Cleeland mixes with AFL talent on VFL debut

WEB_Jade Cleeland_pe_c6_20170430
DEBUTANT: Jade Cleeland in action for Wangaratta Magpies last season made his debut for Werribee in the VFL on Saturday.

FORMER-Wangaratta Magpies ruckman Jade Cleeland made his debut for VFL club Werribee against Essendon on Saturday.

The Tigers are affiliated with North Melbourne with the likes of ex AFL captain Andrew Swallow, forward Lindsay Thomas and Braydon Preuss all running out with Cleeland in Saturday’s match.

While Cleeland’s opponents were the likes of Shaun McKernan, David Myers, Jackson Merrett, Jake Long and Heath Hocking, who are all AFL contracted players with Essendon.

Werribee kicked clear in the second quarter to open up a 16-point lead into half time and didn’t surrender it as the Tigers run out 23-point victors over the Bombers.

It didn’t take long for Werribee recruit Jade Cleeland to earn senior selection, but the process of getting him to the club in the first place was a little more involved.

The 22-year-old made his debut for the Tigers against Essendon on Saturday after signing with the club earlier this year, but Werribee football manager Mark Stone – formerly the club’s recruiting manager – had his eye on the former Murray Bushranger and Wangaratta Magpie shortly after the 2015 season.

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