A hard earned tag for star back ‘VB’
YOU must be having some sort of influence on the game if the newly crowned Morris Medallist comes to tag you.
That is what happened to Dylan Van Berlo during Saturday’s grand final, as Chris Hyde was sent to curb the marking machine’s impact.
With 12 marks to his name, eight of which were intercepts, Van Berlo’s role was crucial to Wangaratta’s success.
Van Berlo started the game on fire, reeling off four marks in the first quarter alone, cutting off any stray kicks from Albury’s midfielders.
Hyde came after Van Berlo hard, but with the help of his fellow backmen he was able to get on with the job and lead the Magpies to victory.
“‘VB’ was outstanding,” Magpies coach Dean Stone said.
“You know six months ago the treatment Hyde was giving him would have rattled him.
“But he just stuck it out and played his role extremely well.
“He is such a good reader of the football in the air.”
Van Berlo said everything he did was about the team.
“I was just happy to help out ‘Bordsy’ (Michael Bordignon); that was what the role was all day,” Van Berlo said.
“I just had to help chop off that ball before it got to (Josh) Mellington, who is the best forward in the league.
“I am just so happy to contribute and help get them over the line.
“We don’t speak that much on individual efforts as we are just a great group – what a win.”
Lingering hamstring issues limited Van Berlo to just 10 senior matches last season, and he missed two games this year, making victory all the sweeter.
“The body is pretty stuffed at the moment to be honest,” he said.
“But coming back from injury has been really easy when you get to train with this group of boys, and now to win is just unreal.”
IMPENETRABLE: Dylan Van Berlo constantly cut off Albury’s forward thrusts on Saturday.