Matthew Brett, one of the most improved players at Werribee last season, has been rewarded with a fresh contract at the Victorian Football League club.

The 24-year-old has signed on the dotted line for a fifth season with Werribee and is expected to be a key member of the team’s defensive unit.

Brett enjoyed a break-out campaign in 2018 after previously managing just 13 games in three years.

The Murray Bushrangers product did not play a single game in 2017 due to injury.

Last season, though, was Brett’s time to shine. He played 16 of a possible 18 games as a tough-as-nails mid-sized defender.

His season highlight was a match-saving mark against Box Hill Hawks in round 19 that saw him take out the club’s inaugural mark of the year award at the Bruce Montgomery Trophy night.

Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch is confident Brett can better his form of last season.

“It’s been a pretty dramatic turnaround for Matt, that’s for sure,” Balloch said.

“He had a tough time of it through 2017, so for him to come out and produce the season he did for us in defence last year was really impressive.

“With the benefit of a good pre-season behind him, we’re hopeful he can find another gear again in 2019.

“We’re really pleased he’s now formally recommitted to the club.”

Meanwhile, Werribee’s practice match schedule has been released.

The side will have its first hit-out under new coach Mark Williams on March 15 when the Geelong Cats pay a visit to Avalon Airport Oval.

Werribee will make the short trip to the VU Whitten Oval on March 23 for a battle with Footscray before returning to Watton Street for a clash with Box Hill Hawks on March 30.