Werribee on the board

Jay Dahlhaus celebrates a goal. (Belinda Vitacca Photography)

Tara Murray

Werribee showed no rust as it kicked off the Victorian Football League season in winning fashion against Geelong on Saturday.

There’s a little bit of unknown for Werribee this season with a new coach and changes to the playing squad that made last year’s grand final, but the side showed positive signs to start the season.

Werribee was able to build the margin in each quarter to come away with a 16.7 (103)- 7.8 (50) win against the Cats.

Werribee coach James Allan was happy with his first game in charge.

“The performance was pretty good,” he said. “Our practice match form was really solid and we were really confident.

“The pressure was great while we were a bit sloppy with the skills but we were able to create enough opportunities to get the result.”

Allan said he was pleased with how the group responded when they were challenged in the second quarter.

He said after half time they were able to play some really good footy.”

Allan said while there was a little unknown heading into the season, they felt confident they had a squad that could go deep into the season.

“There’s a lot of talk about the experienced guys that we have lost,” he said. The guys we have bought into the side make us better and some of the other guys will start to get more opportunities and get more confidence.”

It was Werribee’s leaders that led the way in the win.

Dom Brew had 30 possessions, while Kye Declase and Jack Henderson had 27 disposals each.

Hudson Garoni led the way up front with four goals.

“They played the way we wanted to play footy,” Allan said. “We got a good contribution from our leaders.

“Nick Coughlan was outstanding after not having much pre-season, Nathan Cooper was solid in defence and Dom plays the way he plays.

“Kye was outstanding on a wing and Hudson kicked four. As leaders they bring everyone else along and we had 23 contributors on the day.”

One of the new recruits who was among the best was Daly Andrews, who had 27 disposals.

Allan said Andrews, a Werribee local, was one of the players they would help fill some of the void of the key departures of Matt Hanson, Tom Gribble, Michael Sodomaco, Sam Clohesy and Shaun Mannagh.

“We talk about some of the midfielders we’ve lost but we have got some really good depth in there,” he said.

“Cooper Whyte, Corey Preston, Daly Andrews have all come into the side and will be significant contributors throughout the year.”

Allan, who previously played at the club, said he was enjoying his return in a coaching capacity.

He said the club was in good shape on and off the field which made things a lot easier coming back into the club.

“There’s a lot of support,” he said. “We got a pretty solid win first up and it’s given us a bit of confidence that we know what we can do.”

Werribee will hit the road this weekend facing Southport in round two on Saturday at 1pm.

Allan said an early road trip was something they were looking forward to.

“They had a good win and it shapes as a really good clash which we’re happy to win,” he said.

“When we saw the draw and saw we had a road trip reasonably early on we were happy.

“We’re a really tight knit group and this will bring us even closer.”

Meanwhile, eight Werribee players have been selected in the VFL representative squad to face a South Australian National Football League side on April 6.

Allan said it was good for the players to be part of the squad and would love to see as many as possible in the final team.