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Like father, like son for new Lion Josh Schache

Draft night's big winners and surprises Cal Twomey and Nat Edwards break down the 2015 NAB AFL Draft
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Number 2 draft pick Josh Schache is presented with his Brisbane Lions jumper during the NAB AFL Draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Josh Schache after the Lions took him with pick No.2
There are a few friends here who played with dad as he grew up - it's a very exciting time for them as well
Josh Schache

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JOSH Schache's football career is an emotional case of like father, like son.

Rated as the best key forward in this year's NAB AFL draft, the 18-year-old went as expected to the Brisbane Lions with the No.2 selection.

His dad Laurence was also a key forward with the old Brisbane Bears, playing 29 games in 1991-92.

Josh was only five when Laurence collapsed and died in 2002 of a rare heart condition, aged just 34.

He left behind his widow Rachel and two children, with Josh's sister Bianca aged 13 months.

The draft's relocation to Adelaide this year means another poignant connection between Josh and his father.

Originally from Victoria - he once kicked 25 goals in a game for the Essendon under-19s - Laurence moved to Adelaide and played for local side Sturt.

Then came his two-year stint with the Bears and finally a return to Adelaide, where he played in Woodville-West Torrens' 1993 premiership team.

The family were living in Adelaide when Laurence died.

Rachel eventually remarried and the family relocated to the Victorian country town of Seymour.

"It's a pretty emotional time - yesterday, I went to the cemetery," Josh said.

"Obviously everyone at home and the whole family have come from Victoria.

"There are a few friends here who played with dad as he grew up - it's a very exciting time for them as well."

The Lions went into the draft with the multiple aims of bolstering their key-position depth, attracting real talent and rewarding some standouts from their development academy.

So they were pleased with the outcome on Tuesday night at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Academy players Eric Hipwood and Ben Keays also come to the Gabba and hailing from Queensland, should be 150-game players for the club. 

"We didn't just take them because they're Queensland boys. We rated them," recruiting manager Stephen Conole Conole said. 

Craig Lambert, the Lions' new welfare manager who is back at the club after five years in a similar role with Greater Western Sydney, will no doubt focus heavily on Victorian pair Rhys Mathieson and Sam Skinner as the club addresses the alarming departure in the last three years of so many of talented youngsters. 

But in addition to feeling comfortable, the five new Lions need to demonstrate that they can play. All five should play senior footy at some stage in 2016, but Conole is preaching patience.

"It is much harder with the key position players and we drafted three of them, so it won't be that easy for them," he said. 

"We're hoping they'll get a taste for it."

Selection No.2 – Josh Schache
"A powerful key forward. Great mark. Great work ethic and he's a terrific kick at goal. He'll take some time, Josh, but we're hoping he'll be the player we're searching for." - Stephen Conole

Selection No.14 – Eric Hipwood
"An athletic beast. He's very raw and a little physically underdeveloped, but we're very optimistic he'll be a good player for the footy club." - Stephen Conole 

Selection No.24 – Ben Keays
"A competitive player, he can play inside and out, has been a strong performer for our NEAFL side and we're looking for him to play some senior football next year." – Stephen Conole 

Selection No.39 – Rhys Mathieson
"He's an inside machine and hopefully our clearance numbers, with players we have brought in through trades and the draft are going to improve." - Stephen Conole 

Selection No.47 – Sam Skinner
"We really liked Sam through the 16s and 17s. He's another who can play at both ends and we're just trying to compile young tall and talented boys who can take our club into the future." - Stephen Conole