Brown best afield in back-to-back triumph

YOU could hardly write a better script for Will Brown to end his top-age campaign. Having played a hand in Sandringham’s 2022 flag, he was named captain this year and skippered his side to a second-straight Coates Talent League title. No less, he was also the best player afield with three goals.

As one of five newly crowned dual-premiership players, Brown came into Sunday’s decider with a sense for what it would take to go all the way. Speaking post-match, he says the Dragons were anticipating Eastern to storm out of the gates, and that the team’s experience held up.

>> Match Report: Sandringham storms to second straight flag

“Eastern were a great side, they really tested us,” he said. “We sat down at half time and spoke and knew we had to lift again. I’m so proud that we did, and personally I was really proud of my performance today.

“We had a lot of boys play Vic Metro this year so we certainly had a lot of experience in our side. But we knew it was going to be hot from the start… we knew Eastern were going to hit us hard and they did, but full credit to everyone, we stood up and got the chocolates in the end.”

During last year’s campaign, Brown was mostly utilised as a forward for the Dragons. His focus shifted to an inside midfield role this year which he played successfully for Vic Metro and in the early part of this season, before going back to the future come finals time.

Will Brown handballs during the 2022 Grand Final | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

“I was happy with my start and was able to play through (midfield) with Vic Metro,” Brown said. “Then it was just personally and about what was best suited for the team as well, so moved back to half-forward.

“I played there last year so had a bit of confidence in that, so moved back there with little spurts in the midfield still and was happy with the move.”

“Proud” was a prominent word in Brown’s post-match vernacular, and much of that pride was reserved for coach Rob Harding. Appointed heading into season 2023, he guided the prolific talent region to its fifth flag in his first year at the helm.

“A lot of work’s gone into it,” Brown said. “Our head coach Rob Harding, he’s been so important for us this year. He always keeps a positive mindset, he’s such a caring and approachable person… first year as coach, it’s a pretty good achievement to do that.”

>> Scouting Notes: 2023 CTL Grand Final

With his top-age year now over in a playing sense, Brown will turn his attention to the upcoming state draft combine in Victoria on October 8. While training hard for that, he’ll also have a few things to take his mind off it.

“Obviously we’ve got the combine in the next couple of weeks so I’ll be training for that,” he said. “Then you’ve got the draft, hopefully the next couple of months so we’ll see how we go then.

“I’ve been at uni this year so I’ll go back, I’ve still got a few more weeks of that so I’ll finish that off with a bit of part-time work. I’ll try and relax with with different hobbies and that, a bit of tennis and golf with mates so they’ll probably be the focuses.”

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