SOUTH-West footballers Haydn Drew and Daniel Watson are set to join the VFL ranks.
The TAC Cup graduates have impressed Northern Blues officials with their dedication to pre-season training and are all but certain to make the club’s 2013 list when it is finalised next week.
Northern Blues are Carlton’s VFL affiliate and will name a squad of 45 VFL players.
Those players will play in the senior and development teams.
Drew and Watson, both 18, started pre-season training with the Princes Park-based club in November and lined up in an intra-club match last night.
Northern Blues general manager Garry O’Sullivan said the pair had impressed.
“Dan has been going very well and has had a terrific pre-season,” he said.
“I would imagine he’ll get a spot on our list.
“(With) Drew, I’d be very, very surprised if he didn’t make the list.
“From what I have seen they have the ability to play senior football in 2013.
“Dan will be a midfielder or small defender because he is quite skilful and can set up and he’s quite a good runner.
‘Drewy’ is a bit bigger and a winger, half-back.”
Drew played 22 games for North Ballarat Rebels in 2012 as a shutdown defender.
The Koroit product said he had relished training three nights a week within a VFL environment and was hopeful of making Northern Blues’ final list.
“I am not 100 per cent sure. I am just going through the motions,” he said yesterday.
“We have a practice game tonight and hopefully I can make it in.”
Drew, who will start a construction management course at RMIT University next week, said training had intensified.
“The last four weeks have been hard but enjoyable,” he said. “When we’re in our line groups, I’ve been doing midfield work and a little bit down back.”
Watson finished third in Geelong Falcons’ best and fairest in 2012 after moving from a shutdown role in defence into the midfield.
He also played in Cobden’s Hampden league grand final loss to Warrnambool.