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Sea change to help Averillo find new level to his game

Having moved north a month before his pre-season officially kicked off, Jake Averillo has more than settled into his new Queensland club and is looking forward to adding some 'strike' to the Dolphins' attack.

“(The move’s been) really good, I've been here for about a month, I've settled in well … can't complain about the weather,” Averillo told media following his first official day of training this week.

The former Bulldog, whose 2023 season was cut short with a PCL injury in the final round, was in the second influx of players to return to the training field in preparation for the 2024 season; taking part in various testing – including a 1.2km run – to start his new life as a Dolphin.

Jake Averillo at Dolphins pre-season training.
Jake Averillo at Dolphins pre-season training. ©Dolphins Media

“I was (concerned) when it first happened; I was a bit scared and I was thinking about this year straight away, but luckily, it wasn't as bad as expected," Averillo said.

“I've been running for a few weeks now, so it's come good, was a PCL; wasn't too serious.”

Playing primarily as a right centre, Averillo comes to the club alongside high profile acquisition Herbie Farnworth, with the Bankstown Sports / Moorebank Rams junior saying he was excited by the prospect of playing inside 2023 leading point scorer Jamayne Isaako and helping to provide some spark out wide.

Herbie’s heart set on bringing premiership home with Dolphins

“I think the boys did really well last year, loved watching how they play, their style of play and that's what brought me to the club,” Averillo said.

“I thought it really suited me and me coming to the club as well as Herbie can maybe bring a bit more pace that they probably needed and a bit more strike, so, I think our team’s coming along really well.

“I think I'll fit well into this team and the way they play, I like to play really expansive footy, so I'm looking forward to it.

“(On the right) is my preferred position, I think I went well there last year and made a home for myself on the right side, so I'd love to play there.

“I think (Isaako and I) will work really well together, he's obviously a really good finisher and I think that's one of my strengths, being able to get my winger away with quick hands, so I'm looking forward to him getting in here.”

With former Bulldog teammate Jeremy Marshall-King unearthing a new level to his game in his debut Dolphins season before being struck down by injury; Averillo was hoping to also make the most of his move and learn under the experienced Wayne Bennett as well.

“I saw how well Jeremy went last year and I think that change really suited him as well, so that's one thing that drew me to the club and obviously Wayne's reputation, all the really good players he's worked with, he's obviously got a knack of bringing the best out of players,” Averillo said.

“That was a big drawcard.

"(Marshall-King and I are) pretty close, we were at the Bulldogs for maybe three or four years and our partners are pretty close.

“That gave me a lot of confidence, knowing that he's really enjoying it here.

“He took his game to the next level as well, so hopefully I can do the same.”

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