Ex-cricketer joins Bombers

20171009_Lavender_HEssendon 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.”