Ben Hobbs will be the latest Bomber to don the sash from the Wimmera region, with the Horsham product telling The Inner Sanctum it’s a ‘special’ feeling to be an Essendon player.
The Dons’ old player zone was the Wimmera Football League. It bred Essendon superstars from the 1960s and has made the region an Essendon supporter hotspot.
For Hobbs, his hometown is in his identity, and that now extends to the Bombers with his Dad and Grandfather red and black diehards.
“It’s really special, the Wimmera region and Horsham in particular has done a lot for me, and been really good through the whole journey,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
“To be going to a team that’s associated with that area – or has been in the past – is really special.
“I’m really proud of it, really excited and really humbled that the Bombers have picked me up.”
Hobbs was one of the dominant players in the NAB League this season, helping the Greater Western Victoria Rebels to a 7-3 record on the year. In his five full games, he averaged 29.2 disposals and almost a goal per game.
In his first trial game against Vic Metro for Country in June, he was best afield with 37 disposals and two goals.
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It signalled his standing in the group, but his on-field performance is only part of what he wants to be at the AFL level.
He’s ready to take up the challenge being a leader for Essendon, and wants to be a driving force for the Baby Bombers as they continue pushing up the ladder.
“[being a leader] is definitely something I want to be,” Hobbs said.
“I’m not too worried about the label of being a leader straight away – I’m hopeful that will come.
“It’s more so just being a leader by pushing the younger guys and buying into the club.”
Bombers players including captain Dyson Heppell, Dylan Shiel, Andy McGrath, Jordan Ridley and All-Australian Zach Merrett met Hobbs after the draft last night.
It meant a lot for Hobbs for them to take the first opportunity they could to welcome him to the club.
“That was huge for them to come and meet me.
“[It] made me feel at home from the outset. All the players have been messaging me all night as well so it’s been truly special.”
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