Werribee welcomes trio of recruits

Josh Porter is back at Werribee. (Supplied/Werribee Football Club).

By Alesha Capone

Werribee Football Club has announced three new players as its pre-season VFL preparations get under way ahead of 2022.

The club last week revealed that Brady Rowles and Josh Porter are among the recruits who will be wearing black and gold next year, and also welcomed Reuben William as a third new signing this week.

Werribee football manager Mark Micallef said he was hoping the trio would assist the club with its finals campaign.

“Our ambition is to make the finals and be a heavy contributor to the finals,” he said.

Micallef said that pre-season training started on Monday night, with everyone excited to get underway after the interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years, including the forced early ending to last season.

Micallef praised Werribee’s players and staff for their “incredible” work since the coronavirus hit Australia in March 2019, including working online and communicating via technology.

“We have got a very ambitious group and in 2019 they just lost to Essendon in the semi-final,” Micallef said.

“Their hunger to wear the Werribee jumper and wear it with pride is just amazing.

“Hopefully the vaccinations all work and we can play all 18 games.”

Of the three new signings, Micallef said that William “is one of the top five interviews I’ve ever done”.

William, who grew up in Queensland, spent two seasons with the Brisbane Lions during 2016-17 and played three AFL games for them.

He played VFL with Footscray across 2018-19 and 2021.

William is also diversity co-ordinator and a multicultural ambassador at AFL Victoria.

“He is just such a character and really down to earth,” Micallef said.

“He’s great at connecting people and bringing them together, and he’s a gem on the field too.”

William’s fellow new player Porter will be a familiar face to Werribee supporters, after spending four previous seasons with Werribee between 2014 and 2018.

He kicked a total of 54 goals across 48 games in this time.

Porter is returning to Werribee for a third VFL stint after three years playing country football.

The key forward, 27, is set to provide Werribee with a strong target up forward with his size and contested marking ability.

“I’m still the right side of 30, I think for my position I feel I’m hitting my peak and the systems that the club has in place will allow me to get the best out of myself, so I’m excited to be back,” Porter said.

Micallef said the club saw Porter “as a perfect replacement for someone of Wylie’s calibre”.

Wylie Buzza – a previous key forward at Werribee – recently returned Queensland, to be closer to his family after becoming engaged to his partner.

Werribee’s third new addition, Rowles, comes from the Sydney Swans after a year on the rookies list.

He also played with Essendon’s VFL team this past season.

The 20-year-old is likely to line-up in several different positions for Werribee.

“I’m looking forward to more opportunity here, I’ve played a lot of different roles and quite a bit up forward over the last couple of years, but I’m keen to get more exposure through the midfield,” Rowles said.

Micallef said Rowles “has absolutely strong passion to get the most out of himself and also us as a football club” and has been training with coach Luke Gallaher almost every night, in the lead-up to the pre-season.