The wholesale changes at the Werribee Tigers have not been confined to the playing group.
The Tigers have also re-shaped their coaching set-up under senior coach John Lamont, appointing Jeff Andrews to the new position of senior assistant coach and moving Shayne Stone to the role of backline coach.
Andrews came on the radar of the Tigers after leading Macedon to a drought-breaking premiership in the Riddell District Football League.
He served the Cats in that position for four years, but also boasts experience at higher levels as an assistant coach with Preston in the VFL and assistant coach of the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup across two stints.
Just like most of the new faces at the Watton Street club, Andrews is excited by the club’s decision to return to standalone VFL status for the first time in 19 years.
“The fact the club has been aligned for so long, it basically feels like a new club,” he said.
“A few guys who I coached over the last couple of years at Macedon were Werribee boys, and in conversations with them, they said they’d still be playing here today if they could.
“They love the club, even though it’s VFL level, it still feels like a footy club.
“I’ve had that great footy club feel ever since I walked through the door, and I love the professionalism, so I’m looking to contribute as much as I can.”
As part of a club review ahead of the return to standalone status, Werribee identified that a senior assistant coaching role was an important addition to the coaching staff.
In that role, Andrews will focus on developing the Tigers defensive game plan and development plans for the playing group.
Lamont has already seen Andrews make an important contribution in the pre-season.
“He’s got a real eye for defence, so it’s been another really positive appointment,” he said.
Stone will take control of the backline this season after working as a midfield coach for the now defunct development league team last season.
The move was a bit of a shock for Stone, but one the former senior coach at Lara, Inverleigh and Thomson will grasp with both hands.
“It probably came as a bit of a surprise when it happened, as I’d gone into the year expecting to be involved in the midfield, but I’m really excited about a different opportunity, and I’m going to learn a hell of a lot of new things, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
David Newett has been appointed to the new role of kicking coach. Werribee will open the VFL season on April 1 against Geelong Cats at Torquay Football Ground.