Ready-made ruckman Angus Clarke is looking to hit the ground running with Werribee in the Victorian Football League this season.
The Norwood premiership player is a mature-aged big man who might not have yet reached his peak.
Werribee football operations manager Stuart Balloch is excited by Clarke’s potential – even at the age of 29.
“We’ve seen in recent years in the AFL that there’s still scope for development in the more mature big men,” Balloch said.
“We’re delighted to have ‘Gus’ on board to bring that state-league premiership experience and drive some healthy competition among our ruck stocks.”
Clarke was recruited from Old Melburnians in the Victorian Amateur Football Association, where he has played the past three seasons.
He rose to prominence in Adelaide where he played 22 senior SANFL games for Norwood, including the 2012 grand final win over West Adelaide.
Clarke is thrilled to have arrived at Werribee, where he is enjoying the perks of state league football again.
“It’s an outstanding facility here, so I’m pretty excited to be a part of it and test myself in the VFL,” Clarke said.
“[Werribee coach] Mark [Williams] is always keeping you guessing.”
Werribee has also brought in Essendon VFL midfielder Alex Marklew.
The 26-year-old has played three seasons with the Bombers VFL side, managing seven games. During that time, Marklew also played with Doutta Stars and with his hometown Wangaratta Rovers.
Marklew will add further depth to Werribee’s midfield brigade. He is described as a hard running utility, so he will offer another option for Williams.
A variety of reasons led to Marklew crossing to Werribee.
“The new coach, the new facilities, the fact there are a lot of country guys from up my way and that I knew [forward coach] Nick Daffy and got on well with him, it all played a role,” he said.
“The pre-season has been full-on, but we’ve now got the match stuff to look forward to, so I can’t wait.”
Just like Clarke, Balloch sees Marklew as a player who can make a sudden impact, having already been involved in the VFL system at Essendon.
“Alex was in the top couple of guys across our pre-season running tests, so his endurance is a real strength,” Balloch said.