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Langlands eyes debut

After 13 games for Sandringham in 2018, Doulton Langlands has his eye on an AFL debut.  - Doulton Langlands
After 13 games for Sandringham in 2018, Doulton Langlands has his eye on an AFL debut.
We’ve got similar attributes like our speed, and I’m trying to get to that next level that he’s at and use my pace in games more
Doulton Langlands on Jack Steven comparisons

Every AFL player dreams of making their debut.

For Doulton Langlands, it’s about turning that dream into a reality.

Pulling on the red, white and black guernsey is always at the forefront of the rookie midfielder’s mind, with the 19-year-old giving himself every opportunity for selection in 2019.

Langlands is one of two Saints drafted prior to 2018 yet to make his debut, with Oscar Clavarino the other recruit pressing to make his maiden senior appearance.

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Finetuning several aspects of his game will be of top priority for the budding midfielder in realising his ambition, with consistency in execution and influence paramount to earning his debut.

“I’m trying to work on my kicking on the run and also trying to work out the balance around contests,” Langlands said.

“I want get as many games in the AFL as I can, get a bit of experience and then move into the midfield.”

 

His 13 games with Sandringham last season began to tighten the screws, with coach Aaron Hamill playing a significant role in shaping the Murray Bushrangers product into a future weapon of the Saints.

“Sammy (Hamill) was really good for us this year, especially with getting the extras done and trying to become more professional as a player,” Langlands said.

“Especially coming from TAC Cup to AFL, it’s such a big step up.  He helped show us what the best of the best are doing.”

Hamill’s advice has been taken in stride, with the former GWS academy player looking towards some of the competition’s elite to enhance his game.

Since coming to RSEA Park, the youngster has modelled his developing game style off one of the most volatile and pacey midfielders in the business, club champion Jack Steven.

Armed with explosive pace, an ability to burst through stoppages and a knack for hitting the scoreboard, Langlands boasts qualities comparable to the four-time Trevor Barker Award winner.

“He has definitely been someone who I’ve watched play,” Langlands said. 

“We’ve got similar attributes like our speed, and I’m trying to get to that next level that he’s at and use my pace in games more.”

For the time being, Langlands has been forced to put a dampener on using his blistering speed, with a niggling hamstring injury impeding his pre-season progress as the Saints gear towards 2019.

Alongside housemates Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield, the emerging young gun will be intent on making an immediate impact in St Kilda colours next year.

Despite seeing the duo line up for the Saints on numerous occasions throughout last season, it has only fuelled Langlands’ desire to make his debut.

“There’s a little bit of friendly competition on the field.  If someone’s excelling, you always want to try and match that and then get to that next level,” Langlands said.

“Seeing the boys last year playing AFL, you’re just thinking ‘gees, I want to be there’.”