Werribee senior coach Mark Williams has singled out midfielder Matt Hanson for high praise on air, lauding the three-time Bruce Montgomery Trophy winner’s relentless determination to better himself as a player.
In an hour-long in-studio interview for Melbourne sports station SEN 1116, Williams was asked by Afternoons host Andy Maher if he could rightfully demand of semi-professional players the same commitment to training he was famous for in his playing days and drove in the Port Adelaide playing group he led to the 2004 AFL flag.
"Choco" didn’t hesitate in putting forward Hanson as a player who exemplified that very standard.
“There’s a guy down there who gets there really early, Matt Hanson,” Williams said.
“He’s won three best and fairests over the last four years, and he wants to know what he’s missing to make the AFL.
“I’m going to give him every chance to get there. He does everything that I could ever ask and more, so he’s totally invested in his career getting somewhere.”
Williams also shed some light on his discussions with Werribee CEO Mark Penaluna prior to accepting his new role and what it was that ultimately convinced him to sign on at Avalon Airport Oval on a three-year deal.
“I went down there, and I was absolutely blown away by the facilities down there,” he said
“It’s got all the things that an AFL club basically has. It’s got hot-and-cold (plunge pools), it’s got great facilities for the doctors and trainers, and it’s got good coaching rooms, so we’re very, very lucky.
“That basically turned my mind to say, 'Yes, I could come here,' because you can sell the facility to the players.
“They can come down and say, ‘Wow, we’re going to get looked after here, and we’ve got our best chance of making AFL,’ and that’s what so many of them want to do.”
Among other things, the wide-ranging discussion covered Williams’ time as a player and coach in the AFL, his role in player and coach recruitment and development with Werribee, his ambitions for the Wyndham region, and Werribee’s drive for increased membership and a wider profile in the local community.