The final siren at Ikon Park brought to a close the 2023 VFL season and, unbeknown to footy fans, the playing days of Michael Sodomaco.
The club’s longest serving captain made the announcement at the 2023 Bruce Montgomery Trophy night and leaves the club in a much better place than when he arrived as a promising 18 year old Geelong Falcon back in 2010.
“Walking into Werribee I thought, you beauty. I had a good year at under 18s and can’t wait to play (Sodomaco was captain and was the Falcons’ B&F winner in 2010). There was a good country presence which I really liked but I was not going to kick Dom Gleeson out of the midfield in my first year. The overwhelming experience was I just had to get better and work harder.”
Sodomaco has seen many versions of the club in his decade and a bit at Avalon Airport Oval, and not just in the facilities now enjoyed by all. The on-field structure has included a partially aligned list then a fully aligned model and now a standalone club, plus the demise of the development league, a competition he cut his teeth on in the early days.
“There was a sliding doors moment back in about my third year. I rang Scotty West, the coach at the time, and said ‘I am not sure where I fit in the scheme of things. I am training well, playing well in the twos but I just can’t get in.’ We had a really good sit down. That was part of the reason in the shift from midfielder to half back flanker. That’s when the opportunity came to break into the senior side.”
Sodomaco not only became an important player but a leader and club captain from 2015 to the end of the 2021 season.
2015 was also when Martin Carter became President. “There is only one Michael Sodomaco in this world and it is a testament to his character and how he is perceived at the Werribee Football Club that he was captain for 7 consecutive years. That is a vote from the players and the coaches as to what sort of person he is on and off the ground. We’d like to see him back at some time in the future to assist us with his football brain and the qualities he has as a person.”
The decision to hang up the boots was a difficult one for the popular number 3.
“I wish I was 22 again and the club was in the state it is in. A standalone club with solid off field foundations. We’ve built a strong playing culture, a really good recruiting structure. The club is in a great spot to be a consistently successful team and that wasn’t always the case in my time.”
“We have a great group of young blokes who hopefully stick around and take the club to where it should be. One step further than where we went this year.”
Family will become Michael’s focus and while his wife Sarah and children Rosie and Ollie will see more of him, there will still be time for football.
“The plan is to keep enjoying the club. It has been a staple of our week for 12 years. I have awesome memories with my folks (Steve and Felicity) and my kids. I have even brought the in-laws along. I am pumped to be on the other side of the fence. I am incredibly thankful and honoured to have played for the club for so long. It has been an amazing chapter in my life.”