An Update from Ben Brown, former Glenorchy Magpie at Werribee Football Club (VFL).

Posted July 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

GDFC President John McCann has asked me to put together a few words on my year so far at the Werribee Football Club, for anyone interested in my progress, so here goes!

The move to Victoria has certainly been a different experience for me. It’s the first time I’ve lived away from home, family and mates I had back in Tasmania. I have missed it.

But I also have no regrets about the decision I made. I am renting a place about a kilometre from the footy club with a good mate of mine from school in Devonport, I travel about 45 minutes to go to Deakin University in Geelong, and my time at the Werribee Football Club has been amazing thus far. In the end, Victoria isn’t much different from Tassie – and home is always a short plane trip away.

The Club has been great to me since I arrived, ensuring I found a place to live and also helping me with work and, of course, have helped with the progression of my football on field.

Football is a different game in the VFL. The game is quicker, the bodies are bigger and the way play is structured is different. Obviously, there is also the added factor of the AFL listed players on our list and on other teams in the competition.

My role in the team was clearly defined from the get-go by the senior coach, Scott West. With Daniel Currie, Majak Daw and ex-West Coast Eagles listed player Will Sullivan likely to spend the majority of the year with us in the ruck, I was going to be, more or less, a full-forward. It is a new challenge and role I have been adapting to week by week, but one which I believe has been great for my development as a footballer.

Initially I struggled to cope with the change on field. I was given a chance in the seniors immediately, pulling on the number 50 (which I asked to keep this season) in round 1 against Port Melbourne, which was a welcomed surprise and vote of confidence from the coaching staff. However, in the first and second games at senior level I was quiet and deserved to be dropped back to the Development League (the VFL’s reserves competition).

Round 3 was a much-needed confidence booster for me, as I kicked 4.4 playing out of full forward and earned a return to the seniors the following week. Since round 4, I have played every game in the ones bar the round 11 game against Box Hill, in which I was rested.

It’s been a learning experience for me, but the players and coaches around me have been great in offering their advice and helping me adjust to my new role.

Scott West is a wealth of knowledge, obviously, as a Western Bulldogs veteran and recently inducted AFL Hall of Famer. The forward line coach, another ex-Bulldog, Keenan Reynolds, has also been fantastic for me, especially in identifying areas I can improve as a forward.

It is also beneficial to be playing in a team containing in the vicinity of 15 current or past AFL listed players every week, especially those not currently on the Roos list – those who train with the team all three nights during the week. I am currently sharing a forward line with Ben Warren, Ben McKinley, Addam Maric, Mason Wood and Majak Daw, to name a few – and it’s fair to say I’ve been in their ears trying to get as much advice as I can from them.

I feel I am improving and putting in better performances as the weeks go on – I kicked three goals and took eight marks last Saturday against Essendon, kicked three against Frankston a couple of weeks ago and had my best game against Coburg in round 7, when I kicked five goals and had 20 possessions and ten marks for the game.

Another highlight of the year so far has been my experience of stepping out under the Etihad Stadium roof to play in the Foxtel Cup against Queanbeyan. Overall I was reasonably happy with my game, but most of all it is an experience I will never forget, and from all reports Cam Mooney won’t either (Clearly for Cam the motto was – Glenorchy boys stick together!). I’m hoping I will get another chance to play in the Foxtel Cup semi-finals when we travel to Perth to play East Fremantle next Tuesday, if I am selected.

As I have previously expressed to the boys and to Beama and the coaching staff at the Club, I still feel an attachment to the Glenorchy Football Club and am indebted to the Club for what they did for me in my two years there – I loved my time at the Club and thank all who were involved with me in my time there, it was a privilege.

I still regard you all as my mates, and will do as long as I’m around – and I hope to see you all again later in the year – I will no doubt be in the state again at some point.

Best of luck for the remainder of the season, and GO PIES!


Ben Brown