With Werribee set to take its home games on the road this year, it’s fitting the club should kick off its “Travelling Tigers” campaign with a trip to Torquay.
An alignment with TAC Cup club Geelong Falcons has seen plenty of young talent from the Geelong region join the Tigers in recent years, including club captain Michael Sodomaco.
“There’s no doubt we’re the heart and soul of the Werribee Footy Club,” Sodomaco jokes.
“Usually, there are four or five of us in the best players for the senior team. We’re certainly [coach John Lamont’s] favourites.
“We’re the best at table tennis as well. That’s something that really needs to be highlighted – we can’t be beaten on the table tennis table.”
So strong has Werribee’s Corio Bay connection become (there are 10 players on this year’s list with playing links to the region) that the club has invested in a bus to transport players living in the area to training three times a week and to matches.
While most of those boarding the bus are Falcons graduates, many had not played together prior to joining the Tigers, having gone through the TAC Cup system in different years.
For Sodomaco, the experience of riding the bus has proved invaluable for forming bonds between teammates and welcoming new recruits into the fold.
“It’s just a great chance to spend some time with some friends on the way to training and games,” he says.
“We always stop for a feed after the Melbourne games, so it just makes the trip to and from training and games a whole lot better.”
The roles will be reversed come Easter Sunday, when the rest of the Tigers’ team will make the trip down the Princes Highway to kick off their VFL season against Geelong at Spring Creek Reserve.
Despite Werribee’s strong Geelong contingent, Sodomaco isn’t expecting a lot of love from the parochial local supporters, but he’s looking forward to kicking off the Tigers’ season in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd – not to mention the rare opportunity to play a little closer to home.
“Without doubt, my mates will be over the fence heckling me, so I’m not counting on any support there,” he says. “But I’m really excited.”
“Hopefully there’ll be a few thousand people there watching. There’ll be a noisy section of Werribee, but certainly the bulk will be Geelong. Hopefully we can keep them quiet.”
IMAGE: The Geelong bus brigade: Michael Sodomaco, Max Augerinos, Ethan Petterwood, Dane McFarlane, Harry Kershaw, Joe Maishman, and Tom Gribble (back); Isaac Miller, Josh Corbett, and Brydon Hodgson (front).