Lachlan Sholl grew up a passionate Carlton supporter.
It was in his bloodlines; his father Brett had played 35 games for the Blues in the early 90s, including the club’s losing AFL Grand Final in 1993.
Many of Sholl’s childhood heroes pulled on the Navy Blue guernsey each week - famous Carlton names such as Chris Judd, Brendan Fevola and Marc Murphy.
“Once you’re out there, you sorta forget who you’re playing against which is a big cliché, but it is true,” Sholl told AFC Media post-game.
“Definitely you pinch yourself at times; I’m lining up on Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow, all these guys that I’ve watched growing up – who are super players as well – it was pretty awesome to be able to experience that against the team that I used to barrack for.”
Among Sholl’s idols was former Blue turned Crow Bryce Gibbs.
Sholl was just seven years of age when Gibbs first burst onto the AFL scene in 2007.
Fast forward to Round 17, 2020, and the Calder Cannons product would run out onto Metricon Stadium as a teammate of Gibbs in the veteran’s 268th and final AFL game.
“It was incredible. To be able to play in Gibba’s last game and also get a win for him was just awesome,” Sholl said.
“It was a bit more special for me as well, seeing I grew up barracking for Carlton and I’ve seen pretty much his whole career.
“It was pretty awesome to play alongside him in an AFL game and win the game for him as well.”
In the lead-up to Sunday’s game, Sholl shared a photo on Instagram Stories from almost a decade ago of him and Gibbs in Carlton’s locker room after a win.
He vividly recalls the experience and admits it was a pretty special moment.
“From memory, I think it was 2011 after a game in Sydney,” Sholl said.
“The Blues, I think they won by a couple of goals and in the end, it was a really good win.
“I was lucky enough to go into the rooms – I’m not sure how I got in there. I think Dad got some tickets, and sure enough got a photo with Gibba and that was pretty special.”
Sholl has long admired Gibbs – in particular, his composure, balance, and well-roundedness as an AFL player.
After a breakout game in Adelaide’s win over Carlton, the emerging wingman expressed his gratitude to the 31-year-old for the mentoring he has provided over the past two seasons.
“He’s helped me, especially last year when I was playing in the SANFL with a lot of the other young guys,” Sholl said.
“He was really good for us last year, to be able to pass on his knowledge.
“I’ll be forever grateful for what he’s done for myself and also all the younger guys that were with us.”