Premiership-winning forward Peter Sumich has commended Jake Waterman for his recent performances, stating it’s been a good opportunity to ‘show his wares.’ 

The 25-year-old sits in third place with 17 goals in the Coleman medal count, behind GWS’ Jesse Hogan and Carlton’s Charlie Curnow after kicking five goals Fremantle. 

One week, prior Waterman matched his career-best total and kicked six goals, leading to a 39-point win over Richmond in West Coast’s first win of the season.

Sumich, who won club-leading goalkicker seven times, told SportFM Waterman always had the armoury to play well, but lacked opportunity.  

“He’s always had the armoury to play like that, it’s just probably the opportunity,” he said. 

“Now he’s got a little bit of momentum, you’ll see a change in his attitude which we have. He’s a very good player. He’s very mobile, very fit, he can work up the ground. 

“His one-on-one contest is a little bit old-fashioned where he knows how to use his body and if you know how to use your body in a one-on-one contest, you’re going to be a very good player. 

“He’s got it probably through his old man who would have taught him how to marry up against an opponent and use your body your hips and push off at the right time. He’s done that a few times and taken some great marks.”

Last season, Waterman only played 11 games before serious illness sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Since returning in 2024, Waterman has stepped up in Oscar Allen’s absence and become West Coast’s most potent forward, averaging 14 disposals and seven marks per game. 

Although Allen, who kicked 53 goals to come equal-fifth in the Coleman last year,  is ruled out at least until the bye with a knee injury, the prospect of a Waterman-Allen duo looks ‘threatening,’ according to Sumich. 

“He’s got good opportunity to really show his wares and with Oscar Allen being out, Josh Kennedy of course retiring, Darling at the end of his career,” he said.

“Stand up, and that’s what he’s done and the kid’s done it really well. I think he’s going to be a terrific player. 

“The combination of him and Oscar Allen now looks threatening going forward. Darling can just be that third and then take a bit of pressure off him and he can chime in.”

Jack Darling added yet another highlight to the Derby win, kicking two goals which took him to 514 goals, equalling Sumich in second place in the club’s goalkickers list.

“Records are meant to be broken, if you want to call them records,” said Sumich

“For him to kick over 500 goals in today’s football is an outstanding effort. No matter how many games you play, kicking 500 plus is a great effort in AFL football, so well done him.  

“If he can get his body 100% right, he can still then help the Eagles and be that third tool to Jake Waterman and Oscar Allen… and really help these young kids and probably kick close to 600, hopefully.”