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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Waterman believes Eagles work/ play policy goes too far

Returning Claremont star Alec Waterman says he is delighted to be back with the Tigers, but disappointed to be leaving West Coast.

The key forward, who was working in the Eagles’ community department, is the first casualty of the club’s new policy that their employees who play in the state league must be aligned with their program.

Waterman told Sports Breakfast he believed the stance, which will affect other WAFL players such as reigning Sandover Medallist Hamish Brayshaw and West Perth defender Sam Rotham, was unnecessary.

“I decided that I wanted to finish my footy at Claremont, so I’ll finish up [at West Coast] at the end of my working contract,” he said.

“I’m not going to criticise but it’s disappointing to be in that position. I feel like it doesn’t have to go to those lengths.

“That’s the decision they’ve made and we’ll move on from it.”

The 27-year-old, who spent two years with Essendon after being picked up on the back of a standout 2020 WAFL season before an injury-interrupted year with the Eagles, said the Tigers were well-positioned for premiership success after several years in the mix.

“There was no push to go anywhere else, it was always Claremont,” Waterman said.

“Coming into the back end of my career, I’m past the halfway mark, I want to win a flag. We got so close in 2020.

“Having some good friends at Claremont and the fact I want to win one with them was the main reason to go back.”

The Waterman family have endured a difficult 2023 with Alec’s brother Jake, who is on the Eagles’ AFL list, undergoing a battle with ulcerative coilitis.

Waterman said his brother would be on the track for day one of preseason but was unsure of his training capacity.

“He’s not fully recovered, he’s still working through it, but he’s better than he was initially,” he said.

“He was going through a pretty tough time, but in recent weeks and recent months he’s been a lot better.

“He’s still recovering, he’s still working through the process to get better. It’ll take a lot of time for the specialists and the professionals to work out a plan that’ll work for him.”

Waterman is one of two announced recruits for Claremont, with former Tigers junior Eric Benning, who was delisted by Fremantle in September after two seasons with the Dockers, also re-joining the club.



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