting rid of a player who doesn’t entirely want to be at the club, which is one of the worst things that a football club can have. A first round pick for the number two pick in 2015 will be fair compensation for the Lions.
This is a tough one. It would make logical sense for Richmond to snag Schache, but will they be willing to give up one of their first round picks for him? All signs point to a move to the Tigers, and I think this is where he will end up. If not here, then somewhere else in Victoria. I cannot see a player who openly admitting he wants out earlier in the year, somehow changing his mindset in the space of months. Schache to leave the Lions.
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