Werribee small forward Ryan Kemp will make his VFL debut in his side’s home clash with Coburg at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday night.
Th club has confirmed the 21-year-old, who was named in the extended 27-man squad for the clash with the Lions, will be among the 23 players selected in the final line-up.
One of the final signings of Werribee’s pre-season recruiting campaign, Kemp landed at Avalon Airport Oval on the back of an extraordinary 2018 campaign with Wimmera Football League powerhouse Horsham.
Playing in a forward/midfield role, he finished the season as part of a three-way tie for the league best-and-fairest award, the Toohey Medal, and topped the league goalkicking with a whopping 79 goals.
Capping it all off was a starring grand-final-day role to help steer the Demons to a come-from-behind win against the Southern Mallee Giants to claim back-to-back flags.
Werribee Football Operations Manager Stuart Balloch praised Kemp for his dedication to making the step-up to the state-league system, which had initially seen the former Greater Western Victoria Rebel regularly making the journey from his hometown to Werribee on training nights during pre-season.
“He’s obviously been a prolific goal-kicker in the Wimmera Football League and wanted to commit to a higher level, so much so that he was initially travelling three hours to training during pre-season,” Balloch said.
“Off the back of that, we’re really pleased to be able to reward him with an opportunity on the weekend, and we’re looking forward to him grabbing it with both hands.”
Kemp will be one of at least three inclusions for Werribee, who will be without playing midfield coach Michael Barlow (fractured jaw) as well as captain Michael Sodomaco and midfielder Baxter Norton (both rested with soreness).
The match kicks off at 7pm.