Werribee prepares for Development League farewell

Saturday will mark the end of an era for Werribee, with its development side set to run out for the last time in what will be the final ever home-and-away round of the AFL Victoria Development League.

AFL Victoria announced in July its decision to axe the competition at the end of the year, bringing the curtain down on 90 years of Victorian football history.

The competition has undergone a number of different incarnations in that time, beginning life as the Victorian Football Association Seconds in 1928.

It would go on to become the VFA Reserves and the VFL Reserves before ultimately being rebranded as the AFL Victoria Development League in 2012.

The competition has been a source of great success for Werribee, most notably through the club’s back-to-back Division 2 flags in 1987 and 1988 – its first ever senior premierships – and its 2001 triumph in the single-division competition.

Much like the former VFA U19s competition, which met its demise in 1994, the Development League has also proved a hugely important avenue for player and coach development.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Werribee’s 2001 premiership team. That side featured Dale Morris, Wayde Skipper, and Daniel Cross, who have gone on to play a combined total of 549 AFL games and counting, while coach Simon Atkins went on to serve as senior coach of the club from 2005 to 2010.

Werribee’s Development League side will run out for the final time against the Casey Demons at 4pm on Saturday at Casey Fields.

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