It might have only been the 184th AFL match in their existence but it could easily be described as Greater Western Sydney’s best.
After stints in local and state league football, at just 24, Sam Lloyd’s career has had its rollercoaster of ups and downs.
A resilient character, Lloyd has played 57 games and kicked 69 goals across five seasons, which boasted four final series including a premiership.
When given an opportunity in the formidable yellow and black, Lloyd verified his worth at AFL level.
However, with Richmond’s manic pressure style up forward and midfield powerhouse, senior games became scarce for the Deniliquin product. A change of scenery was beckoning.
The VFL competition benefits players to experiment with new roles – and consequently, Lloyd was added to the midfield on a more permanent basis.
His input up forward wasn’t regressed by his time spent in the middle, as he still averaged two goals a game in his last two seasons at reserves level.
Fortunately for Lloyd, his services were demanded elsewhere, landing at the Western Bulldogs in exchange for pick 64 in the 2018 trade period.
His new home at the VU Whitten Oval will present the 28-year-old with more senior opportunities, and expectantly more senior level continuity.
The former Tiger fits the bill perfectly in an inexperienced Doggies outfit, who lacked considerable firepower in front of goals last season, only scoring 100 points or more on four occasions.
Lloyd’s experience, by playing and training alongside the elite crop of the competition, can complement fledgling forwards like Josh Schache and Billy Gowers, to reach new heights at the Kennel in 2019 and beyond.
In an interview with Bulldogs TV, Lloyd was impressed with their game style and potential in the playing group which was evidenced at end of the Dogs 2018 campaign after winning three of their last four games.
A noteworthy performance also occurred against Richmond in Round 23 where they easily could have triumphed if only a Brad Lynch bender was perfected.
Moreover, Lloyd has been thrilled by the approachability and easy-going nature of his new peers and looks forward to fulfilling the next chapter of his AFL career.
Ultimately, the mature-aged recruit should be utilised more as a medium forward who can rotate with Marcus Bontempelli and pinch-hit in the Dogs engine room when called upon.