This Sunday Jake Wilson will play his 50th game for the Werribee Tigers a significant milestone in today’s VFL football.
Growing up as a Carlton supporter in Portland, Jake decided to head to the big smoke as a 17 year old to see how far he could take his football.
Through Kevin ‘Hap’ Hughes a former Williamstown premiership star and Portland boy, a few doors were opened up at Point Gellibrand. Jake spent two season at the Seagulls playing two senior games before crossing to Werribee a move he certainly doesn’t regret. “I really wanted to play some footy at senior level and with the partial alignment I thought Werribee was a good fit for me. I sat down with Mark Penaluna (Werribee CEO) and really liked the direction the club was heading."
Penaluna says Wilson was already in the clubs sights. “Jake had come to our attention prior to playing within Williamstown. We followed his progress and were delighted that after spending 2 seasons at Williamstown he came to Avalon Airport Oval. Since then Jake has played almost exclusively in our senior team including Victorian representation. His family are extremely supportive travelling hundreds of kilometres each week from Portland to be at the games.”
Jake spoke to werribeefc.com.au leading up to his milestone.
What does 50 games at Werribee mean to you?
It's not something I've really thought about, but now that it's come around I'm really proud of it, and especially at a great club like Werribee.
You are a plumber how hard is it at times to juggle that with footy?
It has been challenging at times, but over the years I've learnt good strategies for time management, which helps me find a good balance between work, footy and life.
Are you still confident of getting to the next level?
I would love to get an opportunity, but I will just continue to play my role and see what happens.
How are you feeling about the Tigers chances in 2015?
We are a very young group, but we have proved we can match it with the top sides, and hopefully we can continue to improve over the second half of the season.
John Lamont had some final words praising Wilson's efforts in this season.
"Jake has taken his game to the next level in 2015, being far more reliable in his defensive output against his opponents. Each week he lines up against the oppositions' best key forward, and keeps them under control as well as supporting the other defenders with our 'team defence'. This year Jake has made big sacrifices for his football, and so to see that improvement is a great reward. Effective key defenders are difficult to find, so we all look forward to Jake’s continued improvement which will further help our team. We hope that he can get an AFL opportunity in the same way Kyle Hartigan has with the Adelaide Crows"