Lockhart thirds give French exchange student Zac Clavel Aussie Rules experience

LEARNING CURVE: Lockhart footballers Zacharie Clavel and George Flanagan ahead of Saturday's Hume League grand final. Picture: James Wiltshire
LEARNING CURVE: Lockhart footballers Zacharie Clavel and George Flanagan ahead of Saturday's Hume League grand final. Picture: James Wiltshire

WITHIN two hours of arriving in Albury, Zacharie Clavel was off to his first Australian Rules training session.

In less than a day, he played his first game.

Still not really sure of what the rules of the game were, the French exchange student ran out with his new teammates at Lockhart under 17s.

It’s been a steep learning curve for the Frenchman, who grew up playing rugby and European handball.

Clavel was first shown clips of the game by an Australian student he met overseas, an his interest in Aussie rules was a key factor in choosing to come down under for his exchange.

“I looked Aussie rules up on YouTube and other site, but even watching a few videos it wasn’t really clear how it worked, it was hard to understand,” he said.

“It was really interesting, and because I was looking for English speaking countries to go to, Britain was too close and the U.S. was not as attractive as Australia.”

In nine games, Clavel has kicked eight goals and been listed among the best three times – an impressive feat for someone who only learned to kick within hours of touching down in Australia.

The rules of the game are still a work in progress for the year 11 student but his Demons teammates have helped him get up to speed.

“It was pretty hard to understand the rules, because I wasn’t sure what to do when the umpire was whistling.

“But my my teammates have been really awesome, they’ve introduced me really well, given the the ball a lot.

“I feel really comfortable with the team, it’s a special club and I’m really enjoying playing with them.”