LACHLAN Cassidy has only won one premiership in his life and that was an experience he will never forget.
But not necessarily for all the right reasons.
Playing in the under-16.5s grand final in 2009, Cassidy and his Ballarat teammates were elated when the final siren sounded and they were one point up over Sebastopol.
Emotions ran high for minutes as the Swans celebrated, only to soon realise the scoreboard had been wrong and, after the umpires consulted, the scores were deemed to be level.
Left flattened after his side almost had the cup taken from its grasp, Cassidy’s Swans fought on in extra time and went on to win by a point. Only this time the result stuck and they lifted the premiership cup.
Wind the clock forward five years and Cassidy has his sights set on helping the Ballarat senior side qualify for the 2014 Ballarat Football League grand final.
In his first full year of senior footy and being the youngest member of the team, the dashing midfielder has played every single match for the Swans, including last week’s thumping 74-point win over Sunbury.
This follows years in the North Ballarat Rebels system.
With Luke Brennan set to miss this week’s game, Cassidy will become one of just five Ballarat players to run out in every senior match this year.
“We’ve had a pretty consistent year so far and personally it’s felt pretty good as well,” Cassidy, 20, said. “There’s a lot of experience around the side at the moment and when Myles Sewell came on board later in the year it made it even better.”
In his 17 games so far this year, there have been just two encounters when Cassidy has failed to kick at least one goal.
Despite playing predominantly throughout the midfield, he has kicked 29 goals, including a season-high five majors in the elimination final last week.
And in an impressive record, he has been named in his side’s best 11 times.
Not that you will hear him speak too much about his own records.
“It’s easy to sneak forward and kick a few goals when your teammates hit you lace-out every time,” he said. If ever there was on omen that Cassidy was set for a big day on Saturday it is this: he has been named Ballarat’s best player in both of its clashes against North City this year.
The Swans have not got within five goals in either of their home and away clashes but, as the old saying goes, anything can happen in finals.
“We believe internally we can beat them, absolutely,” Cassidy said.
“They’re obviously the best team. They’ve only lost one game so far this season for a reason.”
Cassidy vividly remembers Ballarat’s last senior premiership in 2008, when current coach Ash Baker coolly slotted a goal from 50 metres after the siren to beat Darley.
That memory has helped contribute to a burning desire to lift the cup himself.
“I remember wishing I could’ve been a part of it and now we are in the position where I could be.”