Werribee has locked in 2019 Calder Cannons captain and intercept marking machine Brodie Newman for the 2020 VFL season.
The 19-year-old Aberfeldie product was considered unlucky to miss out at last years’ AFL drafts after starring for the Cannons and impressing for Vic Metro in the U18 National Championships.
Height: 193cm - Weight: 88kg
Position: Key defender
Previous Clubs: Calder Cannons, St. Bernard’s
Strengths: Marking, versatile, leader, strength, reads the play
2019 stats: Av. 19 disposals, 6 marks, 4.7 rebound 50s
Best game: 36 disposals, 17 marks vs Western Jets
Accolades: NAB League Team of the Year, AFL Academy, State Combine
Q & A with Brodie Newman
What has your experience at Avalon Airport Oval been like so far?
Werribee is full of great people and since arriving at the club I’ve been welcomed with open arms and felt so comfortable. Staff and players come to training keen to learn and interact with one another and the enjoyment I get from coming to training each week is a constant reassurance that I picked the right club to be a part of.
Obviously getting closer to the draft you have to have the conversation about “what if it doesn’t happen”. One day I got a text from Stu Balloch (Werribee Footy Manager) about meeting to see where I was at.
One of my great mates Jake Riccardi had been down at the club for the last year … whether he gave Stu a little heads up I’ll never know, but I couldn’t be happier to have landed at Werribee, it seems each week I just fall in love with the club a little bit more.
You have lots in common with Jake Riccardi, how close are you guys?
Our relationship started off in 2017 when I was in year 11 at St. Bernard’s and he was in year 12. He was captain of our 1st XVIII and we just became great mates with him kind of looking after me as a younger guy and taking me under his wing.
Jake and I speak just about every day even though he’s up in Sydney now. In terms of similarities we have both been overlooked in the U18 state league system so his journey into the AFL is something I’m trying to replicate and it’s great to have him there to pick his brain and get advice.
The number 32 is a funny one … when I first got a text from Stu floating the idea of being a part of Werribee in 2020, Jake messaged me saying I need to request number 32, so when it was available in January I took it.
You credit your Calder Cannons coach Ross Smith as a big influence. What were some of the things he taught you?
There’s no doubt Ross had a great experience in the game and really moved us forward with his football knowledge, but it was how he placed importance on being a better person than a footballer.
In a lot of ways he taught me true respect as I was moving into adulthood and it really brought the squad together and built a strong culture at the Cannons which was a huge part of our success and finals run last year.
What lessons did you take out of being overlooked in last years’ drafts?
When it didn’t happen I was obviously disappointed at first, I had worked hard to put myself in the best position to be picked up so it was a bit flattening. I think the fact that I was one year out of high school with a first year of Uni under my belt helped me get over it.
I looked back and thought I’ve got so many great things in life like my family, friends and my studies and that there’s more to life than being drafted as an 18 year-old. I’m just excited to learn at VFL level and hopefully get the chance to prove myself again.
What are you looking forward to the most about the 2020 VFL season?
Everyone coming together and playing actual games of footy! There’s only so much you can do at training that replicates a game scenario so to see six months’ worth of preseason be displayed on game day is going to be exciting. This group has a high ceiling and I’m excited to see what we can do.