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Young Giant joins Werribee

Talented Geelong West youngster Joel Bennett has signed with VFL club Werribee. (Marcel Berens Sports Photography/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG West youngster Joel Bennett has become the latest former Geelong Falcon to sign with VFL club Werribee.

Originally from Corio, the 20-year-old spent last year on Geelong’s VFL development list and played 16 games with the Giants, kicking 12 goals.

“I think the prospect of going standalone, especially for local footballers who want to get to that next level in their football, is a really good opportunity to develop,” Bennett said of the Tigers no longer having an alignment with an AFL club.

 “It’s obviously a very good program here under (senior coach John Lamont).

“I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and you can just see from looking at the clubrooms that it’s going to be a pretty special place to come to training every week.”

Bennett finished third in the Falcons’ best-and-fairest in 2016 behind current Tiger Max Augerinos.

“There are a few of the boys still down here and a couple of blokes who played in the few years before me, but I’m looking forward to playing with Maxy Augerinos again. That’ll be a good thing,” he said.

Lamont is looking forward to seeing Bennett in action once he has completed his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery.

“He’s a hard, aggressive young player who tackles well and is team oriented,” Lamont said.

 “He hurt a shoulder earlier in the year, which has necessitated a reconstruction, so he’s missed a bit of the pre-season, but we’re very much looking forward to him returning to the main group in the New Year.”

Bennett is one of four ex-Falcons to commit to Werribee.

He joins Augerinos, captain Michael Sodomaco and Tom Gribble in calling Avalon Airport Oval home in 2018.

Twitter: @tom_king79