"The boys always get around you"| Preston loving his time at the Gulls
By Paddy Farley
It's not to often you see a young 19-year-old come into the VFL and makes an impact like Corey Preston has, now becoming a must pick every week for the blue and gold.
His skill highlighted against Geelong with 20 disposals against a well drilled AFL-aligned club, he hasn't taken a backwards step this season. However, the young man understood the challenges the lied ahead as he took on the challenge of playing senior VFL footy, not getting to ahead of himself after being selected in the NAB League team of the year.
"Obviously playing against 18-year-old's you are pretty happy with how you are going, but the next level (VFL) is something you have to accommodate for and I think Williamstown have been great at that."
Preston had a taste of senior football prior to coming to the Gulls as he was he saw himself in Ferntree Gully's senior outfit as a junior in the Eastern league.
The silky left footer has seemed to enjoy his short time so far at Williamstown and has closely bonded with some senior teammates.
"Coming to Williamstown the boys always get around you." He said. " I've seemed to gravitate towards the likes of Jordan Gallucci and Cam Polson, I think they are two I've connected well with."
Williamstown's number-15 cherishes his relationships with his teammates.
"He (Gallucci) is someone I can always turn to with any dramas, we've become pretty good mates playing golf regularly together."
The boy from Ferntree Gully acknowledges his own class and use of the footy as one of his strong suits, but realising he there is so much more that needs to be done for him to make a real dent in the competition.
"I think being clean and being able to use the ball has been the key to me playing senior footy, having the trust of my teammates knowing that I'm going to hit targets." He said "But the contestant side is something I've been working really hard on, becoming a lot stronger in the contest and becoming more aware of what is around me," he said.
For most young aspiring footballer's their goal is to make their way into the midfield.
This normally takes a season or two to come to fruition as the highly contestant based VFL style of footy doesn't suit less mature bodies. But as the season has gone on for Williamstown and their hard luck run of injuries has taken it's toll, Preston has inserted himself into the midfield on multiple occasions showing his capabilities to become a full-time midfielder.
The 19-year-old knows what it takes to find himself inside the engine room more regularly.
"It's defintely working on your tank, you need to get to as many contests as you can. If you're at more contests, you have more opportunity to get your hands on the ball," he said.
He's an exciting young prospect for the Seagulls and seems to be able to become a weapon in the Gulls artillery for the year to come.
Preston will go head-to-head against a professional outfit in the Blues this weekend, once again another great test for the young gun.