The coronavirus pandemic has paused diminutive Frankston forward Lachie Gill-Renouf’s chaotic life in the fun lane.
Well, it’s at least altered it.
The boy from Dingley juggles his VFL career with a teaching degree at Monash, and work at Dingley Primary School as an out-of-school-hours carer.
And that’s before you tune his career as a singer-songwriter into beat.
Inspired by his grandfather, a talented all-round musician with a love of folk music, Gill-Renouf sings with his guitar at functions, weddings, and even Frankston’s Best and Fairest count last season.
“It’s a way to express the things that are going on and speak about things that aren’t really able to be spoken about if you’re just having a chat,” Gill-Renouf said.
“It’s pretty hard to just speak about some pretty personal things but I find it’s easy to just write it down and sing about it.
“I feel like I’m getting pretty good at writing songs and turning my feelings and what I learn into songs. That’s just what I do.”
Now gigless, studying remotely, and with reduced shifts imminent, the Frankston number 28 has more time to turn to his guitar and vocals.
“Everyday life without the coronavirus is pretty nuts,” the 21-year-old quipped.
‘I’ll pick up my guitar any chance I get. I’ve been doing a lot of writing now though, to get ready to put a lot of originals out there; I’ve recorded one that’s been professionally produced.
“It always has been an outlet for me. It takes my mind off everything really. Write things down on a piece of paper and just sing about it.”
As for footy?
Gill-Renouf has been catching up with Bonbeach and Frankston team-mate, small forward Beau Bailey for regular footy sessions.
Moreover, the absence has reminded the Dandenong Stingrays junior that the smell of deep heat and touch of leather was his first love.
“It’s getting close to that point where music is going to take off, but I don’t think I could ever stop playing footy.
“It has crossed my mind, with things going really well with music, but especially now that this has all happened, you realise how much the game, the friendships and the camaraderie all mean to you which you can take for granted.
“When [music] gets to the point where it takes away from my footy, and my team, and team-mates then I’ll have to consider what I do but at the moment I’m pretty happy.”
With that hectic calendar in mind, the fourth year university student scheduled a getaway to the west coast of America with his two sisters that was supposed to act as a precursor to a year of maximum action.
Instead, it may feature first in his 2020 year highlights.
”We hired a car in Los Angeles and basically went down the whole west coast. We went to the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and San Diego.’
“It turns out we were pretty close (to being affected to self quarantine laws). It started to ramp up 3 weeks after we got back and about 5 weeks later flights were getting cancelled, and the border shut off.
“We didn’t think we were close at the time but there were a lot of things going on; everyone at the airport had masks, border security asked ‘are you sure you want to go on a holiday with all this stuff going on,’ but we didn’t really notice it.
Upon return, Gill-Renouf was ready for the enjoyment of everyday life immediately; he played an intra-club match the very next day.
Unfortunately, life halted quickly thereafter.
-By Jonty Ralphsmith
Follow the talented musician on instagram @lachiegillmusic