Stars return for Werribee

Hudson Garoni is returning after a break out year. Picture Belinda Vitacca Photography.

Tara Murray

Werribee is locking in the pieces as it prepares for next year’s Victorian Football League season.

The club has announced a number of key signings in recent weeks, to lock in the core group of the squad.

Skipper Michael Sodomaco was the first player announced to be back on board for next year, his 12th VFL season.

Sodomaco said he was looking forward to another season in black and gold.

“I’m excited to recommit, it’s been a weird sort of year but I’m keen to go around again,” he said.

“In a normal season you get to this time of year, finals wrap up and you’re ready to put your feet up for a few weeks before preseason comes around again but playing seven games across the past two seasons there’s certainly not that feeling, you just want to get stuck into it again.

“I’ve been at Werribee for so long now it feels like my local club, I love the guys we’ve got at the club and I still enjoy rolling into training each night which I think is important.”

Another member of the leadership group, Nick Coughlan is one of three key defenders to put pin to paper along side Nathan Cooper and Jesse Clarke.

All three were pivotal in the club having the league’s third best defence. Clark and Cooper were in their first years at the club.

Werribee football manager Mark Micallef said the club was thrilled to be bringing back all three defenders.

“Nathan Cooper came to us from Richmond and cemented his spot as our last-line defender,” he said.

“Nick Coughlan as the club’s most experienced key defender and as a member of our leadership group has a real strong passion to deliver Werribee a premiership.

“Jesse played all nine games this year and did some magnificent shut down roles on a range of opposition players.”

Jack Henderson, Bior Malual, Keegan Gray Shaun Mannagh, Aidan Johnson and Hudson Garoni are all returning as well.

All played key roles for Werribee this year.

The latest signings announced by the club are that of three young stars, Lucas Rocci, Connor Thar and Harry Stubbings, who are all back after making their debuts this year.

Thar and Rocci are both Werribee locals and played their junior football at Werribee Districts.

Stubbings, who was one of the final additions to the Werribee list in 2021 found a role in the side as a pacy half-forward-winger.

Micallef said it was great for the club to retain three of its most promising players.

“Connor is arguably the most dedicated player on our list, he doesn’t leave any stone unturned in his quest to be the best footballer he can be.

“Lucas is another Werribee local whose development over the course of this year was fantastic.

“Harry is an exciting forward prospect for us… His speed is electrifying and he provides our group with a different dynamic with his speed and explosiveness.”