Bulldogs get their ‘Wiz’ back
Wednesday, 7th January, 2015
By Darrin Manuel
The Bulldogs will enter the 2015 season with some added firepower with mercurial forward Anthony Henderson rejoining the club.
Henderson has returned home after spending a year playing with the Wentworth Kangaroos in the Sunraysia Football and Netball League.
The 24 year-old’s season was one of few highlights for the club, which scored just five wins and finished outside the finals in what was a tumultuous year.
Henderson started the year in fine form, booting 20 goals in the opening nine games despite spending a significant amount of time up the ground.
Hamstring soreness curtailed his effectiveness in the latter stages of the year, but he still finished with 31 majors - and over 50 behinds - to lead the club’s goalkicking.
“It’s not the straightest year I’ve had in front of the sticks,” he said.
He was originally recruited to the Roos by former Essendon and Bulldogs AFL player Mark Alvey, who recently quit as Wentworth’s coach after a seven-year stint.
Henderson said the departure of Alvey was a sign that it was time for him to move on as well.
“Mark Alvey who was senior coach gave me a call so I decided to go down and have a crack, and with him having been in the AFL system for a little while it gave me a chance to learn more and help improve my game,” said Henderson.
“I was committed to staying there next year, but when I found out that (Alvey) had pulled the pin I made my decision to pull out as well.
“I didn’t really know where I was going to be playing this year, until late last year when I got a job back home in the mill at Perilya.
“It made it an easy choice for me to be back home, and I’m very happy to be back in blue and white.
“I did miss having a kick with all the boys, you grow up playing with them.”
Henderson said he has been enjoying getting back into training with his old mates, and was primed for a big 2015.
“The body is feeling good, probably the best it’s been in a few pre seasons. I’ve been training since early October with a lot of swimming involved.
“I’ve spoken to (coach) Dave Ruddock when he held a meeting over the club, and he gave us an insight into what he wants to do with us this year.
“What we’ll be doing is really professional, and a good set up to have at a country football club.”
Ruddock coached Henderson in the flag-winning season of 2011, but a late injury saw the man known as “Wiz” miss out on the big day.
Henderson said he hoped that he could make up for that missed opportunity this year.
“I really enjoy playing under Rudds. He always gets the best out of us,” he said.
“I missed out on playing in that flag under him with a hamstring tear, but I’m super keen to be back out there this year.”
Henderson said he wished to thank his partner Bree Pitt, Mark Alvey, and all his Kangaroos teammates for their assistance throughout the 2014 season.