KICKING 19 goals in a game is no mean feat.
Luke Lloyd rocketed up draft rankings with his monster haul against Mazenod College for his school side De La Salle in May this year.
“There was a bit of anticipation from the boys,” said Lloyd.
“We’d beaten them by a lot the year before, so all the boys were expecting something from me.
“The midfielders worked really well and got it down to me and we managed to kick a pretty big score.
“As the game wore on my teammates sort of realised that I could be on here so started looking for me a little bit more.
“It was pretty busy in the forward line, I think the other side worked out who we were kicking it to,” he laughed.
Lloyd is no stranger to big bags of goals, having booted 14 goals in the same fixture last year.
The 193cm forward has put together an extremely consistent season, booting 21 goals from 11 games for the Sandringham Dragons.
Dragons head coach Rob Harding believes that Lloyd is the most naturally talented footballer on the list.
“Early on he stood out as a natural footballer, I think he’s the most naturally talented football on our list,” said Harding.
“His hands are elite and he’s a beautiful kick.
“He showed an ability to play as a deep forward, play as a high forward and connect, mark the ball in a pack, on a lead, he’s got good running patterns and natural forward craft.”
Whilst Lloyd proved his worth as a mobile tall forward, Harding also believes he could act as a third intercepting-tall at an AFL club if required.
Lloyd credits Harding and forwards coach Mark Cooke as two coaches who have helped him to improve since landing at the Dragons.
“Rob was huge in my development, ‘Cookey’ has been great in helping me focus on my marking and forward craft,” he said.
Whilst Lloyd ended the season on fire booting eight goals in his last three games, he faced a delayed start to his 2023 campaign after suffering a quad injury at the end of pre-season.
“It was really frustrating and hurt my front end of the season.
“I had a goal of making Vic Metro and my injury hurt my chances of trying out for that team which was disappointing.
“It was tough watching on from the sidelines.
“I just tried to keep positive, I knew there was plenty of time to show my skills even if it wasn’t at Metro.”
Lloyd says the highlight of his season was winning the Coates Talent League premiership.
“To get the job done on grand final day was unreal.
“We had in mind that that was our end goal, that’s where we wanted to be to give us the best chance of having as many boys drafted as possible.
“I remember running on to the ground to celebrate and get around everyone after ‘Vigs’ kicked that goal.”
Despite the frustrating start, the St Pauls McKinnon junior was happy with how his season transpired.
“I just really enjoyed playing with all the boys.
“I was really happy when I got back from injury with my first couple of games.
“I played a couple of quieter ones at Trevor Barker after that and then missed a game late in the finals series which was pretty nerve-wracking, but I think I ended the season pretty strongly.”
Lloyd was also fortunate enough to get an opportunity to play for the Frankston Dolphins in the VFL alongside his older brother, Joe.
“It was unreal to play with my brother.
“The Dolphins showed a bit of interest, and it was awesome for them to give me an opportunity.
“The professionalism and buy-in in meetings were awesome to see, I learned heaps from being there for a few weeks.”
Lloyd has an athletics background but some of his earliest memories are kicking the footy with Joe.
“My brother and Dad would be the two people who really got me into footy.
“I remember going down to the park with Joe and Dad as a little kid, I was very competitive against him.
“Joe was at Dragons for a bit in his draft year, he didn’t get picked up but the fact that he’d gone through similar things before me was huge.
“He’d always give me tips and advice which was awesome.
“I think the best piece of advice he’s given me is that nothing’s ever as good as it seems or as bad as it seems.”
Lloyd is a keen golfer who follows the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL and was one of 61 players to have received an invite to the National Combine last month.
“I didn’t really expect it after not playing in the National Champs.
“To be around all the boys with the same goal in mind, talking to clubs, it was all pretty surreal.”
Clubs have taken notice of Lloyd and if he finds his way onto an AFL list, there might be a haul or two on its way.