Jake Waterman certainly rode the football rollercoaster in 2020. The third-year Eagle experienced it all: selection heartache, positional changes, dizzying highs and injury lows. The exciting 22-year-old took some time to break into the senior side at the beginning of the year, but he strung six games in a row after a solid performance against the Swans in round five. Having kicked six goals from those outings, Waterman appeared primed for a big second half of the year. However, the Claremont product sustained a broken hand at training following the club’s clash with Geelong and did not return until round 16. With teammates falling over left, right and centre during the fixture crunch, Waterman played all over the paddock in his remaining games, featuring up forward, down back and even through the midfield at stages.
Standout performance: Stepping up against the Swans
After missing out on selection for the first four games of the year Waterman was determined to make the most of his first senior opportunity of the year. And he did just that against Sydney to help the Eagles record their first win from their initial stint in the Sunshine State. He kicked the team’s first major and a crucial goal after the quarter time siren – a 55 metre bomb that got the Eagles within two points of the Swans after a trying first term. Waterman finished the contest with 11 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and his two goals.
Score involvement: 2.4
Inside 50s: 1.3
Disposal efficiency: 78.6%