Josh Schache’s football career is an emotional case of like father, like son.
Rated as the best key forward in this year’s AFL draft, the 18-year-old went as expected to the Brisbane Lions with the No.2 selection.
His dad Laurence was also a key forward with the old Brisbane Bears, playing 29 games in 1991-92.
Josh was only five when Laurence collapsed and died in 2002 of a rare heart condition, aged just 34.
He left behind his widow Rachel and two children, with Josh’s sister Bianca aged 13 months.
The draft’s relocation to Adelaide this year means another poignant connection between Josh and his father.
Originally from Victoria – he once kicked 25 goals in a game for the Essendon under-19s – Laurence moved to Adelaide and played for local side Sturt.
Then came his two-year stint with the Bears and finally a return to Adelaide, where he played in Woodville-West Torrens’ 1993 premiership team.
The family were living in Adelaide when Laurence died.
Rachel eventually remarried and the family relocated to the Victorian country town of Seymour.
“It’s a pretty emotional time – yesterday, I went to the cemetery,” Josh said.
“Obviously everyone at home and the whole family have come from Victoria.
“There are a few friends here who played with dad as he grew up – it’s a very exciting time for them as well.”
Speaking on Tuesday morning, Josh said it would be an honour to play for his dad’s old AFL club.
“It would be very special, obviously knowing that he played up there with the Bears,” he said.
“To be given the opportunity to go up there and play for the same club, I’d be very happy if that worked out.”
Josh has also met several of his dad’s old SA teammates.
“They were good mates with him and I got to catch up with all of them, which is very pleasing,” he said.