WANGARATTA young gun Josh Porter is bound for the VFL.
The Ovens and Murray representative, 19, has signed with Werribee to pursue a higher level.
The towering key forward attracted the attention of a host of Melbourne clubs after enjoying a breakout season last year.
Porter didn’t take long to form a lethal combination up forward alongside sharpshooter James Wong, with Wangaratta coach Mark Knobel always expecting to lose the highly talented utility.
“We encouraged it the whole time, in a good way of course,” Knobel said.
“We want all our young guys to play at the highest level they can it’s good for both Josh and the club that he is.
“There was a fair bit of interest in him.”
Porter has nominated Wangaratta as his home club and will play for the Pies when free of VFL commitments.
However, his departure means the Pies’ forward line will have an entirely different structure this season with Wong also leaving to join Deer Park.
Young duo Zack Leitch and Dylan Van Berlo will be given every chance to impress in attack, with Heidelberg signing Joel Harris another option.
Justin Hoggan, who has joined from Berrigan, will also be given opportunities up forward.
The Magpies have endured a mixed summer on the recruiting front, with the return of 2010 Morris medallist Jamie Allan the clear highlight.
Myrtleford’s Lee Dale and Xavier Norden (Aberfeldie) have joined the club, while ex-Bushrangers Jade Cleeland and Louis Vescio are available full-time.
Despite losing Wong and midfielder Ben Davies, Wangaratta has kept best and fairest Matt Grossman at Norm Minns Oval.