By Jarrad Gardner
The Coburg Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of young gun Bailey Thompson for the 2020 VFL season.
Thompson joins the Lions from Bundoora in the Northern Football Netball League where he won the club’s best and fairest award in 2019, beating out the likes of Coburg legend Daniel Venditti for an unexpected win.
“I didn’t see it coming at all, I only set myself a goal of 6-10 senior games at the start of the year” Thompson said.
Thompson has played 20 senior games for Bundoora, 18 of which came in 2019 where he was named in the team’s best players 10 times, including six best on ground performances.
Coburg senior coach Andrew Sturgess was full of praise for Thompson, highlighting his continuous efforts to improve himself and his football.
“First and foremost what I love about Bailey is he really does have a growth mindset so he wants to improve and get better” Sturgess said.
“What he’s also been able to do this year is build belief in his own game that he is capable of playing really good local senior football which he showcased this year and probably became at 19 years of age one of the best wingers in the competition in what’s ranked as the highest community competition in Victoria.”
Thompson admits that while he hadn’t played much football on the wing as a junior, it’s now his favourite position.
“I never really played on the wing, I played more half-back and on the ball mostly growing up but it’s definitely my favourite position now, especially under Sturge’s gameplan” he said.
It’s been a quick rise for the 20-year old but his football journey hasn’t been without it’s hiccups.
Thompson has always wanted to play football at the highest level possible but a broken leg in 2017 threatened those dreams.
“It was a goal when I was younger to play as high as I could, but then I sort of lost that when I broke my leg and thought it wasn’t going to happen anymore” he said.
For Coburg fans watching Thompson for the first time in 2020, Sturgess likens his game to that of a three-time premiership Hawk.
“I think that he’s got attributes similar to Isaac Smith, he’s fairly rangy, takes long strides and moves well across the ground as well as having really good endurance and speed and kicks the ball well over long distances” Sturgess said.