Werribee will unveil its 14th debutant of the season when hulking key forward Hudson Garoni makes his VFL debut in Saturday’s Beyond Blue Cup against reigning premiers Box Hill at Avalon Airport Oval.
The 18-year-old Wodonga product is an imposing figure at 195cm and 97kg and landed at Chirnside Park after a stunning underage career with the Murray Bushrangers.
Garoni was a member of last year’s AFL Academy Squad and represented Vic Country in the AFL Under 18 National Championships on the back of 53 goals in 29 matches for the Bushrangers, including the equal most (38) in the competition in 2018.
After more than two goals a game and some consistent performances for local club Grovedale in the Geelong Football League, Garoni has thoroughly earned a senior berth and will run out as Werribee’s 23rd player on Saturday with the No.38 on his back.
Joining Garoni as a confirmed inclusion is experienced dasher Dane McFarlane, with the pair replacing the injured Daniel Nielson and Alex Marklew.
Darcy Bennett, Aiden Domic, Ben McNamara and Tom Boyd have all been named in the 27-man squad on the interchange.
Michael Barlow will celebrate a milestone - his 50th VFL match, after playing his first 40 in the black and gold between 2008-2009.
The must-win clash with eighth-placed Box Hill marks the tenth annual VFL Beyond Blue Cup, which aims to spread awareness of mental health ‘one-percenters’ at grass-roots level.