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Ginbey and Hewett join Eagles nest

By Josh Kempton

West Coast opted to stay close to home in the first round of the 2022 AFL Draft, selecting locals Reuben Gibney with pick 9 and Elijah Hewett with pick 14.

Ginbey, a tough inside midfielder who hails from Dunsborough, rocketed up draft boards on the back of an outstanding 2022 season in the WAFL Colts with East Perth and in PSA football with Wesley College, as well as representing WA at the national carnival.

The 18 year old profiles as an elite athlete, standing 188cm tall while placing in the top 10 at the draft combine in the vertical jump, 20m sprint, and 2km time trial.

Hewett’s 2022 campaign featured an outstanding underage carnival in combination with league and colts football at Swan Districts, with the explosive midfielder saying he models his game on Richmond’s Dustin Martin.

The Eagles initially owned pick 2 in the draft after a disastrous 2022 season where they finished 17th on the ladder, but opted to split the selection into two first round picks as part of the trade that took Jason Horne-Francis and Junior Rioli to Port Adelaide.

East Perth’s Jedd Busslinger, Claremont’s Ed Allan, and Swan Districts’ Darcy Jones were the other West Australian juniors to get picked up on the draft’s first night, heading to the Western Bulldogs with pick 13, Collingwood with pick 19, and GWS with pick 21 respectively.

With the draft’s first pick, Greater Western Sydney took Victoria Country key forward Aaron Cadman, reportedly preferring him over the draft’s other top hopes due to viewing him as less of a potential flight risk.

Brisbane matched a North Melbourne bid on father-son prospect Will Ashcroft, widely perceived as the best player in the draft, at pick two before the Kangaroos grabbed Harry Sheezel at pick three and George Wardlaw at pick four, with Essendon selecting Elijah Tsatas to round out the top five.

Fremantle were not involved in the draft’s first night, having traded pick 13 to Melbourne as part of the Luke Jackson deal.

The Eagles will have picks 23, 29, and 64 left to use when the draft resumes tomorrow, while the Dockers hold picks 33, 41, 42, 58, 63, and 72.

IMAGE: West Coast Eagles/Twitter.

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