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Hutchings ready to fly

Nathan Schmook  November 23, 2012 4:00 PM

Meet the Draftees: Mark Hutchings At pick number 60, midfielder Mark Hutchings joins the Eagles after one year on the rookie list at St Kilda
They were saying congratulations but I didn't know what club it was so I checked the website.
WEST Coast recruit Mark Hutchings has backed himself to break into the Eagles' powerful midfield in 2013 after earning a second AFL chance at Thursday's NAB AFL Draft.

Hutchings, who the Eagles snared with pick No.60, spent 2010 on St Kilda's rookie list but didn't play a game and was delisted after one year.

He revived his chances of playing at the elite level with two outstanding seasons with WAFL club West Perth, finishing runner-up in the 2012 Sandover Medal and winning the Falcons' best and fairest.

The Eagles have described him as a "ready-made inside midfielder" and the 21-year-old said he hoped to break into the club's engine room immediately.

"I'll back myself in," Hutchings said on Friday.

"I'm just really eager to make the most of it this time around. I probably don't have a third chance, so I've got to get it right.

"I definitely feel much stronger after two or three years just training and maturing into my body and as a footballer.

"I've been working hard for it since I was pretty young, so I'll try and make the most of the second chance and give it my best crack."

West Coast entered the draft late on Thursday having traded away its first two selections in exchange for Sharrod Wellingham and Jamie Cripps.

The club used its first two picks to recruit Perth defender Brant Colledge (No.45) and South Fremantle midfielder Adam Carter (No.59) before jumping at Hutchings.

Hutchings, who runs his own personal training business, said he checked his phone between clients on Thursday evening to learn he had been drafted.

"They were saying congratulations but I didn't know what club it was so I checked the (AFL) website," Hutchings said.

"I saw my name and West Coast and I couldn't have been happier.

"It was pretty hard to keep my mind on the job for the next couple of hours, but I did it."

Hutchings was the captain of Western Australia's victorious state under-18s team in 2009 but he said he arrived at St Kilda "a bit naïve" and lacking confidence in his ability.

Since returning to WA for the 2011 WAFL season he has averaged 23 possessions in 41 games with West Perth, earning a reputation as a tough and reliable onballer.

"I know my game a little bit better and know my footy," he said.

"I feel my body's much better prepared to handle playing AFL this time around."