By Molly Taylor
A FORMER West Gambier Football Club player who relocated to the Northern Territory for a kick is feeling the bite of his new job and lifestyle.
Over a month ago Jackson Lock spontaneously moved to Darwin to temporarily play division one football for Banks Bulldogs Football Club.
Stepping out of his comfort zone, Lock also decided to take on a new challenge and successfully secured a thrilling labouring position at a crocodile farm.
Lock said he initially wanted to visit Darwin for a week’s holiday, but when the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League was cancelled, where he planned to play for Border Districts, he decided to explore further options.
“I was still keen on having a kick so I contacted one of my friends from Katherine to see whether she knew any clubs nearby which were interested in offering me a game,” he said.
“In two days time, I had three clubs call me which was overwhelming.
“I had a think about it and in a week the club had a job organised and asked whether I could get up here as soon as I can.”
With a range of other jobs offered, Lock said his short-term career choice kept him on his toes, with one minor accident having the potential to be fatal.
“They asked whether I was interested in working at the crocodile farm which was a bit of a shock,” Lock said.
“I went and had a look at the farm and started the next day. It has been a bit of an eye-opener.”
Lock said safety came first during all hours of the day, as crocodiles were dangerous and could easily kill a human.
“You have to watch yourself a bit because you are in open water majority of the time and are handling live animals,” Lock said.
“It was pretty daunting during the first couple of shifts, but now that I am a bit used to it, it does not phased me.
“I have had a few close calls …You do not realise how fast you can run when you have a crocodile chasing after you at full speed.”
Planning on staying for around six months and the whole season, Lock said he thought the experience would be beneficial for his independence and development.
“All I want footy wise is to just play and understand other football clubs and the culture involved,” he said.
“I think the decision was mainly for independence and to see myself grow as a person.”
Having confidence in his new team, Lock said he hoped to win a few games while playing for a new team and make some long-lasting friends.
“If I do like Darwin, I will probably stay for the dry season just to see the bit better weather and the outskirts a bit more,” he said.
“We have around nine new players on the side and I have been to a few trainings now, but am still trying to get to know everybody.
“I would like to see whether I can also improve myself as a footballer. “
Securing stellar wins so far, Lock said he was “still seeing stars”, breaking his hand during the first game and losing consciousness in the second.
Banks Bulldogs Football Club division 1 team won the 2018/2019 Northern Territory Football League season.
The club’s president is former Mount Gambier player Will Johnson and North Adelaide stalwart Cohen Thiele is the coach.