SOUTHERN Mallee Giants forward Josh Webster is no stranger to playing football in the Wimmera, although this season has been his first in the Wimmera league.
Webster started his junior football at Kalkee before playing in the TAC Cup and making it to the Victorian Football League for two seasons with the North Ballarat Roosters.
He suffered a setback last season and through a wrist injury was unable to play any football.
With a successful recovery, Webster has shone this season with the Giants.
He has made the switch from down back to the forward line and represented the Wimmera league in the interleague clash earlier in the year.
“It’s been a good change to come back to some good country football and country football lifestyle after the game and things like that,” he said.
“It was tough not playing last season but at the same time I was doing recovery and getting it right so I could get back to playing and back to work.”
At the end of last year, Webster sussed out his options before settling on helping the Giants as they embarked upon a new journey in the Wimmera league.
“I explored my options at the end of the year but in terms of North Ballarat folding I was looking at playing in the Ballarat Football League or coming back to the Wimmera,” he said.
“Dad, Darren, is originally from Hopetoun and my brother, Ben, has been at the Giants for five years, so it was a pretty easy decision. It was also a very good challenge coming into the Wimmera league and everyone has enjoyed it.”
Webster plays alongside his brother Ben in a dominant Giants forward line.
“Ben and I played for Kalkee together ages ago in a senior premiership and that was the last time we played together,” Webster said.
“We have both ended up in the forward line together. I’ve played back most of my career so it’s been a good change.”
The new challenge for Webster has coincided with the club’s task of taking on a new competition.
The senior Giants haven’t been fazed by the jump in standard and have quickly made an impact in the league.
“The club has absolutely flourished and it’s been an exciting time,” Webster said.
“Everyone is good to be around and it’s a really welcoming club. I’ve slotted in nicely. This is the first time I’ve played seniors in the Wimmera league. It’s a good standard of football and it’s been really competitive.”
Webster is one of a few Ballarat-based players that jump in a car together on a Friday night and make the trek up through the Wimmera.
“We all normally drive up on Friday night and see the family. We all do some training down in Ballarat,” he said.”