Ryley Hutchins is hoping his first VFL contract is the start of a strong state league career.
Hutchins, 19, has been named in Geelong's VFL squad for 2023, receiving the news after a Cats' practice match against Werribee on March 10.
The Terang Mortlake midfielder, who won the Bloods' 2022 best and fairest in his first year at the club, said feedback from coach Mark Corrigan and team manager Aaron Black had been positive.
"They said they were happy with my contested work and how I've been improving every week as we've gone on," he said.
I thought it was going to be fairly hard going into it, but they prepare you fairly well for it.- Ryley Hutchins
Hutchins said his time in the VFL program so far had been a good learning experience, with twice-a-week pre-season training also helping to build his fitness.
"I thought it was going to be fairly hard going into it, but they prepare you fairly well for it," he said. "You don't have long when you get the ball so you've got to be fast with what you do."
Hutchins has also soaked up knowledge from more experienced teammates.
"You get a lot of different ways to look at things," he said. "They're good at giving feedback. Preparation into games is a really big thing I've noticed."
The second-year apprentice carpenter will play for Terang Mortlake when not needed for Geelong. He said he would continue to train as hard as possible to get named for Geelong, while also putting his best foot forward with the Bloods when not selected.
"Hopefully I play as many (VFL) games as I can and keep going from this year," he said. "Hopefully keep playing up there."
Geelong opens its VFL season with a Friday night clash against Carlton at Ikon Park on March 24, while Terang Mortlake's Hampden campaign kicks off against Camperdown on April 1.
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