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West Coast Eagles

Edwards loving life as an Eagle

West Coast Eagles rookie Harry Edwards has embraced every challenge thrown his way this pre-season

It was the injury that could have dashed Harry Edwards’ draft dreams.

When Edwards crashed to the turf during Swan Districts colts’ second semi-final clash with Subiaco, he knew something was wrong.

First there was the sound, a crack that sent shudders through the young Swan.

And then there was the writhing pain that shot up his left leg.

“I just came down on the opposition ruckman’s foot and my ankle just folded up and snapped,” Edwards said.

“I fractured a bone and tore some ligaments. Fortunately I didn’t need surgery, but I was in a moon boot for a couple of months.”

With recovery at the forefront of his mind, Edwards was pleasantly surprised upon learning that West Coast had used its first selection in the 2018 NAB Rookie Draft to bring him into the nest.

Edwards spent his formative months at Eagles HQ rehabilitating his ankle alongside the likes of marquee players Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy, but at the end of January he got the green light to resume full training.

It was then that the 197cm Edwards learned that he would begin his apprenticeship as a defender.

“Simmo just came to me and said, ‘You’re starting down back’,” Edwards joked.

“I just took it on board, embraced the challenge and now I’m going with it.

“I’ve learnt heaps off my mentor, Mark Nicoski, and guys like Will Schofield and Lewis Jetta have been really helpful.

“Apart from the positioning, my coaches and teammates have been encouraging me to stick to my strengths. They tell me not to worry about all the other stuff, just focus on what I’m good at, which is my competitiveness and versatility.”

In addition to learning a new position, Edwards is also adjusting to the demands of training at an elite standard.

Where he would normally train twice a week with his WAFL team, Edwards is now going hammer and tongs up to five days a week as an Eagle.

Surprisingly, Edwards said it was the jump in education, not training sessions, that was the steepest learning curve.

“Where I came from, we didn’t really do vision analysis,” he said.

“We might do it once a week after a game as a group, but here we are doing it every day.

“In team meetings the vision is generally an overview of the good and bad of training. Our coaches usually highlight something good someone did and encourage us to do that too.

“Later I go with Nico and we look at my own vision and look at other backmen’s vision to see what I should and shouldn’t be doing.

“It’s all new to me but it’s great. I’m definitely getting a lot out of it.”