AFL taste for young Falcon

Updated: December 9, 2015
Alex Witherden trains with Geelong on Wednesday morning. Picture: AL PACKER
Alex Witherden trains with Geelong on Wednesday morning. Picture: AL PACKER

Alex Witherden trains with Geelong on Wednesday morning. Picture: AL PACKER

THERE’S plenty of new faces at Geelong’s pre-season training and another two more talented youngsters will join the Cats for the next fortnight.

Geelong Falcons defender Alex Witherden will rub shoulders with the likes of high-profile recruit Paddy Dangerfield and Cats’ captain Joel Selwood as part of the AFL Academy placement program.

Witherden will train with the Cats along with North Ballarat Rebel Hugh McCluggage, who comes from near Warrnambool.

The club placements have been an integral part of the academy’s program and this year take on a new twist, with prospects to spend two weeks at a club training and being immersed in an AFL environment.
Last year’s academy group trained at two separate clubs for a week each time, with this year’s plan for them to spend more time at one club to fully integrate into the AFL program.

Midfielder Jonty Scharenberg, the younger brother of Collingwood’s Matt, will be one of three South Australians training at the Crows.

Witherden is being tipped as a first round draft prospect in 2016 after impressing in his debut TAC Cup season.

The 186cm running defended made 12 appearances for the Falcons this season and has drawn comparisons from regional manager Michael Turner to Essendon star Brendon Goddard.

The St Joseph’s product will join his Academy teammates in early January on a two-week high performance training tour of America.

The 33 players will head to Florida on January 12 and train at the IMG Academy in Sarasota for eight days before finishing their trip in Los Angeles.

Academy head coach Brenton Sanderson will join the tour for the first time, having been appointed to the position midway through last year’s trip.

Twitter: @GreenBradley



Adelaide: Steven Slimming (South Australia), Jonty Scharenberg (SouthAustralia), Peter Ladhams (South Australia)

Brisbane Lions: Ben McGuinness (Tasmania), Jacob Allison (Queensland), Jack Rolls (Queensland)

Carlton: Jordan Gallucci (Vic Metro)

Collingwood: Jack Scrimshaw (Vic Metro)

Essendon: Myles Poholke (Vic Country)

Fremantle: Sam Petrevski-Seton (Western Australia), Noah Hura (Western Australia), Luke Strnadica (Western Australia)

Geelong: Alex Witherden (Vic Country), Hugh McCluggage (Vic Country)

Gold Coast: Brad Scheer (Queensland), Jack Bowes (Queensland)

GWS: Kobe Mutch (NSW-ACT), Will Setterfield (NSW-ACT), Zac Sproule (NSW-ACT), Harrison Macreadie (NSW-ACT),

Hawthorn: Nil

Melbourne: Ben Ainsworth (Vic Country), Jy Simpkin (Vic Country)

North Melbourne: Will Brodie (Vic Country)

Port Adelaide: Brandon Parfitt (Northern Territory), Jack Graham (South Australia), Jordon Sweet (South Australia)

Richmond: Jarrod Berry (Vic Country)

St Kilda: Josh Battle (Vic Country)

Sydney Swans: Jarrod Korewha (Vic Country)

West Coast: Sam Powell-Pepper (Western Australia), Josh Rotham (Western Australia), Jeremy Goddard (Western Australia), Jake Waterman (Western Australia)

Western Bulldogs: Nil

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