Werribee has added another dose of AFL experience to its 2019 list with the signing of former Brisbane Lions utility Josh Clayton.
The 23-year-old has made the move home to Victoria to sign on at Avalon Airport Oval following a standout season with Gold Coast-based side Southport, in which he played a key role in steering the Sharks towards a maiden NEAFL premiership.
Clayton said he had settled in well to life at Werribee under new senior coach Mark Williams and was now looking forward to the chance to test himself in the VFL environment.
“It’s another challenge for me to play VFL footy after four years in the NEAFL,” Clayton said.
“After sitting down and talking to the coaches here and training here, [I decided] Werribee was the right fit for me, so I’m very happy to be here.
“It’s been very educational so far. Obviously, ‘Choco’ has got a wealth of experience, so it’s been great.”
The son of Fitzroy 160-gamer and veteran AFL recruiter Scott, Clayton joined Brisbane from the Sandringham Dragons as a father/son selection at pick 86 in the 2014 national draft.
He was restricted to just two AFL games in his three seasons at the club but tasted success as a member of the Lions’ 2017 NEAFL premiership side.
Through his move to Southport and subsequent second straight flag, Clayton showed he still has plenty to give at the elite level, averaging more than 28 disposals per game across 2018 to finish third in the competition MVP and earn selection to the NEAFL Team of the Year.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said Clayton’s ability to win the football and play across a variety of roles made him a valuable pick-up.
“It’s probably a bit early in the piece for us to know exactly how we will look to use Josh, but he is essentially a tall midfielder who also has the flexibility to go forward and back,” Balloch said.
“He was one of the leading possession winners in the NEAFL last year, and that ability to accumulate the footy makes him a really damaging player, so he’s a really exciting addition to our line-up.”
WERRIBEE 2019 SIGNINGS