Sam Lloyd has lived every child’s backyard footy dream, coolly kicking the winning goal after the final siren.
The Richmond forward had marked and was lining up his kick from 45m on a slight angle when the siren sounded on Saturday night at the MCG.
His team trailed by five points and, after six straight AFL losses, a near-miss would have been shattering.
In his 28th senior game, the 26-year-old calmed his nerves and kicked the winning goal, sparking scenes of pandemonium on the ground and in the crowd.
Lloyd, from Deniliquin, said he had never kicked the match winner, at any level of football.
“I hope you can ‘beep’ this out – I was shitting myself,” he admitted.
“Ben Griffiths came over and told me to take three deep breaths.
“I was just thinking ‘keep your head over the ball, keep your head over the ball and just make the distance’.
“I backed myself in, I knew it could go straight and fortunately enough it swung in – so it was great.”
Lloyd said he initially did not quite know what to think as the ball went through the middle to give Richmond the one-point win.
“I was ecstatic – ecstatic for the win, ecstatic for the boys because we battled our guts out,” he said.
“We’ve trained really hard and we just haven’t had the wins. It’s actually a massive sigh of relief.”
As soon as Lloyd connected, he knew his shot would go close.
“I thought ‘this is going in’, straight off the boot,” he said.
“I hit it pretty sweetly and I was either thinking it was going to hit the post or it’s going to go through.
“When it started swinging back, I was (thinking) ‘if it makes the distance, it’s going in’.”
Richmond had a bad run with set shots on Saturday night – Lloyd himself missed a sitter in the third term – but all was forgiven when coach Damien Hardwick gave him a big hug after the match.
“He said thankfully it was me who had the ball in my hands and not a few other blokes – I think he was joking,” he said.