West to make Eagles debut
West Perth product Connor West will debut for the West Coast Eagles against Adelaide on Sunday, the club confirmed on Thursday.
The 22 year old was only selected by the club in last month's mid-season rookie draft after impressing with West Perth and subsequently the Eagles reserves in the WAFL this season, averaging 26 disposals in 10 games.
West's father Robbie was on the Eagles list from 1991 to 1993 and played 13 AFL games. He also won the 1992 Sandover Medal playing for West Perth.
Eagles Coach Adam Simpson announced the West Perth product’s debut at a team meeting on Thursday.
“From the first moment you got here, you’ve looked like an AFL player,” Simpson said.
“You’ve backed it up with learning the way we play, you’ve executed on the weekend and you’re ready to play mate.”
“I wasn’t really expecting it, but when he (Simpson) said it, I was just over the moon and kind of in a bit of shock,” West said in an interview with the Eagles website.
“Now that it’s starting to sink in a bit, it feels really good.
“Coming in I was just like I’ll stick to my guns, try and play good footy, get to know all the boys and just back myself in.
“It’s always going to be a goal of mine to play AFL and now I’ve got the opportunity, I’m not going to let that slip.”
West is part of an extended 26 man squad named for the trip to Adelaide, defender Tom Barrass (hamstring) and utility Brendon Ah Chee (broken hand) already ruled out.
2018 premiership player Mark Hutchings is amongst the six players included in the squad, Harry Edwards to take Barrass' key defensive post, Bailey Williams and Xavier O'Neill named on an extended bench.
The Eagles remain inside the top 8 despite a loss to bottom placed North Melbourne on Monday night, in what is ruckman Nic Naitanui's 200th AFL game.
IMAGE: The West Australian.