Lachlan Hansen

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Lachlan Hansen
Personal information
Full name Lachlan Hansen
Date of birth (1988-08-17) 17 August 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Melbourne
Original team Gippsland Power (TAC Cup)
Draft #3, 2006 National Draft, Kangaroos
Height/Weight 197cm / 97kg
Position(s) Centre half-back
Club information
Current club North Melbourne
Number 6
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2007– North Melbourne 117 (76)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of End of 2014 season. season.

Lachlan Hansen (born 17 August 1988) is an Australian rules footballer for the North Melbourne Football Club of the Australian Football League.

He was picked up at Draft Pick Number 3 in the 2006 AFL Draft. Prior to the 2006 AFL Draft Hansen was widely seen as one of the top key position players for his age group, and was expected to be picked up by the Kangaroos in the number 3 spot.

As a natural centre half back player, Hansen's physical stature places him in the immediate limelight with media pundits already talking of an upcoming rivalry between himself and the number 2 draft pick from Essendon, Scott Gumbleton who is natural centre half forward.[1]

After 3 games in his debut year (2007), including a final against Hawthorn, Lachlan was hampered by injury in the early part of 2008. He made it back into the team for the Roos Round 13 clash against Hawthorn and remained in the team for the remainder of the home and away season. He was a late withdrawal, however, in the final against the Sydney Swans due to the inclement weather. Had a tremendous start to the 2009 season being one of the Roos best performers until he suffered a severe hamstring tear in Round 5 against Richmond. He missed the next 6 weeks.

At the start of the 2009 season, Hansen started to show some his potential, playing at centre half back he was one of the form defenders in the competition before he suffered a hamstring tear against Richmond. During his absence, Nathan Grima cemented a spot in the side, and upon his return, Hansen was played up forward to address a hole in the team.

He came back into the side in Round 12 against the Adelaide Crows and after a few games back in defence he was moved forward. Although his form after returning was not near his pre-injury form, he started to show some good signs, kicking 3 goals in the round 19 clash against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

Could be seen as a "break-out" year for Lachlan. Began 2010 back in defence and showed some really solid form. Following a combination of poor form and injury by a couple of the North forwards he was switched to Centre half Forward against the Brisbane Lions in Round 11. Proved to be a real focal point up forward with 23 goals, including 5 against Port Adelaide and 4 against Geelong in consecutive weeks. Kicked another 4 against StKilda. His contested marking, a feature of his pre-draft days, was a highlight this year at either end of the ground. Hansen has cemented a spot in the teams 22 for the majority of the year. In the short-term it will be where coach Brad Scott believes the team will be best served. He believes that Hansen is equally adept at either end of the ground and will use his skills accordingly. Hansens career looks promising for the future and he has shown improvement every year.

Despite patches of form and frustration through 2011 and 2012, Hansen was a regular in the North Melbourne line-up. An injury in the 2012 pre-season along with a suspension in the VFL saw his return to the side delayed until the second half of the season. Went forward and along with Petrie and Tarrant was a key reason for the Kangaroos winning 10 out of the last 11 games and making the finals. kicked 5 goals from first 4 games this year (2013) before missing two weeks with a medial knee injury. Came straight back into the side in Round 7, however, went back to the backline where he plays his best football. Since his move back he has been in outstanding form polling coaches votes in 4 games including a stand-out performance against the Richmond Football Club in round 15.

Suffered a concussion in the first minutes of the Round 16 games against the Brisbane Lions and was subbed off. It was unlikely he would come back on following the AFL investigation into a concussion against Essendon in 2012 where he came back to play an important role despite being knocked out in the first quarter.

Finished 8th in the 2013 Best & Fairest which was a reflection of the very consistent season he had after returning to defence. Led North Melbourne in general marking and was one of the leagues best in respect to intercept marks. Also used his excellent endurance to great effect as a loose man in defence on many occasions, setting up scoring opportunities. Has started 2014 where he left off in 2013. Hasn't been allowed to be the loose defender as yet but has played very accountable football limliting his opponents effectiveness whilst getting a lot of the ball. Intercept marking again a feature to date.

2014 was a season of mixed feelings for Lachlan. Was limited to 18 games due to a chronic hip injury, but most importantly, from a club perspective he missed all 3 finals. He carried his consistent form into 2014 and again his ability to read the play was again in evidence. Finished third in total marks at North despite missing 7 games. His effectiveness was sorely missed against Sydney in the Preliminary Final. Long awaited off season surgery should see him back ready for the 2015 season. Given the benefit of hindsight it may have been better to have had the surgery sooner given that it was very unlikely he would have been fit enough to be risked in a final.

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