Werribee has bolstered its defensive stocks with another dose of interstate talent, signing former Sydney Swans Academy member Ryan Hebron.
The 21-year-old lands at Avalon Airport Oval on the back of a stellar NEAFL campaign with Sydney University, which saw him take out the Students’ best and fairest and earn selection to a second straight NEAFL Team of the Year and an invitation to the State Draft Combine.
Hebron said the chance to journey south and test himself in the competitive VFL landscape as part of the Werribee environment was hugely appealing.
“I’m really stoked to be on board with Werribee, and I’m looking forward to playing higher quality football and trying to get to the next level,” Hebron said.
“I had a few VFL clubs calling me and seeing if I was interested, and Werribee just stood out.
“There’s a good culture and a good, strong coaching staff and playing group, so I just thought there was no better opportunity for me.”
Hebron has spent three years in the NEAFL system, beginning in 2016 with the Swans’ Development Squad as a member of the club’s under-19 academy.
He played 18 games that year and was a member of the Swans’ losing grand final side, but it was his move to Sydney University the following season that really saw him establish himself as one of the brightest young stars of the competition.
In his debut year with the Students, he finished third in the club’s best and fairest, was named joint winner of its rising star award, and earned the first of his Team of the Year honours.
He rose to another level this year to become the league’s standout intercept backman, leading the competition for marks with an average of 8.5 per game in addition to his averages of 20 disposals and 4.5 rebound-50s per game.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said the opportunity to play against AFL-aligned clubs on a regular basis would provide a significant boost to Hebron’s draft ambitions.
“Ryan is that rebounding intercept type who’s got really strong endurance and can take a good mark overhead, so we’re hoping to see him pitted against some of the AFL sides and giving himself an opportunity of getting drafted,” Balloch said.
“He harbours the desire to take himself to the highest level he possibly can, and he’ll now be under the noses of the Victorian sides and won’t just be playing against Brisbane and Sydney and GWS, so that’s the appeal.”
WERRIBEE 2019 SIGNINGS