Jayden treads a well-worn path
Wednesday, 28th January, 2015
By Darrin Manuel
There are few better pathways to an AFL career than the Bendigo Pioneers, and local Jayden White is about to take the first step down that road.
Ex-Robin Jayden, 17, left the city yesterday to take up a place in Bendigo’s team in the national TAC Cup competition.
Former local and Essendon premiership player, Dean Solomon, plied his trade at the pioneers before moving on to the AFL, as did a host of other stars including the Selwood brothers, Nick Dal Santo and Andrew Walker, to name a few.
Jayden should have no trouble settling in at his new home, as he will be joined by ex-locals Sam Simmons and Kobe Mutch.
“I played in a few trial games for Bendigo last year and then the coach said I might have to start looking at relocating,” he said.
“I’m pretty nervous but I knew it was the best thing to get out and get more experience.
“And just the adventure of being out and away from Broken Hill.”
Former West coach Dale Tonkin said there was never any doubt about Jayden’s talent, and that he had been working hard to ensure his fitness was up to the level required.
He has the ability to play as a pure midfielder but can also drift onto a wing or back flank to provide valuable run and rebound, Tonkin said.
“We’ve done a few sessions and he’s been training hard since October. He’s built his tank up and he’s got his 20-metre sprints under three seconds which is great.
“He’s physically strong and his attack on the footy is relentless, as well as on the man. His tackling is ferocious and his front-and-square work is great.
“And he’s also really dedicated and professional. He’s positive and he’s willing to work hard which is what you need to make it.”
Jayden thanked his parents, teammates and Tonkin for all their help.