Jake impresses Labrador Tigers
JAKE Goldsmith's move to Labrador Tigers last year is starting to pay-off with the Bundaberg junior becoming one of the QAFL club's most important players.
The local product finished the season strongly and played a number of games for the Tigers, whose finals hopes were decimated by injury.
The highlight of the season for Goldsmith was a NAB NEAFL Rising Star Award nomination which showed he had impressed the right people.
Labrador Tigers general manager Ryan Kogelman agreed and said the 18-year-old could be an AFL player of the future if he continued to apply himself.
"When he first came to the club he was tall and probably a bit rangy, but he spent time in the gym and got his body very strong which really helped him," Kogelman said.
"I think his work rate and his application improved a lot this year which meant he played about 14 senior games and his leadership off the field improved too."
He said the aspiring disc jockey was well respected by the club's players, who have nicknamed him "Humphrey" because he rarely spoke.
Goldsmith credited part of his rise to former AFL premiership player Tim Notting, who was signed by the club as a key forward.
Notting's injury early in the season paved the way for Goldsmith in the senior side.
"He gets along with the players and is well respected," Goldsmith said.
"He helped me out a lot and is one of my main mentors."
Having the players' respect was a factor in Notting being handed the Tigers coaching role.
Goldsmith thought the change in personnel was a positive move for the club and said it gave them a new direction.
The 193cm forward said the Tigers' development programs provided a direct pathway to the AFL with three recent players stepping up to the league.
He hinted at some big off-season signings and said next year looked bright for the Tigers, provided they could keep their squad on the field.