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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Werribee adds six to its list

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Six new players, including some with prior VFL experience, have signed with Werribee Football Club for the upcoming season.

Three players named Sam are among the latest signings at the club: Sam Paea and Sam Clohesy from the Calder Cannons and Sam Witherden from the Geelong Falcons.

The trio of new recruits, who are all aged 19, have all also played in the NAB League.

Additionally, key forward Paea played one VFL match with Essendon in 2021.

Midfielder Clohesy played two VFL games for Sydney Swans in 2021.

Witherden, a key defender, also played two VFL games for Sydney Swans in 2021.

Another new player is Ethan Jackson, 21, who has come to Werribee all the way from Clarence in the Tasmanian State League.

His fellow new signing Marty Brennan, 25, comes across from the Ovens and Murray club Lavington.

Rounding out the list of new faces at Avalon Airport Oval is Altona Vikings forward Saad El-Hawli, 20.

El-Hawli, who was named WRFL Rookie of the Year in 2021, is a former Western Jets player.

“(I’ve had) a lot of setbacks along the way but I just had faith in myself and what I’m capable of and thankful that Werribee sees my potential and gives me a crack at it this year,” El-Hawli said.

“The coaches want me to use my speed as my strong point and I’m just trying to make sure my work at training is top notch.”

His new teammate Witherden last year appeared in the opening three games for the Geelong Falcons before a knee injury forced him out for eight weeks.

Witherden, the younger brother of West Coast Eagle Alex Witherden, later returned and played with the Sydney Swans.

Witherden said that after having missed a fair few games over the last couple of years, he is “just looking for consistency with my game and body and see where I can take my footy in 2022”.

Paea finished as runner-up in Calder’s 2021 best and fairest count.

He said Werribee felt like an ideal place for him due to the club’s recent success with key forwards.

“The group of guys here and the coaching staff I feel like they will get the best out of me and help my development,” he said.

“I played a couple of (VFL) practice games and then was lucky enough to play round 1 with Essendon up in Brisbane, that was a great experience and something that I think helped me throughout the year.”

Werribee will participate in three trial games before the VFL season kicks off, the first against Footscray at Whitten Oval on March 4 and the second against Williamstown on March 11 at Deakin University, Geelong.

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