Werribee to Unleash Third-Generation Debutant Against Carlton

02 May 2024

Werribee will unveil 18 year old midfielder Jake Smith for the Round 6 clash against Carlton, with the youngster to make his club debut.

Senior coach Jimmy Allan made the announcement that the to the playing group ahead of Thursday night’s training session.

Jake becomes the third generation of the Smith bloodline to represent Werribee in the VFL/VFA, following in the footsteps of his father Karl and grandfather Brian.

Smith’s grandfather Brian (Werribee Football Club player #8) represented the club in their inaugural season and went on to play 37 games across three seasons from 1965 to 1967. Smith’s father Karl (Werribee Football Club player #356) likewise played for the club for three seasons; 1988 to 1990. 

When signing with the club, Jake mentioned the importance of these family figures in his footballing journey; “Earlier last year my pa passed away so to carry on what he started I think is going to be really good.”

“My dad’s always been my biggest fan and my pa always loved to come down and watch me throughout my juniors. I’m his youngest grandson and the only boy in my family so footy has always been a big part of their lives and for me to play, they’ve loved it.”

Jake Smith signed for the club over the off-season after a dominant year for the Western Jets in the Coates Talent League. The 18-year-old won the Jets best-and-fairest after averaging 23 disposals and six tackles. His performances earnt him a VFL debut last season, where he played for Williamstown against the Casey Demons late in the season. 

Charlie Byrne joins Jake Smith as a Werribee club debutant for the round 6 clash. Charlie Byrne signed for the club ahead of the 2023 season and bought his time playing for Newtown and Chilwell in the Geelong Football Netball League. It will however be Byrne's third VFL match, earning two appearances for Essendon VFL in 2021, when he was playing with the Murray Bushrangers. 

Jimmy Allan spoke on Byrne's impressive form to start the 2024 season for Newtown and Chilwell which has earnt him a Werribee debut; "He has played a really good block of footy at senior level, been in the best players the last few weeks, playing in a really good competition".  

Amongst the two debutants, a further four changes have been made from the side that went down to Williamstown on Anzac Day. Flynn Young and Kobe Annand both make their first appearances of the 2024 season. Small forward Flynn Young last appeared in Round 1 2023, however his red-hot form for Newtown and Chilwell to start the season, where he has booted 16 goals in two full games, including a 26-disposal and nine goal effort last weekend, has earnt him a 2024 recall. Ruckman Kobe Annand returns for his first game since the 2023 Grand Final after his breakout season last year.

Connor Thar and new recruit Stefan Radovanovic also return for their first game's since rounds two and one respectively. Radovanovic's second game in the black and gold will be up against his former side, making 27 appearances for the Blues across 2021 and 2022.

Following the bittersweet chapter of our history that was the 2023 season, the story continues and this year we want you back to help us achieve a different ending.Our board, our coaches, our players and our staff are ready to embark on a new season, united in our mission for the ultimate success. The question remains: Are you with us?

Sign up as a member for 2024 via INTIX here.

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