Werribee has secured two of its standout first-year players for another season with the re-signings of Joel Bennett and Keegan Gray.
The new deals see the two become the sixth and seventh players confirmed as part of the club’s 2019 playing list.
Part of a long line of graduates from the Geelong Falcons TAC Cup program to find their way to Avalon Airport Oval, Bennett debuted for Werribee against Collingwood in round five and went on to play 10 games in his maiden VFL season.
Best known as a prolific midfielder with the Falcons and local Geelong Football League interchange club Geelong West Giants, the 21-year-old quickly established his place in the Werribee line-up as a dangerous medium-sized forward.
His 16 goals placed him third in the 2018 club goalkicking and included six goals against Frankston in round 12 in what was the biggest individual haul of any Werribee player for the year.
Gray joined Werribee by way of the Greater Western Victoria Rebels TAC Cup program and Hampden Football League side Portland, playing seven games and kicking two goals in his first season.
The youngest member of the 2018 playing group, the 19-year-old had to wait until Werribee’s round 13 clash with Geelong to get a VFL call-up from GFL side Bell Park but didn’t waste his opportunity.
Against Collingwood the following week, he produced a breakout performance in the wet, collecting 23 disposals in a losing effort to cement his spot on the wing and establish himself as a pivotal link-up figure in the middle of the ground.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said both Bennett and Gray were exciting prospects for the club who had the potential to further elevate their games next year.
“Joel was able to get a handful of games up and showed he’s going to be a really valuable attribute to our forward line,” Balloch said.
“He’s still got a lot of scope for development, which is exciting, so we’re looking forward to him playing regular senior football in 2019.
“Keegan came in as one of our 23rd players and was able to have an impact immediately.
“He’s got some really good attributes as a running outside midfielder, and we’re hopeful he can continue to develop and believe he has some exciting potential as a footballer.”
WERRIBEE 2019 SIGNINGS