Jackson Sketcher Q&A
Monday, 23 May 2011
Jackson Sketcher was a very accomplished junior footballer. He was in the Sandringham Dragons representative side since the under 15 development side. He played his first game of senior football as a 15 year old when his football mentor Steve Hughes told him that he had the ability to go somewhere with his football. He was the captain of the Sandringham under 18 side and in the same year he was the joint winner of the Morrish Medal for the best player in the TAC under 18 competition. I sat down with Jackson to have a chat after he made his senior debut against Sandringham.
- TC: First of all congratulations on making your senior debut on the weekend against Sandringham. Can you run us through how you were told that you were making your senior debut?
- JS: I found out on the Thursday night leading up to the game. Tim Northe had to get stitches in his fingers because of an incident that happened the previous weekend when we had they bye, so DC (coach Damian Carroll) just gave me the all clear on the Thursday night.
- TC: You played well in your first game, but you missed a couple of shots at goal in the first three quarters. How did it feel to kick your first goal at such a crucial point of the game?
- JS: When I missed the two easy ones it was quite disappointing but I thought I just have to get the next one and the coaches told me it’s just around the corner, I was pretty happy when I kicked my first goal
- TC: I’m sure you’ve played in tight games in your footy career. How did it feel when you guys had the lead for most of the game and Sandy were coming home strong?
- JS: We play better when we’re on the edge, but in saying that, it not an excuse. They probably shouldn’t have got as close as they did but we got the win in the end so that’s alright.
- TC: You captained the Sandringham Dragons under 18 side. What’s this biggest difference from under 18’s to VFL seniors?
- JS: I think the competitiveness and the bigger bodies. Playing against league footballers who do it day in day out, it’s just a massive step up.
- TC: How are you coping with the step up?
- JS: I thought it was going to be easier than it was, then I woke up and got a reality check and now I’m trying to improve as much as I can.
- TC: In your final year of the under 18’s you were the joint winner of the Morrish Medal along with Dyson Heppel. How did that feel?
- JS: It was a bit o a surprise at first, it took a couple of days for it to sink in and to realize I won it. It was a good achievement but that was last year and I just want to keep improving.
- TC: After you won the medal were you expecting to get drafted or did you speak with any AFL clubs?
- JS: I spoke to Port Adelaide but that was just before finals of the under 18’s, so I didn’t really expect anything. When I won the Morrish I was being told by my peers and friends that I was going to get drafted and I didn’t want it go to my head. I wasn’t expecting anything because the previous two winners o the medal weren’t drafted either. The last person to win the medal and get drafted was Jarred Blair and he was rookie listed.
- TC: You mentioned in a previous interview that Springvale District senior coach Steve Hughes has been a massive influence on your footy career. What has he done to influence you?
- JS: Well when I was 15 and had just started in the Sandringham development side, I was playing in the juniors for my local club Noble Park on Sundays and Steve gave me the opportunity to play in the seniors on Saturdays. He spoke to me and pushed me. He told me I have the ability, which I never thought I did; I just thought I was another footballer.
It was really good when I was top age down at the Dragons because Steve got the job as the midfield coach, so I had a lot to do with him there as well.
- TC: You’ve mentioned that Steve was a big influence on you. Who from Box Hill has had the biggest influence on you since you’ve been down?
- JS: I think that Beau Muston is a great example of how to go about it. The injuries he’s had and the commitment that he still has to go with it is an inspiration, so Beau’s a great example. Sam Gibson leads by example and is great to listen to as well.
- TC: Is your goal still to play in the AFL?
- JS: It’s definitely on my mind. I just want to improve. I don’t want to get an easy access to the AFL and just get drafted. I want to have the proper preparation and deserve my spot. Whether that’s in 12 months or five years or never, I just want to give it a crack.
- TC: So you’ve finished school, what do you do with yourself?
- JS: I’m an apprentice plasterer in my third year, so only a year and a bit to go.
- TC: Do you find it hard coping with full time work and playing VFL?
- JS: It takes it out of you, a full day’s work then having to come to training and then back it up by waking up early. The first year of work I struggled with footy but now I’ve got use to it.
- TC: Which teammate has the most annoying habit?
- JS: Beau Muston! He always sooks about blokes pissing on the toilet.
By: Tommy Casha