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Ex-cricketer joins Bombers

Simon Conway  October 9, 2017 2:00 PM

Luke Lavender was an elite cricketer before deciding to take up the opportunity with Essendon.

Luke Lavender was an elite cricketer before deciding to take up the opportunity with Essendon.

Essendon has signed former cricketer Luke Lavender as a Category B Rookie.

The 21 year old stands 202cm tall and was highly sought after when he made the decision to pursue a professional football career.

Lavender qualified as a Category B Rookie because he hasn’t been registered within a football competition in the last three years.

“It’s so exciting, I can’t wait to get over there and join the team,” Lavender said.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into it during the pre-season and try to earn a spot in the side.

“I can’t wait to see what the boys are like behind the scenes and be a part of that.

“I’ve always loved footy and grew up playing the game without ever really giving it a serious crack but now is the time for me to see how far I can really take it.”

Lavender excelled across a range of sports throughout his junior years.

He played Premier Cricket in South Australia, where as a fast bowler he was selected in a number of underage state representative squads.

He also represented South Australia in soccer as a goalkeeper and set secondary school high jump records along the way.

“All of the sport I’ve played across a number of years should me me in good stead to develop as an athlete and perform at a high level,” he said.

“When I was younger I had the choice of cricket, footy or soccer and growing up I had more opportunities with cricket but I never really gave footy a chance.

“But this year an opportunity came up and I really want to give it a crack.”

Lavender is highly regarded for his speed, leap, marking and kicking ability.

List and Recruiting Manager Adrian Dodoro said Lavender has the drive to become a strong performer at AFL level. 

“We’re really excited about what Luke can bring as a 202cm athletic ruckman/forward,” Dodoro said.

“He hasn’t played the game since he was 16 when he played at West Adelaide.

“We’ve been keeping a close eye on him for some time now and we think he’s got the athletic prowess to be a very good AFL player.

“He’s a very determined young man with a great attitude.

“He’ll come on to our list and be ready to go for the pre-season so he can start competing for a spot in the senior team.”