Coach: John Lamont (third year)
Captain: Michael Sodomaco (second year)
2015 finish: 7th
2015 best and fairest placings: 1. Matt Hanson / 2. Jake Wilson / 3. Isaac Conway
Last premiership: 1993
Alignment: North Melbourne
The Tigers may have succumbed to Collingwood by 29 points in an elimination final, but showed they could mix it with the best in 2015. Werribee defeated both grand finalists – Williamstown and the Box Hill Hawks – twice, also recording victories over fellow top-eight teams Essendon and the Casey Scorpions. The foundations are set for a new era in the club’s history.
After being partially aligned (alongside North Ballarat) with North Melbourne since 2008, the Tigers will be in full alignment with the Kangaroos in 2016. This means there will likely be fewer opportunities available for VFL-listed players as senior coach John Lamont looks to develop young AFL-listed talent such as Ryan Clarke, Sam Durdin, Mitchell Hibberd, Ben McKay and Ed Vickers-Willis.
2015 regulars Jye Bolton and Jesse Crichton have moved to Western Australia, while the departures of Brody Mihocek, Brayden Norris and Dylan Reid will also open up spots in the team. However, with the likes of Matt Hanson, Jake Wilson and Isaac Conway demanding game time, it’ll be a difficult task for this season’s recruits to play regular senior football.
However, one arrival who could make an immediate impact is former West Coast and Geelong Falcons defender Jordan Jones. The 25-year-old will return to Victoria after three seasons at West Coast and four playing in the WAFL, while another ready-made player is recently delisted Essendon rookie Kurt Aylett.
Lamont will be hoping the increase in available AFL talent can improve Werribee’s bottom-three rankings for disposals, uncontested possessions and uncontested marks per game last year. The Tigers excelled at winning the ball in contests – ranking second in the competition for clearances per game – but struggled to hold onto it.
Ins: Ryley Barrack, Billy Mahony (Bendigo Pioneers), Kurt Aylett (Essendon AFL), Harry Kershaw (Geelong Falcons), Dane McFarlane (Geelong VFL), Julius Battista, Brydon Hodgson (Murray Bushrangers), Josh Corbett (North Warrnambool Eagles), Quade Butt (Western Jets), Jordan Jones (West Perth)
Outs: Joe Redfern (Bendigo), Jye Bolton (Claremont), Jesse Crichton (East Fremantle), Hugh Wales (Footscray), Brody Mihocek (Port Melbourne), Jacob Graham, Brayden Norris, Dylan Reid