A Richmond teammate of Wangaratta Rovers’ latest recruit says he will be a standout.
Charlie Thompson will play for the Hawks if he fails to get a game with the Tigers.
“He’ll be a star in the O and M,” Richmond grand final player and an O and M top-liner himself, Shaun Mannagh said.
“He’s an up and comer in the VFL and hopefully he’ll play a fair few games next year but, if he doesn’t, he’ll come back and play really good footy for ‘Crezza’ (coach Daryn Cresswell) and Wangaratta Rovers.
“He’s a really good inside player and he wants to develop his outside play, he’ll be a tough match-up for a couple of teams.”
And the Hawks’ signing is determined to improve that outside play.
“It’s probably my sprint speed (I’m looking to work on),” he said.
“I’m not the quickest bloke going around, but it’s just a matter of being able to turn some of that inside ball into outside ball by improving my speed and try and burst away more than accumulating on the inside.”
The Hawks owe their latest signing to two factors – Cresswell and family.
“Mum’s family is down there, so my nan lived her whole life there, she’s just moved down recently, she’s 97,” Thompson said.
“We’ve still got a house up there that we go to and I spent a lot of time in ‘Wang’ as a kid.
“Combining with ‘Crezza’ getting the coaching job there, it seemed like a really good fit.
“Probably one without the other probably wouldn’t have been enough, but I’m really excited to play under ‘Crezza’.
“My dream is to still get drafted, if it can help me that two or three per cent it might be the difference, so it’s worth the move.
“I met up with him a few weekends ago and met a few of the guys and they’re all impressed how rapidly training’s improved and the fitness levels.
“He’s spoken about how fit a team he wants to have and from a personal point of view he’s going to sit down and go through some tape with me and give a bit of advice and feedback.”
Thompson missed out in the AFL draft after comparisons were made about his style and former Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge.
“Yeah, that was my top-age year in TAC Cup and obviously he’s a very well respected guy, I certainly copped a few digs from my mates about that,” he laughed.
“But from a leadership point of view, I want to set really high standards for the young group there.”
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