Growing up with two younger brothers in Shepparton, Adelaide forward Josh Rachele always had someone to kick the footy with and practise his skills.

Now, with the 19-year-old pursuing his AFL dream more than 700 km from home, it’s a teammate who has now taken on the role of a sibling.

Rachele, who was set to enter his second season at West Lakes in 2023, revealed he had moved in with fellow youngsters Jake Soligo and Luke Nankervis.

He said Soligo had become like a third brother to him and their strong friendship was helping him strive to be even better next season.

“I actually moved in with Jake and Luke at the end of October. I was with a host family for most of this year but moved in with them now,” Rachele said.

“Our relationship went to another level and we are kind of like brothers, us two boys.

“We got back early, we trained a lot together, I think we just drive each other with those expectations.

"We are kind of like brothers, us two boys.

“I think the big thing is that we just learn different things from each other, we are all different personalities, sometimes it can get heated because we are literally like brothers, but later on, we are all mucking around having fun again.”

Rachele, who was drafted to Adelaide with Pick No. 6 at the 2021 AFL National Draft, lined up in 13 games this past season and made an eye-catching debut in Round One, booting five goals.

But the small forward struggled with hip and groin injuries in the latter part of the Crows’ campaign, forcing him to miss the final seven games.

Although being frustrated with how his first year ended, Rachele said what he learned would hold him in good stead moving forward.

“It did frustrate me a little bit, but just drives me a lot more for 2023 to play consistent footy,” Rachele said.

“It was more (learning) about that resilience factor and doing the little things right, continuing to do rehab stuff, my hip flex and my groin, little things like that.

“Next season it’s about building consistency and playing at a high level week in, week out.” 

Rachele said a focus for him this pre-season was to become more versatile and was eyeing off more midfield minutes.

“A big key focus for me coming in was my contested marking, I wanted to take that to another level,” Rachele said.

“I don’t want to be that stock standard small forward that stays on the ground, I think I can play taller for my height.

“I think having that extra string to your bow (playing in the midfield), especially as a forward you can have some games where it’s hard to get the footy.

“So getting thrown in a few centre bounces, I think that will help as well.”