LACHLAN Milton didn't have to go far for advice when he made the switch from the outside backs to the second row.
The strapping 21-year-old is the son of Greens great and 1989 premiership lock Greg Milton.
Rather than take on board what to do, it was a warning on what NOT to do that struck a chord with Milton junior.
"He told me if I play in the forwards to always try and run over or around the fullback," Lachy said. "Apparently dad made a break in a game and only had the fullback to beat. He tried to chip ahead and had an air swing."
It was rare blooper in a career that spanned more than 100 first-grade games.
Lachy is in his first full season in the top grade and only his third as a forward.
A scrawny kid with "skinny legs and skinny arms", Milton junior played in the outside backs from under nines to up to under-18s.
"We were short of a No.8. for a game and I thought it might be good fun, so I threw my hand up," Milton said. "I moved there permanently in colts and the year after that they pushed me into the second row."
Milton's upbringing in the backs has not been totally abandoned.
He used fancy footwork to step past three Hamilton defenders and score a try a fortnight ago. Then on Saturday against Lake Macquarie, he showed speed and anticipation to support a break by halfback Eddie Clifton and had enough in the tank to carry two tacklers across the line for the match-winner.
"He runs like a back and gets around the park like a seven," Merewether co-coach Mick Gill said. "He played rep footy in juniors in the centres. That is why he has that turn of pace and footwork. He was enormous against Lake Macquarie and he has been enormous for the last month. He is a great kid. A Greens boy - grew up surfing and playing rugby. "
Milton has "filled out" since making the transition into the pack.
"I weighed 92 kilograms and was very scrawny, skinny arms, skinny legs ... a winger's body," he said. "I have put on a bit of size, filled out, and am up to 106 kilograms. I love the extra the workload.
"Dad and I talk a bit about footy. I always come home and tell him what I think I have done wrong. He says that is a second-rower's job, you have to be cleaning out and putting your head in places you don't want to. Sometimes I'm a bit like a pretty back, standing wider and waiting for the ball."
One aspect of his father's career that Lachy hopes to mirror is winning a first-grade premiership.
"I have won three second-grade premierships," he said. "I would love a first grade one and to be able to say that Dad and I have both done that. That would be pretty special."