Werribee has shored up another crop of young talent by re-signing 2017 debutants Charlie Bance, Brydan Hodgson, and Isaac Miller for season 2018.
The trio’s decision to re-commit for Werribee’s first season as a standalone VFL club in 19 years follows a 2017 campaign that saw all three players showcase their potential at the senior level despite a number of setbacks.
Miller and Bance, both 20, joined the club last year by way of the Bendigo Pioneers and Wagga Tigers respectively.
Though hampered with injury early in the year, both fought their way back to make a significant impact playing through the midfield in the Development League side, ultimately going on to play two senior games each in the second half of the season.
Hodgson also earned two VFL opportunities, playing alongside Bance in the final two games of the year after establishing his credentials as a hard-running defender through the Development League.
A product of the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup program and the Lavington Panthers and Canberra Demons football clubs, the 21-year-old had to work hard for his chances after spending his maiden 2016 season at the club sidelined with injury.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch said the club was looking forward to seeing the trio continue to develop through season 2018.
“Both Brydan and Charlie have come through the New South Wales and ACT systems and have shown a lot of potential,” Balloch said.
“Along with Isaac, who has come through the Pioneers program, they are exciting young prospects.
“There’s still plenty of scope for development given their setbacks, and all three are on their way towards a full pre-season, so the future looks very promising for the Werribee Football Club if they can continue to develop the way they have been.”
WHAT THEY SAID
“I’m absolutely stoked to be on board for 2018. With the new facilities and us going standalone, there’s a great vibe among the club, and everyone is looking forward to getting through the practice matches and pre-season and hitting the ground running.
“I’ve got a heap of great mates here, and all the coaches are great, so it was a pretty easy decision to come back on board.”
“It’s really good. There’s a great vibe around the club this year. There are plenty of new faces but plenty of familiar faces as well.
“It was such an enjoyable first year, even though I wasn’t on the park as much as I would have liked. I made some great connections and the club was so welcoming, so it was an easy decision to say yes again.
“[The move to go standalone] has been a very hot topic. It’s been well talked about, but everyone is pumped. We’ve got a great bunch of kids and a few older blokes as well, so everyone is really excited.
“I’m absolutely rapt. It’s a great club full of great people, so I’m really looking forward to this year and couldn’t be happier to have signed on.
“I’ve been hampered with groin and hip issues over the last few years, so it was good to sneak in a couple of games late last year. It really gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
WERRIBEE PLAYERS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED FOR 2018
Michael Sodomaco (C)