BRICKLAYER Sam Wilson is looking no further than building a foundation for a lengthy career in his first Hampden league season after signing with reigning premier Warrnambool.
Wilson, vice-captain of Warrnambool and District league club Russells Creek, made the decision to step up to major league football after winning Creek’s best and fairest this year.
The 20-year-old said he had been weighing up a switch to the Hampden league for the past two years but he elected to stay at Mack Oval this year after his former Brauer College woodwork teacher Darren Little was appointed Creekers coach.
“I just gave it one more year and decided it’s now or never,” Wilson told The Standard.
The defender said he had loved playing at Creek but he needed to push himself.
“I was pretty comfortable at Creek,” he said.
Wilson said his first aim was to win a spot in the Blues’ senior line-up.
With dual premiership captain Dustin McCorkell retiring and possibly one other, Warrnambool is expected to have a similar side to this year when it won 16 out of 20 matches on the way to the club’s second flag in three years.
“There’s not going to be too many spots going,” he said.
“It’s not just going to be a walk in the park.”
Wilson said he knew he had to work hard for a spot and that was driving him.
“I’ve never played finals and never played in front of a big crowd before so it would be nice to do that,” he said.
The decision to join Warrnambool, just across Albert Park from Creek’s home ground, was based on friendships with several Blues players, including Angus and Nick Chirnside and a working relationship with Blues coach Scott Carter.
Wilson’s bricklaying boss Neil Fary is a former Blues president and earlier this year found himself set to work with Carter, also a bricklayer.
“I thought he was setting me up trying to get Tilty (Carter) to work on me but Tilty never said anything about footy,” he said.
Carter said the Blues were delighted to recruit Wilson, who was a player he had admired for some time.
“He was one I was pretty keen to get from the district league,” Carter said.
“He’s a good size who should be able to match up on talls and smalls.
“He will fit in with our half-back line.”
The Blues, after making five consecutive grand finals, have recruited selectively so far in the off-season.
Last month they announced they had secured key position player, Ocean Grove’s captain, Peter Corredig.