Westmeadows has set about filling an experience void at the club as the Tigers look to climb up the Essendon District Football League division 1 ladder.

The Tigers had a very young list this year with a clear focus on continuing to bring through the under-19 players.

While they were able to do that, the Tigers won just three games.

Second-year Tigers coach Grant Smith said they knew that 2018 would be a tough year with their depth coming from the under-19s players.

With the young core signed up for next season, Smith said they had looked to add some experienced players, some who had premier division experience.

With experienced trio Justin Taylor, Dean Clare and Bradley Sutcliffe not returning, it was an area that Smith said they had to address.

The biggest name signing that has joined the Tigers, is former Mariybrnong Park coach Robbie Castello.

Castello stood down from his role at Maribyrnong Park at the end of this season due to work commitments.

Smith said having Castello, who has plenty of VFL experience, would be beneficial on and off the track.

“There was 15 other clubs talking to him, but we were hopeful of getting him,” Smith said.

“There was known complications of him playing premier football due to work, but work will allow him to train and play division 1 football in Melbourne.

“Speaking to him, he wanted to be part of it. He wanted to help develop the list. “

Smith said Castello would help the younger players with skills and tips learnt by playing at higher levels.

“I played a fair bit of premier football and there’s little things that you don’t know about if you haven’t played at that level.

“Robbie will be able to help with that sort of thing.

Set to join Castello at the Tigers is West Coburg quartet Ahmed Abdul-Wahed, Omar Saad,Omar Abdallah and Marwan Abdul-Wahed.

Smith said the four were looking for a change of clubs and had approached the club about possibly coming on board.

Impressed with what they saw, they decided to come on board.

Mitchell Church. Picture Damian Visentini

Mitch Church returns to the club after 12 months at division 1 rival Hillside.

Smith said Church wanted to return to play with his mates.

“He’s a very different player coming back,” he said.

“He’s been helping with discussions about players and grabbed a group of kids at training and worked on specific things.

“He’s taken on a leadership role, something he wasn’t keen on a couple of years ago.”

Dylan Wright, who has played at a number of clubs, is the other signing.

Smith said they had finished approaching players to join the club, but wouldn’t say no to anyone that wants to come down to the club.

“We want to be a destination club.”


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