Crows SANFL Development Player Lachlan Thomas is embracing an opportunity to play League football. 

Joining the Club’s development squad at the beginning of last season, Thomas has worked diligently across the past 18 months, growing his game to the point where he commanded selection in the SANFL side three weeks ago.

The opportunity to run out with some of Adelaide’s senior players and learn from them has been a highlight for Thomas.

“It has been something I have been working towards, getting a game for the last year and a half,” Thomas told AFC Media.

“Now that I have finally worked my way into the team, I’m just rapt with how it has gone and the support that I have got.

“The chance to play with some AFL listed players, especially the senior ones like Reilly O’Brien, Brodie Smith, Ned McHenry and Nick Murray, just being out there with them has been awesome to learn from.

“I have just really loved being out there and contributing as best as I can.”

Playing just his third game of SANFL footy, the 20-year-old was one of Adelaide’s standout contributors in last weekend’s game against Woodville-West Torrens.

Thomas made his impact felt early taking nine marks in the first term, ultimately finishing the game amassing 18 disposals, 10 marks, four tackles and was named in Adelaide’s best players.

“All three of the games I have played so far I have started well, which is what I always try to do,” he said.

“I think having played a couple of games it gave me a bit more confidence to play higher up the ground which was also an emphasis from Wrighty and Goddsy.

“It helped having Brodie Smith in the back line to start the game to settle it down.

“I got into the right spots and got on the end of a few strings of play through the middle, it was a good way to settle the nerves.”

The game was made extra special for Thomas with it being the first time he had played on Adelaide Oval.

“I have been close to getting a few games on Adelaide Oval, so it has been something that has just been out of reach for me,” Thomas said.

“To finally get a game there and experience it fully as a player was awesome.

“The crowd built and built as the game went on. Unfortunately, we were not in the position to look for a win but you could feel that the atmosphere was building when we did string together a few good passages of play and kick a score, there was definitely a lot of support behind us.”

Having plied his trade for his local club Jervois in the River Murray Football League playing as a high half forward, Thomas worked and developed his forward craft which he credited with helping him transition to playing the role at SANFL level.

“I was kind of moving around a little bit the first two games but found myself as the high half forward this week and feel comfortable in that role,” he said.

“After having a few games to settle myself I felt a lot more comfortable out there and feel like a bit of trust has been built now between myself and my teammates.

“It was good to feel like I could play with a bit more confidence, knowing that I have had a few goes in the last couple of weeks and earned my place in the team and position.”

Adelaide’s SANFL side has a bye this weekend and will return to action against Glenelg at Stratarama Stadium on Saturday, June 29.