The Fresh Faces of 2021

11 May 2021

The new six under 22 rule in the VFL means there are a number of fresh new faces at Avalon Airport Oval. Joe Turmine has the lowdown. 

One of the many new rules introduced by the AFL as part of the revamped VFL East Competition in 2021, is the requirement for clubs to field six players under the age of 22 in each game. With the season underway, it’s time to take a closer look at Werribee’s young cohorts, with Football Manager Mark Micaleff giving his thoughts on the brigade set to form the nucleus of the ‘bees group for 2021 and into the future.

Jay Dahlhaus

Jumper number: 24

Age: 19

Height: 171cm

2021 community club: St Mary’s

Mark Micallef said: “Jay is a competitive player that tackles with real intent and plays the game at a high intensity. He will play as a small forward for us where his pressure and goal kicking nous are real features.”

Jesse Clark

Jumper number: 27

Age: 20

Height: 189cm<

2021 community club: St Joseph’s

Mark Micallef said: “Clark is a hybrid defender that has very good defensive craft. He has done some fantastic jobs as a lockdown defender against some very good AFL listed opposition throughout the pre-season. We will look for him to intercept and generate some attack off our half backline.”

Lucas Rocci

Jumper number: 30

Age: 20

Height: 177cm

2021 community club: Aberfeldie

Mark Micallef said: “Rocci is a small defender that has come to us from the Western Jets. He has very nice touch by foot and looks to generate attack out of defence. He is a good defender in one on one situations and will look to have a role on the oppositions small forward.”

Hudson Garoni

Jumper number: 38

Age: 20

Height: 198cm

2021 community club: Wodonga

Mark Micallef said: “Garoni is a key forward that has elite marking hands above his head. He has competed extremely well in the aerial contests where his biggest improvement has come from his capacity to get to more contests. We are very excited to see what Hudson could bring in the forward line this year.”

Tom Boyd

Jumper number: 36

Age: 22

Height: 184cm

2021 community club: Shepparton

Mark Micallef said: “Boyd is another intercepting defender that can intercept the ball extremely well above his head. Coming off a great campaign in the Northern Territory we are really looking forward to seeing what he can produce as a defender for us throughout 2021.”

Jack Henderson

Jumper number: 8

Age: 21

Height: 177

2021 community club: St Joseph’s

Mark Micallef said: “Henderson is a natural midfielder that is extremely strong in the contest. His work rate and repeat efforts are a highlight. He is a welcoming addition to our leadership group which highlights the respect he has within our football club. We are really looking forward to seeing him replicate his form from 2019 and taking his game to another level in 2021.”

Harry Stubbings

Jumper number: 20

Age: 20

Height: 186cm

2021 community club: Old Scotch

Mark Micallef said: “Stubbings has had a fantastic preseason. His work rate and attention to detail has been first class. He is a nice kick of the ball and he is extremely versatile where he is able to play in a range of different positions. We really look forward to seeing what Harry can bring to our club throughout the year.”

Tylar Watts:

Jumper number: 34

Age: 21

Height: 198cm

2021 community club: Geelong West

Mark Micallef said: “Watts is a versatile tall that can play in a range of different positions. He has worked very hard on his craft throughout the pre-season where he has demonstrated a good ability of playing through the ruck and as a key forward.”

Archi Manton

Jumper number:35

Age: 20

Height: 187cm

2021 community club: Yarraville Seddon

Mark Micallef said: “Manton is a marking forward that has very good hands above his head. He is arguably one of the most determined players on our list where his work rate and attention to his craft his elite. We will look for him to play as a forward for us competing in the overhead marking contests.”

Aiden Domic

Jumper number: 33

Age: 21

Height: 185cm

2021 community club: Bell Park

Mark Micallef said: “Werribee fans will be familiar with what Aiden will bring to our club in 2021. He is a hard-working midfielder/defender that is a very strong body. He is one of the more determined players on our list where his work rate and attention to detail is first class. Look forward to seeing what he can bring throughout 2021 in the midfield and off half-back.”

Darcy Chirgwin

Jumper number: 23

Age: 19

Height: 190cm

2021 community club: St Mary’s

Mark Micallef said: “Darcy is a midfielder with a very good skill set. He brings a high work rate through the midfield with his capacity to get from contest to contest. He has learnt a lot off our mature midfielders and we are excited to see what the future holds for Darcy.”

Keegan Gray

Jumper number: 13>

Age: 21

Height: 181c

2021 community club: Bell Park

Mark Micallef said: “Keegan is a super determined player that is very strong in the contest and does a fantastic job of shutting out his direct opponent. He transitions extremely well from defence to attack.”

Emanuel Ajang

Jumper number: 39

Age: 19

Height: 190cm

2021 community club: Geelong West

Mark Micallef said: “Ajang is an athletic player that has good speed and a touch of class by foot. He can play in a variety of roles through defence and with his versatility, he provides us great flexibility through our defence/outside roles.”

Connor Thar

Jumper number: 45

Age: 20

Height: 177cm

2021 community club: Werribee Districts

Mark Micallef said: “Thar is an inside midfielder that is a natural accumulator of the ball. He has a natural ability of getting into the right positions out on the field and works extremely hard from contest to contest. He is another that has an elite work ethic and strong passion for the game.”

Liam Holt-Fitz

Jumper number: N/A

Age: 21

Height: 177cm

2021 community club: Yarraville Seddon

Mark Micallef said: “Holt-Fitz has come to train on with us from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. He is an exciting forward with natural goal kicking nous. He is very well skilled on both sides of his body and he possesses genuine x-factor.”

This group of 15 players brings plenty for Werribee fans to be excited about, not only for 2021 but for many years to come. Werribee has the bye this weekend, before their season continues next Sunday 23 May, at Preston City Oval against the Northern Bullants, with the first bounce at 2:05pm.


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