Brett Bewley took his game to another level in 2017, becoming one of Williamstown’s most prolific midfielders in a star-studded on-ball division.
The 187cm 22-year-old’s fourth season with the Seagulls saw him earn VFL Team of the Year honours after averaging 25 disposals, five tackles and four inside-50s per game in 18 matches for the Peter Jackson VFL minor premiers.
Bewley responded to missing out on Williamstown’s 2015 premiership triumph with a breakout 2016 campaign and elevated himself again this year, looking at home alongside teammates like Michael Gibbons, Adam Marcon and Willie Wheeler as a midfielder capable of finding the ball inside and outside the contest.
The Western Jets (TAC Cup) and Darley (Ballarat FL) product played his 50th senior VFL game in Williamstown’s preliminary-final loss to Port Melbourne and also represented the VFL in May’s State Game against the WAFL.
vfl.com.au spoke to Bewley at the recent Victorian State Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft on Friday November 24.
What strengths of yours have you been using to sell yourself to AFL clubs?
- I’d like to think my kicking would be up to the standard required and probably my running ability as well.
What is the strangest question you’ve been asked by AFL club recruiters?
- The weirdest one for me was: ‘What are your worries in life?’ I didn’t really know what to say back. I still live with Mum and Dad so I don’t have mortgages or anything to worry about.
What parts of your game do you know you’ll need to work on if you’re drafted?
- I’ve been working pretty hard the last couple of years on my speed and my contested ball ability, which I improved this year. Hopefully I can keep taking it to another level.
Which AFL players do you particularly like to watch and model your game on?
- I don’t mind the way Tom Scully (GWS) goes about it, as well as Trent Cotchin, who started as an outside player and now he’s an inside weapon that Richmond use to get Dustin Martin out on the end.
How would you assess your 2017 season?
- It’s probably a personal-best season. I really built on my season last year and took it to another level. I made the VFL Team of the Year and played my 50th senior game, so there were a few little milestones there. It probably started after the 2015 season, missing out on the (winning) Grand Final and never wanting to be put in that position again where it wasn’t in my control whether I played or not. I’ve just been working really hard at all facets of my game.
What do you think was your best individual performance of the season?
- I was pretty happy with my game against Footscray (29 disposals and one goal in a 43-point win in Round 19).
Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your football in the VFL?
- (Williamstown senior coach) Andy Collins has been a massive influence. He’s really helped me with all the things I need to work on. (Seagulls assistant coach) Robbie Campbell does a massive amount of work with me behind the scenes after training. He’s always happy to hang around.
Which of your teammates do you think should also be talked about as draft prospects?
- Lachie Schultz has been fresh into the senior team (this year) and he’s really taken the game with both hands and been one of our most promising players. Also, Ben Cavarra – he’s been thereabouts every year and can’t seem to push through, but since coming over from Frankston (for the 2017 season) you can’t fault his work ethic and how he’s fitted into the team.
THE FAST FIVE with Brett Bewley
What food could you not live without?
- Chicken parmi.
If you weren’t possibly about to become a full-time footballer, what would be your dream job?
- I think I’d stick to being a chippie.
What karaoke song would you sing to save your life?
- ‘Rain’ by Dragon.
Which teammate would you want to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
- Josh Newman, because he’s a very interesting fella. You always get a laugh out of him.
Which teammate would you not want to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
- Nick Meese, because he just talks absolute rubbish.