Sport

Former Cat set to debut as Dog

By Tyler Maher

Mooroopna's Laitham Vandermeer will make his AFL debut this weekend for the Western Bulldogs.

The former Cat and Murray Bushranger will tackle St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday after being told by senior coach Luke Beveridge of the great news after today's main training session.

"It still hasn’t sunk in. I had no idea. I went for a lap, came back and my name got called out. A few of the boys said my face went white,” Vandermeer told westernbulldogs.com.au today.

“It’s a long time coming, and I’ve dreamed about this day for a while. It’s finally good to get the reward for the hard work."

Vandermeer has impressed in the VFL ranks for Footscray after being selected with pick 37 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, and excitement is already building at his home club.

"He's always been a really, really hard worker," Mooroopna president Bill Dowling said.

"He probably grew up living at the Mooroopna footy club because Jeff (his father) played 300-odd games with us.

"He was up here in the gym over summer giving our young blokes a hand, and that's typical of a Vandermeer - always giving back.

"He really deserves this, he's had a lot of injury setbacks over the journey so it's great to see him get his chance."

Vandermeer will join fellow Mooroopna products Clayton Oliver, Jy Simpkin and Jarrod Harbrow as current AFL players following his debut, with the possibility all four play in the same round this weekend.