He’s already had a taste of life in the “big W”; now, Jake Riccardi is a fully-fledged Werribee player.
The 19-year-old tall has signed on at Avalon Airport Oval for 2019 on the back of his two games last year as 23rd player while still a member of the Calder Cannons TAC Cup program.
In doing so, he becomes the second player to officially join the club on the back of a brief unofficial stint last season, with Greater Western Victoria Rebels graduate Scott Carlin also recently signing on following his role as 23rd player in Werribee’s final-round home victory over North Melbourne.
Riccardi said his positive experience last year had made him eager to return to formally join the Werribee playing group.
“I’m very excited to be joining the club,” he said.
“I trained here for a few weeks last year before I got the opportunity to play, and I really enjoyed it. The boys were really welcoming.
“Being a new player anywhere can obviously be hard, but they made it really easy. During that first session, everyone was really nice and friendly and made me feel comfortable, so that really stuck.
“There are obviously some great players around here too, and the facilities are amazing, so I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.”
Originally a product of both St Bernard’s College and St Bernard’s Old Collegians Football Club, Riccardi has been touted as a potential AFL prospect since helping steer the Snowdogs’ schoolboys side to victory in the 2017 Herald Sun Shield final with three goals.
His impressive form with the Cannons last season, in which he kicked 18 goals from 13 games to finish equal third in the club best and fairest, ultimately saw him rewarded with selection for Werribee’s round 16 and 17 clashes with the Northern Blues and Richmond respectively, during which he showed his adeptness at utilising his 193cm frame at either end of the ground.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said Riccardi was a player with real potential given his combination of height and versatility.
“Jake handled himself really well down back on debut for us against the Blues last year and then backed it up with a strong showing up forward against Richmond the following week, so we certainly think he gives us a bit to work with,” Balloch said.
“Talls who are capable of playing in a variety of roles are a valuable asset, so we’re really glad to have Jake officially on board after an impressive trial run last year.”
WERRIBEE 2019 SIGNINGS