Werribee celebrated Michael Sodomaco’s 100th Victorian Football League game in style, securing its first win of the season.
All the spotlight was on the skipper during the week as he prepared for the special milestone and he led from the front as his side put in its best performance of the season.
A strong start set the tone for Werribee as it beat Richmond, 18.16 (124)-6.7 (43).
Werribee coach Michael Barlow was thrilled with the side’s performance, which saw him record his first win as coach.
“We try not to be dedicated by win-loss too much, but it does show the enormous amount of work that has gone in,” he said.
“Even the last two weeks, things we’re done really well, were reimplemented tonight and just getting the result, makes us feel a little bit more comfortable.
“It’s a credit to the 22 that played. They came in with a hard edge and some clear focuses and for the large part implement them well.”
Barlow was thrilled with the side’s start, five goals to nil in the first quarter. He said the midfielders had taken some lessons from the week before and implemented them for large parts of the game.
He said while they had some lapses, overall he was pretty happy with how they had played.
“We did miss a lot of opportunities early inside 50s to conversion wasn’t going super, five or six missed opportunities early in the game, and as a coach you are hoping that won’t come back to rue you later in the game.
“We then had a lot of opportunities which we converted in the back half of the game which made up for the first half.
“In terms of team defence, it’s something we can really hang out head on over the first couple of matches. I feel like we did come and repeat that team defence mindset and the offence flowed off that.”
Hudson Garoni kicked four goals in the win, with Kye Declase and Harry Stubbings kicking three goals apiece.
Barlow said if he could he would have put “team effort” in the best players’ column.
He did single out the skipper and his performance, which included 22 possessions and one goal.
“He was so important in setting us up,” he said. “He has carried the load a lot the last couple of weeks off half back,
“It’s been a big week [for Sodomaco] and rightly so. One hundred games at this level is a tremendous achievement.
“He started here when there was a development league and he spent two to three years working on his craft to get himself into regular senior selection.
“I think he’s the longest serving captain at the club, the fact he’s never looked to go anywhere else in the prime of the playing career, says a lot about him.”
Sodomaco admitted post game he wasn’t comfortable with all the attention he had received in the lead up to the game.
He was quick to thank everyone at the club.
”I feel like I’ve got way more out of Werribee Football Club than I’ve given,” he said.
“The best mates I’ve got, the connection I’ve got with guys like Pena [Mark Penaluna] and all the care they’ve shown us.
“I came here as a 19-year-old. I’ve spent my whole adult life here, you look back at the formative years of your life, I’ve spent three nights a week and weekends here, absolutely no regrets.
“The best decision I’ve made.”
Werribee is on the road for the first time this week, heading to Box Hill to play the Box Hill Hawks.