When you finish third in your club’s Best and Fairest in an AFL premiership year, and start the next season superbly, chances are you’re going to attract the attention of the football media.
That’s clearly the case with Richmond’s mature-age, rising midfield star Kane Lambert, who is averaging 21.6 disposals, 4.1 inside-50s, 3.6 marks, 3.3 tackles and a goal a game after seven rounds of the 2018 season, following his third placing in the 2017 Jack Dyer Medal count, which took place just two days after the Tigers’ glorious Grand Final triumph over Adelaide.
The quiet, unassuming Lambert would prefer to go about his football business out of the limelight, but realises it goes with the territory.
“I’m happy flying under the radar . . . I get all the accolades I need internally, from my coaches and my teammates,” Lambert said on SEN.
“The subjective stuff outside the Club is out of my control and for me it’s about being the best possible teammate I can . . .
“I’m really enjoying my footy and hopefully my best footy is in front of me.”
Lambert revealed that his hunger to succeed at the game’s highest level is not a result of the fact it took him so long to enter the AFL system.
“My attitude towards my football hasn’t changed since I was 15 years old, trying to play my best footy at TAC Cup level,” he said.
“I never took anything for granted with what I was presented with – my coaches and what not – at that age.
“That really hasn’t changed for me coming into the AFL system.
“I’ve just got a burning desire to be the best possible player I can be.
“I guess sometimes it might be a dangerous thing because, when I’m all done, will I be satisfied?
“I’m not sure, but it’s a driving motivation for me now . . .
“I would have thought winning a premiership I would have been satisfied, but if anything it’s sort of fuelled the fire even more and I want to keep testing myself and see where it can go.
“So I think maybe one day I’ll look back and say, yeah, I’m pretty happy with the career I’ve had. But right now I’m more interested about being a better footballer and a better teammate.”
Lambert also expanded on his close relationship with teammate Jayden Short, who also has been in fine form for the Tigers during the early rounds of season 2018 as a small, rebounding defender.
“We spend a lot of time together . . . we live together and play footy together,” Lambert said.
“I’ve been really proud of his development and his attitude to his footy.
“We both learn things off each other and drive each other to be better.
“We’re starting to see that in Jayden.
“He’s playing some really good footy.”