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Brayshaw ready to work hard

Rhys Dickinson  November 30, 2017 12:35 PM

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Hamish Brayshaw is eager to embrace the rigours of his first AFL pre-season

Hamish Brayshaw was preparing for another bout of draft heartache when his name remained uncalled 67 picks in last Friday’s national ballot.

After missing out during last year’s draft, the 19-year-old’s hopes of realising his AFL dream were starting to fade until, seemingly out of nowhere, he was confirmed as West Coast’s sixth and final selection in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

“I was very nervous going in. I went through it last year and knew what to expect from not getting picked up,” Brayshaw said post-draft.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I might be a chance for a late pick or a rookie selection, but you can never be too sure with these things. I just had my fingers crossed the whole time and when my name got called out I was over the moon. I couldn’t have been happier.”

Brayshaw’s recruitment to the Eagles was made all the more sweeter knowing that younger brother Andrew would also be making the move west after going to Fremantle with pick No.2 at the draft.

He said talk of a Carlton Draught Derby match-up started not long after initial celebrations died down.

“A few of my mates have been throwing that one around already, but we’ve both got to settle in and work hard,” Brayshaw said.

“You’ve got to put in the hard yards before anything like that comes around.”

Brayshaw isn’t afraid of a little hard work.

The younger brother of Melbourne Demon Angus, Brayshaw endured a challenging 2017 pre-season, forced his way into Sandringham’s TAC Cup side and eventually got a call up to the club’s VFL team.

“It was a bit of an interrupted start for me. I was coming off a broken navicular bone in my right foot and didn’t start pre-season until early February,” Brayshaw said.

“But once I got back on the horse I put in everything I could. I didn’t make it back for round one, but round two I was out there for the [Sandringham] Dragons, played the next eight or so games and was pretty happy with how I was going. And then I got the call up for the VFL for the Sandringham Zebras and played the next 12 games in their senior side.

“That was a huge experience for me, playing against men. When we didn’t make the finals at the Zebras, the Dragons had made the finals in the TAC Cup so I was allowed to go back and finish off my season with them. Unfortunately we missed out on the premiership, but it was a great experience.”

Brayshaw said he was looking forward to getting stuck in to summer training and familiarising himself with his new teammates.

He hoped to further hone his strengths and work on some of his weaknesses with the help of midfield coaches Sam Mitchell and Nathan van Berlo.

“I think my strengths are reading the play and making good decisions around the contest,” Brayshaw said.

“I like to model my game on a Jobe Watson and Matt Priddis kind of player. They’re not overly quick but get the ball, make good decisions with it and help their teammates get involved in the game. They are the two players that I try and model my game on.

“The thing I’m most looking forward to is getting a good pre-season under my belt. I’ve seen how hard Angus has to work during the pre-season, but I’ve seen the dividends it can pay when he can still run out a game in pretty good fashion. That’s probably what I’m looking forward to most, just building that strength and fitness base to get myself up for a good 2018.”