GIPPSLAND’S Shannen Lange has joined the Bendigo Gold, excited by the challenge of being part of the new group, but also to keep his AFL dream alive.
Lange, who finished runner-up in TAC Cup club Gippsland Power’s best and fairest last year, has become the latest player to sign with Bendigo’s stand-alone VFL club.
The 18-year-old is a midfielder, who was described by Gold coach Aussie Jones as “hard, tough and with a real desire to tackle and pressure.”
Lange was part of Gippsland’s team that lost the TAC Cup grand final last year to Oakleigh in a game decided by a “golden point”.
But with the disappointment of the grand final defeat now behind him, Lange is setting himself on having a strong VFL season with the Gold.
“I like how it’s a new group of young blokes, and I like what I’ve heard about Aussie Jones,” Lange said yesterday.
“And being the fact they are stand-alone is also appealing.”
Lange has already had a taste of VFL football, having played a game as a 23rd player for the Casey Scorpions against Werribee last year.
Although, his game ended early that day after a collision with Werribee’s Majak Daw.
Lange, who was considered a 2012 draft prospect, hopes the increased opportunities that come with a stand-alone club like the Gold will help keep his name in front of AFL recruiters.
“I wouldn’t be leaving my home club if I wasn’t wanting to give it (getting drafted) another crack,” Lange said.
“My goal for the past six years has been to try to get drafted, but it didn’t happen, so that was disappointing.
“But I want to still give it a good crack, so hopefully, I can have a good season at Bendigo.
“I just can’t wait to get stuck into it.”