Jude Saavedra

Our next 'new face' for 2020 is one of five Ben Brown Academy graduates to earn a TSL contract.

Jude Saavedra was a big improver in Glenorchy's U16 team the past two years, and after a committed senior pre-season he earned a place in the senior side for the practice game against the Tigers in March and a spot on the TSL list.

We caught up with Jude, and Hudson Medalist Aiden Grace, to find out more about one of the club's youngest players.

Jude Saavedra
Age: 17
Height: 165cm
Weight: 65kg
Position: forward pocket/wing

Jude, congrats on making the TSL list, tell us where you grew up?
JS: I was born in Melbourne, grew up around the Dandenong-Cranbourne area and moved down to Hobart when I was nine, because mum got a job here. We moved into Brighton and then to Austins Ferry.

So where did you start your footy?
JS: I first played for the Hampton Park Red Back Spiders, and down here I started playing with Brighton.

How many years did you play at Brighton?
JS: Oh, um, I'm not sure, hang on let me check my trophies (laughs).

You won a few trophies did you mate?
JS: Yeah, but they're just the trophies you get for playing, they didn't have the big trophies there.

Did you know once upon a time you only got trophies in juniors if you won the best & fairest or got the coach's award?
JS: I'm used to getting coach's awards, I've got lots of them (laughs)!

Apart from trophies, what made you want to come to Glenorchy?
JS: A few of my friends wanted to go there, there was a few of us so we all went together. That was in U13s.

Very good. So what was your best memory in the juniors at Glenorchy?
JS: Definitely the U13s, my first year, first premiership, that was awesome.

You kicked a couple of important goals in the first quarter of that grand final when Sorrell were on top, is goalsneak your favourite position?
JS: It was, I like it, but I always wanted to be in the midfield, I just wasn't fit enough back then. So I like them both.

You were in the first-ever group in the Ben Brown Academy, what was that like?
JS: That was awesome, I felt really good about that because at first there was only a few of us selected. 

Through that you got selected into the next step of the Glenorchy talent pathway, the Jimmy Webster Squad, which meant you got to join this year's senior pre-season, how did you find training with the big boys?
JS: Really good. I was nervous at first, but I started to get more involved, the senior guys gave me so much encouragement to train with them more. To be honest felt like I shouldn't be there, because I was so young, but the guys kept talking me into it, Brodie (Carr) was really good getting me to keep coming back.

What did you like most about it?
JS: Everything really, but particularly the game play we do at training. You can just tell the difference between juniors and seniors, the way the senior guys just switch the angles when they move the ball, and their skills are so good, they just seem to be able to get the ball to wherever there is a spare man.

You could really see that in the practice game against the Tigers too. Even though I didn't get much of the football, I still felt like I got involved and was playing my role as a forward. It was just a great opportunity to play against the big fellas and experience the difference.

Very good mate. Congrats again on making the list, now what are your aims for this year when the season starts?
JS: Obviously I would love to sneak in a seniors game if I can, but if not I just want to get as fit as I can and play as much as I can at the highest standard in development league.

Thanks for your time Jude.

Now let's check in with Aiden Grace and see what the TSL's leading goalkicker from 2019 thinks of the club's newest small forward.

AG: When I saw him first come I thought he'd just be one of those U18s who has a few goes training with the seniors. But after training one night I said 'are you going to come on Thursday?'

He said 'I don't know', but I just said to him  'why not?' He was training well when he was training with us (as part of the Jimmy Webster Squad) and he seemed like one of those young blokes who just wants to learn, which is what you want.

It was really good to see him start coming to training all the time as the pre-season went on and then play in the first praccy match against Kingston, I thought he held his own. He's obviously still got a lot to learn, but I think he's got a good temperament, he's been a pleasure to have around the group. 

What stands out to you about his game?
AG: I've noticed he's not afraid to take the game on, take that little inside kick or hit-up the short kick to honour the lead, that's something as a forward you really like, he'll hit that 20-metre lead which really opens things up for the blokes to get out the back. 

His foot skils are good, and he wants to learn, so those are the sort of blokes you want to have around.

Thanks Gracey!

Grace hanger

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