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West Coast Eagles

Williams happy to learn the ropes

Bailey Williams wants to add some more weapons to his arsenal this pre-season

Nic Naitanui’s ruck work. Josh Kennedy’s goal-kicking. Nathan Vardy’s running patterns. And Jack Darling’s training intensity.

That’s what Bailey Williams is hoping to add to his arsenal during his maiden campaign as an Eagle.

West Coast knew they snared a versatile athlete when they selected the Dandenong Stingrays’ product with pick No.35 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, but if Williams can add just a few of the aforementioned strings to his bow he might become one of the club’s most valuable acquisitions in recent memory.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because Williams certainly isn’t.

The 18-year-old just wants to be a sponge this pre-season and soak up all the tips, insights and pearls of wisdom that his new teammates throw his way in 2019.

“I came into the club wanting to learn a lot off big Nic and JK and see how they go about it,” Williams admitted.

“Unfortunately they have been in rehab for most of the pre-season, so I’ve tacked onto Jack Darling and Nathan Vardy.

“JD has been great to learn off. When I am in main training drills we are often in the same group and I get to watch how he goes about his training. He really knuckles down at training and gets the most out of it.

“He’s quite an intense guy who believes you need to train how you play. I think that’s a good way to approach it, so I want to model my training mentality on Jack.

“As for Vards, just watching his running patterns has been useful. He moves really well for a big guy. He moves in a similar way to me out on the ground, so I’ve been watching him closely.”

While Williams knows he has to learn the ropes over the summer slog, that hasn’t stopped him from setting some ambitious goals for 2019.

The fiery ruck-forward understands that it’s going to be tough to break into the club starting 22, but he hoped to at least don blue and gold during the club’s JLT Community Series.

“Playing in the JLT Community Series is what I’ve got my eyes on,” he revealed.

“I’m pretty motivated to play in a JLT game. But apart from that, whether it’s the JLT or just playing in the WAFL, I’m just keen to play footy and produce some good footy.”