EFL: Waverley Blues unearth wealth of talent

FORTUNE looks to be in Waverley Blues' favour ahead of the 2013 Eastern Football League season.

Three former Blues senior players have returned from overseas travel — two-time best-and-fairest winner John Hindson and premiership players Beau Rawlyk and Jacob Bailey — while former Tasmanian State League players Nat Martin and Nathan McCulloch from North Hobart have come to study in Melbourne.

After missing all of last season due to injury, playing assistant coach Chris McCarty is also training well and is rated as the fittest player on the club's list.

New Blues coach Brett Davidson said his side had also attracted Luke Williams from South Warrnambool and a few recruits from Pearcedale.

He said the Blues had received a few lucky breaks over the off-season.

"The two Tassie boys contacted us because they were looking for a football club close to their university," he said.

"Both played senior footy for North Hobart and look like they can play.

"Ryan Tily is looking fit and keen after coming back from Ashwood halfway through last season while several players are doing full preseasons after being injured."

Reigning Blues best and fairest Mitch Hayes may not play with the Blues this season after being invited to train with VFL club Port Melbourne, while Charlie Ampt is training with VFL club Box Hill.

Key forward Thomas Harley is expected to join VAFA club Old Carey.

Davidson said Hayes and Ampt deserved their chance to progress to the VFL and he was confident both would return to the Blues if they missed out on a VFL place.

"They have both gone into good training regimes and they will come back if they don't make the lists," he said.

"If we do lose them then we think we have covered them with the recruits we have got in."

Davidson said the club had booked practice matches against VAFA club St Mary's Salesian, SFL club East Brighton and EFL division 3 club Glen Waverley Hawks. The Blues v Hawks match will be played as a night or twilight match on April 4, most likely at Mount Waverley Reserve.

Blues preseason training continues with 55-60 players regularly at training.

"We have been back for two weeks now, the numbers are good, the enthusiasm is great," Davidson said.

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