By Matt Fotia
It’s been a year he described as ‘up and down’ on a personal level, but Lachlan Batten saved his best ‘up’ for the most important day of the year after the diminutive forward/midfielder walked away from Woori Yallock Recreation Reserve with two medals, one for a premiership with his beloved Doves and one for his Best On Ground performance.
And he say’s the club is ready for what 2020 has in store.
Batten came back to his childhood club during the 2019 pre-season as one of a number of recruits, as the club put the foot down on its resurrection project after finishing 2018 winless. The Doves saw the move to the Outer East as a fresh start and wanted to capitalise.
So for Batten the decision to come back to AJ Robinson from Edithvale – Aspendale was an easy one.
“I’ve grown up at the club since I was a baby, my family, they’ve been here since day dot, so I’m pretty much born and bred Doveton,”
“I missed it, I missed all the boys, how tight we were, so I thought why not come back.”
That ‘tightness’ is something that is plain to see when observing this Doveton group. Mate-ship is high on the agenda and Batten believes that there isn’t another sporting club like it, such is their genuine love for each other.
“I don’t think there is any other club that is as tight as we are, because we are all in it for the same reason,”
“We’re a big family, it’s unreal, we work for each other, we are all there for each other and at the end of the day we just love being around each other,”
“I just think this club is like no other and I just love it.”
Batten, who was the only player outside the Premier Division to make the Senior Interleague side, is a beacon of Doveton’s family vibe and credited his teammates for his match winning four goal performance on Sunday.
“I’ve been really up and down during the year, I had spurts here and there, but I worked on my fitness – and I need to keep working on it a lot more – but to my teammates credit, this (BOG Medal) is because of them.”
Batten’s only other premiership – that he can recall – came when playing juniors for Berwick and he believes that the Doves are ready to take on the Wickers and others in next season’s Premier Division.
“This (premiership) is a lot more important because I’m born and bred here, I bleed green and black,”
“The belief in this group is unreal and to do this, the premiership is a massive stepping stone and we are really excited by the challenge of 2020,”