AFL great Jarrad Waite’s signing with Whittlesea Football Club has got the whole town exhilarated, according to coach Blair Harvey.
Waite’s AFL career spanned over 16 years with Carlton and North Melbourne, with 244 games and 377 goals to his name.
Waite has also played at VAFA powerhouse St Kevins Old Boys in the premier division for the last two years.
He joins WFNC as playing assistant coach.
Harvey said the news was “really exciting”.
“He’s without a doubt the biggest signing we’ve ever had,” Harvey said.
“The whole town is excited as well, which is awesome.
“To get someone [with his experience] for our younger groups is great.
“He’ll be showing leadership on and off the field as well.”
Harvey said as a younger coach, he was looking forward to gleaning some expertise from Waite.
“To be able to bounce my ideas off him will be fantastic,” Harvey said.
“We’ll be able to really gain something from all of his experience with the AFL… after 250 games, you’d have a lot to share.”
Harvey said the news was “massive” in lifting player spirits during metro Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown.
“It’s been a tough time for everyone… this news sparked everyone up,” he said.
“It’s a huge announcement, not just for the club, but the community as well.
“To see their excitement and enthusiasm has been great.”
Harvey said Waite had already begun to put his mark on the club.
“He’s great, he’s already been really helpful,” Harvey said.
“He’s getting on the front foot with everyone, getting to know the boys and everything.
“It’s been great to see.”
As for the 2022 season, Harvey said they were fired up.
“We’re really happy that 95 per cent of out playing list has re-signed,” he said.
“We’re really going to establish ourselves in division 1 next year.”