TWO more Hampden league footballers have made their way onto Werribee’s VFL list this season.
Warrnambool’s Luke McLeod and Portland’s Jake Edwards will join Jack Williams (Camperdown) and Josh Corbett (North Warrnambool Eagles), who are both in their second year with the Tigers.
Edwards, who played with University Blacks in the Victorian Amateur Football Association last season, has appointed Portland as his feeder club.
“I was pretty pumped about the opportunity to have a crack at the VFL and play at the highest level I can,” he said.
“I want to just (be a) sponge (with) the opportunity as much as I can and learn from the more experienced guys … and just start the season off confident and build from there.”
The 19-year-old has been swapping through an on-ball and midfield rotation during practice matches with the club, although he only played a quarter in the first practice against Sandringham match before copping a blow to the knee. But he bounced back and ran out the next match against Coburg.
Edwards said he had looked to the likes of experienced VFL captain Michael Sodomaco and other more seasoned players as he strived to build up his state league knowledge.
Werribee footballer manager Mark Stone said education was one of the key components for the VFL program.
“I think the biggest thing in VFL football is the education about the game,” he said.
“For Jake and Luke, it’s all about being very good Hampden football league players and then, being young players, developing their game.
“The transition from the Hampden football league to a VFL level is a big step, but they’ve got the ability, but it’s about getting the education.
“Jake is a natural, hard footballer. He hunts the ball and certainly knows how to find the ball. It’s more working on being able to be strong over the ball and learn about how VFL football is played.
“Luke is a project player. He’s got a modern-day physique and build. He can play anywhere around the square because he’s six-foot. He can have more alternatives (positions) to play in the VFL.”
McLeod, also 19, has aligned himself with Bundoora Bulls as a feeder club this season as he starts his studies at La Trobe University.
He has been rotating through a few different positions, including half-back flank and the wing, as he looks to develop his game further.
“My goal is to hopefully play Werribee seniors and until them, just work on my game in the development league,” he said.
Williams made three VFL appearances last season and lined up for the Tigers’ development league side 14 times, while Corbett played two VFL and five development league matches.
Werribee will play its last practice match against Casey Demons – formerly the Scorpions – this Saturday before launching the season proper against Geelong at Torquay on Easter Sunday.