Harry Edwards hopes there is room for three key defenders in West Coast’s backline at times next season, with the developing tall keen to continue learning on the job from star pillars Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass.

Coming off an impressive 2021 when he played 10 of his 11 career games and earned the Emerging Talent Award, the 21-year-old understands opportunities could depend on the availability of his senior teammates next year.

However, Edwards is pondering whether another opening into the line-up could arise, giving him the chance to play alongside reliable full-back Barrass and four-time All-Australian star McGovern.

“I feel like I’ve just got to create another spot for myself in the side," Edwards said.

“It’s not so much nudging them out, because they’re both stars and both top players in our team for a reason, so if I can play with them and learn off them I think that’s the avenue I should go with.”

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Harry Edwards press conference 23.11.21

The young key defender addresses the media following the beginning of the 2022 pre-season

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Edwards produced some fine performances in his third season on the list, and his athleticism for a 201cm youngster should hold him in good stead for a lengthy career at the elite level.

“I was happy with it,” Edwards said of his 2021 campaign.

“I had some games where I thought I played my role well and filled ‘Gov’s’ shoes well, and then I had games where I didn’t go so well, but that’s all part of learning.

“Hopefully I can take that into this year, get more games this year and show what I’ve got.”

Three years on from his selection in the 2018 rookie draft, Edwards could still vividly remember the mixture of emotions leading up to the Eagles selecting him at pick 18.

The Swan Districts product was looking forward to welcoming a new batch of draftees to the Eagles’ nest at Mineral Resources Park this week, once they get through the anxious wait until their name is called.

“A whole mix of emotions – I know that’s what it was like for me,” Edwards recalled from his draft year.

“You’re terrified, excited.

“You don’t know where we’re going to go, you don’t know if you’re going to go at all.”