UNDECIDED: Josh Schache is not ready to commit to the Brisbane Lions.
UNDECIDED: Josh Schache is not ready to commit to the Brisbane Lions. Matt Roberts/AFL Media

Schache needs an extended break from game

AFL: It was a match made in heaven. Josh Schache being selected by the Brisbane Lions with the No.2 pick in the 2015 national draft was an endearing story.

After Carlton (had done the decent thing and) selected Jacob Weitering at No.1, the Lions were only too happy to pounce on the outstanding young tall forward from Seymour in central Victoria.

His dad, Laurence, had been a Brisbane player back in 1991-92. Schache Snr, however, had sadly passed away at the age of just 34 due to a rare heart condition, cardio amyloidosis.

Then only five, young Schache was with his father when he collapsed at the family home in Adelaide.

As the stars aligned - and Brisbane was in a position to select him - Schache Jnr had said "It's very exciting just to be able to represent the club that my dad played for”.

Whether it's the pressure of living up to his early promise, a bout of home sickness with his mum and family back in Victoria, or simply want for a better deal, Schache's time as a Lion may sadly be as brief as his dad's was as a Bear.

Schache has reportedly yet to decide whether he will remain once his current contract expires in October.

"He needs time at the moment,” his manager, David Trotter, told the Herald Sun. "Josh is dealing with a few things in terms of form and some personal things ... it means he's not ready to commit at this stage.

"We don't like running commentary on contracts but this one has got out of hand. "He's not fully comfortable and it's only making it harder on him all this speculation, the abuse he's copping for it from fans.”

After struggling for form - he's kicked six goals and taken 18 marks in six games this season - and being overshadowed by Eric Hipwood, Schache may tonight be left out of the Lions' side to play Adelaide on Saturday.

With Trotter saying they anticipated having a decision by the bye, it may be best for the 19-year-old to take some extended time off.

The Lions will hope like hell they don't lose yet another high draft pick, following in the footsteps of James Aish, Billy Longer, Jared Polec, Elliott Yeo,and Sam Docherty out the door.

The latest stalemate over Schache has led Essendon great Tim Watson to suggest the AFL double the initial playing contract of first-round draftees.

The current contract for all players taken in the national draft is two years.

Tom Scully was lured from Melbourne by the GWS Giants two years after the Demons selected him at No.1 in the 2009 national draft.

"The thing I believe needs to be introduced in this game is if you take somebody (with) an early pick then you should be entitled to have a hold over that particular player for a period of time,” Watson said. "I think four years. "If you're making an investment in a young guy and using a valuable pick then you should have a hold on that particular player.”

In the NFL all draftees are given four-year contracts, with first-round picks having fifth-year options.


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