Werribee has given its backline stocks an important boost by signing former St Kilda defender Nick Coughlan for the 2018 season.
The 21-year-old has made the move to Avalon Airport Oval for Werribee’s first season as a standalone VFL side in 19 years after two seasons as a rookie with the Saints.
Coughlan said he was looking forward to the opportunity of a fresh start with Werribee after overcoming a frustrating run with foot and hamstring injuries.
“I’m really excited to be on board and see how the year goes,” he said.
“Sadly, I had a couple of injuries (at St Kilda), and [footy] is a pretty ruthless business, but I’m really excited to come here to a standalone club and really enjoy playing footy this year.”
Taken by St Kilda with pick 23 in the 2015 rookie draft, Coughlan failed to get an opportunity at AFL level but nonetheless showed plenty of promise with his strong intercept marking in 19 games with VFL affiliate Sandringham.
He previously played seven games with Footscray while part of the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup program in 2015, and he said he was looking forward to the prospect of reuniting with Bushrangers teammates such as Jake Sharp and Matthew Munro at Werribee.
“The biggest thing that appealed to me was knowing a lot of boys here and having a real community-style club,” said Coughlan.
“I’m looking forward to being able to play every single week with the boys that I grew up with and hopefully having a successful run at the finals.”
Werribee senior coach John Lamont said Coughlan’s experience in the AFL system was a big boost for the club and that he had already worked in well with the playing group through the early stages of pre-season training.
“Having someone who has been a full-time footballer for a couple of years is a real acquisition for our club, and he’s already exerting some good influence with leadership and direction of blokes on how we want to move the ball and defend,” said Lamont.
“He’s more a third defender type, but he can play tall and play on the bigger blokes if he needs to, and he brings that bit of know-how.”
Coughlan is the second former AFL-listed player to join Werribee for 2018, with former Western Bulldogs and North Ballarat forward Andrew Hooper also committing to the club for next year.
Werribee players officially confirmed for 2018
Michael Sodomaco (C)