Reported by Nick Ansell
ENTERING THE LEAGUE: Former Port Melbourne defender Lachie Waddell has joined Hamilton Kangaroos in a major coup for the Hampden league outfit. Picture: Emily Fraser-Ison.
A PORT Melbourne premiership player will solidify Hamilton Kangaroos' forward and ruck stocks as Gerard FitzGerald's men plot a route to Hampden league finals.
Former Borough defender Lachie Waddell has signed at Melville Oval.
Weddall helped Port Melbourne to a VFL premiership in 2017. He was deployed as a key defender, working closely with coach Gary Ayres, after developing as a forward and ruck option.
The 24-year-old, who works as a statutory planner at Southern Grampians Shire, told The Standard several Hamilton Kangaroos figures made him feel at home.
He said the club's welcoming nature - particularly senior players in Hugh Douglas, Jack Hickey and Levi Dare as well as chairman Lachy Patterson and FitzGerald - was key in his decision to sign.
"My main priority in moving to Hamilton was work. I've just graduated uni and was looking for a good role in a good council," Waddell said. "They've all made me feel right at home which is an amazing feeling and they're a major part of why I'm playing next year."
The 202-centimetre utility said early discussions with FitzGerald were promising and felt he'd divide time between forward and ruck duties.
"I pride myself on my contested marking and a lot of aerial contests," Waddell said. FitzGerald said Waddell's good character meant he fitted the club's criteria.
"The recommendations of people that'd known him and worked with him were that he was of strong character," he said.