Sunbury’s Dylan Landt spent plenty of time in the gym over the summer with Calder Cannons teammate Jack Bytel.
Landt, who was heading into his top age year with the Cannons, was keen to take his game to the next level.
“I spoke with Johno [Cannons coach Andrew Johnston] about what I needed to do and one of the biggest things was working on winning the contested ball,” he said last week.
“I did a lot work to get stronger to give myself more confidence to go in and get the ball.
“I was doing three gym sessions a week to build up my upper body strength. I was training with Jack, he helped a lot with the work over summer.”
Landt, along with Bytel, were both named in the initial squads for Vic Metro’s under-18 team to compete at National Championships.
Despite two stints on the sidelines for Landt through injury, the two mates were named in the final squad for the championships which started on Saturday.
“Jack and I are good mates so I’m rapt to see him get through as well,” Landt said.
“I feel honoured and privileged to be part of the group. It’s reward for all my hard work, but there’s still a lot of hard work still to do.”
Having fractured his radius in the preseason followed by a broken metacarpal, the diehard Collingwood supporter at one stage thought his chances of being selected were over.
“It was a bit of a setback with the injuries,” he said.
“The one positive was they were both hand injuries. I could still run and keep my fitness.
“I doubted myself but I came back at the right time for the last trial match and played my role well doing the things the coaches wanted.
“I’m fully confident in my body now.”
Now in the final squad, the half back whose biggest asset is speed, knows there’s no guarantees of getting a game.
“I’m hoping to try and play as many games as possible. I’d love to play them all.”
Landt, who models his game on Greater Western Sydney young gun Josh Kelly, was always going to play football. He started playing at Sunbury Lions, before moving across to Rupertswood.
Last season he returned to the Lions.
“My family is footy mad and I love it,” he said. “All my brothers played.
“My brother [Jack] was playing at Sunbury and I was trying to play with him which is why I went back.
“It didn’t work out that way, but I still have plenty of mates there and Sunbury has been really good for me.”
Despite what may come later in the year, Landt firmly has his sights on the next few weeks. “I haven’t thought about AFL at this stage,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work to go before we even get to the draft. I’ll start thinking about it later in the year.
“I’m more worried about playing good footy and hopefully getting some games with Metro.”