Werribee young guns’ break out year

Jack Henderson. Picture Belinda Vitacca Photography.

Tara Murray

While 2020 was a disappointing year for most Victorian footballers, Werribee duo Jack Henderson and Hudson Garoni both made the best of a bad situation.

The two rising stars have taken massive inroads in their Victorian Football League careers this year, on the back of decisions they made last year.

Henderson, who is approaching his 50th game with Werribee, has been given a bit more midfield time this year.

He said this season had been difficult at times.

“It’s a very stop start season,” he said.

“We keep getting a roll on with a few games and then momentum is cut off by another lockdown.

“I played over in South Australia last season, but there’s guys who didn’t play at all last year, so it’s good to at least play some games.“

Henderson said the opportunity to play in South Australia was one that he didn’t hesitate to take. He had just two days to leave after making the call.

“The grounds are bigger and they play a different style of footballI. It is more uncontested than the VFL.”

With another season of football under his belt, the 21-year-old has moved into Werribee’s midfield group.

Henderson, who is now one of the more experienced players at the club, said being part of that group was where he wanted to be.

“To add another string to my bow is good,” he said. “Ideally I would like to play 60 per cent in the midfield and 40 per cent forward.”

Garoni played just two games in 2019, his debut season in the VFL.

After a taste at playing VFL, Garoni knew he had to put some work in to get more opportunities.

“It has been a bit of a different season,” he said.

“But we are at least playing.

“I knew what I needed to do after the 2019 season, it was a matter of getting it done.

“With no footy last year, I got myself fit and lost a heap of weight… I can take that as a positive from last year.”

Garoni has this year become a key for Werribee up forward, sitting second in the club’s goal kicking.

He said he had been pretty happy with his form this year, but knows he still has a bit to go to achieve his goal of playing in the AFL.

The two forwards live together with another teammate, Keegan Gray. Both said living together had been good and really helped during lockdowns.

“It’s been great living with boys who are playing at the same level,” Henderson said.

“We’re all on the same wavelength and it’s good driving to the game and reflecting on things.

“We’ve been going down to the local oval most nights during lockdown.”

Garoni added, “It has been good. Both have helped me a lot. My preparation has changed a lot since 2019, with eating the right foods and preparing the right way.”

Both are hoping to return to the field this weekend.

“We’re outside the eight and everyone is really keen to get out there and play,” Garoni said.