AS a teenager, Hamish Waldron aspired to play Hampden league football.
Leaving Coleraine, he tossed up joining Koroit, which was then coached by Andrew Foster, or the closer-to-home Hamilton Imperials.
He opted for Imperials.
That was six years ago. In a month’s time, Waldron will finally play Hampden league football with new club Hamilton Kangaroos.
“It’s exciting,” he said.
“We know we are good enough to play that standard of footy. We’ve got nothing to lose, so we will be going for it. There is no pressure on us.”
The 25-year-old midfielder was runner-up in Hamilton Imperials’ best and fairest award last season and expects to take on a leadership role this season in the young side.
“It’s been good,” he said of the combined club.
“I didn’t know what it would be like at the start but everyone has gelled.”
Waldron said while pre-season training started at the usual time, since Mick Edmonds was appointed coach in January, he and his teammates had stepped up their preparations for the club’s Hampden league debut.
“It’s been harder since Mick took over. We’ve got a good base,” he said. “He’s just pushed us harder — a lot of running and now we are getting into more match-simulated training.”
Waldron said the Kangaroos’ young list would need some nurturing from their more experienced teammates. That will start with the pre-season cup competition at Port Fairy next weekend and then in practice matches against Warrnambool and District league premier Panmure.
The Kangaroos will round out their pre-season with a practice match against Terang Mortlake on Easter Monday.