Grand final brilliance gives Hepburn gun a VFL call-up

A scintillating performance in Hepburn’s grand final triumph over Beaufort has helped earn Jacob Brown a call-up to trial for Essendon’s Victorian Football League side.

Jacob Brown

Jacob Brown

Brown has been invited to train with the Bombers and hopes to find a spot on their list for the 2018 season.

The 19-year-old kicked four goals to win the best on ground medal during the Burras’ Central Highlands Football League premiership success.

It capped a strong season for the Hepburn youngster, who played 19 games for the Burras in 2017, kicked 41 goals and was named in the team’s best on seven occasions.

Essendon made contact with Brown following the grand final and asked him to tour the club’s facilities.

Brown said he had no idea the Bombers were looking at him as a potential recruit before he received the initial phone call.

“I didn’t really expect it so it was nice,” Brown said.

“I’ve always thought I could play higher than Central Highlands and the grand final probably helped me a little bit I would suspect. It’s good to get looked at and get given the opportunity as well, I guess.

“They said they were watching me during the year and then the grand final just pushed them over the line sort of thing.”

Brown said he was keen to pursue a career at VFL level before getting a call from the Bombers, which will be coached by former East Point power forward Dan Jordan next year.

Ex-Hepburn coach Jason Olver said it was a big thrill to see Brown noticed by Essendon, particularly after missing out on a spot with the North Ballarat Rebels in his final year of eligibility for the under-18 TAC Cup competition.

“He's a natural footballer, not a natural athlete. He won't win a time trial, but he'll win you a hard ball in a grand final when it counts,” Olver said.

“As a coach, I know what I’d want in my side.”

Brown, who is also an under-18 premiership player with the Burras, is set to have his first training run with the Bombers in late November.

Hepburn will be coached by Segifili Asa Leausa in season 2018 after he was appointed as Olver’s successor earlier this month.