By JARROD POTTER
SECOND time around didn’t bear the same success for Ben Ross, but he was still thrilled to get another chance to represent Victoria.
The reigning J.J Liston Trophy winner, Ross, 24, originally from Bunyip, was one of a select few to wear the Victorian colours again this year against Western Australia, having taken part in last year’s 108-point thumping of Tasmania.
Ross found it a point of significant pride to be selected again for Victoria and savoured the chance to wear the Big V once more.
“It was a real honour to be selected for the second year running,” Ross said.
“I had a pretty good year the year before and any opportunity you get to represent your state you need to grab with both hands as it doesn’t come around too often.”
Results didn’t favour the VFL on Saturday, outplayed in the second half by the harder running WAFL at Northam, which turned a 31-point deficit half way through the third quarter into a 17-point victory.
It ended a 22-year drought for the Western Australians against Victoria – ending a losing streak stretching back to a State of Origin victory in 1991 at the WACA Ground.
“It was disappointing – the first time – I think in 22 years – they said after the game – that Western Australia has beaten Victoria,” Ross said.
“They were very excited after the final siren and we were very disappointed that we let the state down.
“It’s an honour to wear the Big V and to not come away with the win is pretty disappointing after the long time.”
With a number of his Victorian team mates last season getting the top-league nod – via the AFL national or rookie drafts – Ross hasn’t shut out the idea of getting another chance in the AFL, after playing 14 games for North Melbourne from 2007 to 2011.
“I never closed the door on the idea,” Ross said.
“Obviously, it’s everyone’s dream to be in the AFL – I had five years at North and really enjoyed those years, but the injuries didn’t help.”
“Had a great year in the VFL last year and didn’t manage to get picked up again, which I was a bit disappointed about, but that’s life and I’m just focusing on uni and football and enjoying my leadership role at Werribee.”
Ross returns to the Tigers’ ranks this week when Werribee faces Coburg at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.