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West Coast Eagles

Wilson relieved after Eagles' late swoop

Meet the draftees: Blayne Wilson A tough defender, Wilson arrives at the club from Peel Thunder who was unlucky not to be selected in the November national draft
New Eagle Blayne Wilson in action at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships

WEST Coast recruit Blayne Wilson says the disappointment of last month's NAB AFL Draft is behind him after being snared by the Eagles with their pre-season draft selection.

Wilson, an All Australian under-18 defender in 2009, battled a series of groin and hip injuries in 2010 and he was surprisingly overlooked in last month's national draft.

However, the 18-year-old said he received a phone call from West Coast immediately after the national draft, suggesting they were interested in him.

He was relieved to finally become an AFL-listed player on Tuesday.
"Obviously [it's] a bit better feeling today and [I'm] a lot happier. It's been a good day so far," Wilson said from Subiaco Oval.

"[I was] pretty disappointed on the proper draft day, [but] I'm putting all that behind me now and just taking a step forward.

"I got the phone call up pretty much straight after the draft. It made me feel a little bit happier, but I still had that feeling that it still hadn't been done or signed. I still didn't know what was going to happen."

Wilson, who has been a part of West Coast's rehab group since he started training with the club immediately after the national draft, said he was over the groin injuries that hampered him this season.

"I think it was mainly overuse injuries and that's obviously settled down a lot now," he said. "The body's feeling good at the moment, [I'm] still easing my way into it."

West Coast used its three rookie draft selections to snare Claremont youngsters Anton Hamp and Jeremy McGovern and re-draft wingman Tim Houlihan, who was cut from the senior list.

Hamp, a 192cm key forward with plenty of upside, said staying in WA was the perfect result for him. 

"I woke up this morning pretty much 10 minutes before the draft started and saw my name pop up at West Coast and it was just a dream come true," the engineering-commerce student said.

McGovern, who played as a ruckman for Claremont's colts side in 2010, said the chance to train as a full-time footballer would change his life.

The 194cm youngster is the son of former Fremantle and Sydney Swans player Andrew McGovern and the Eagles hope to develop him as a key forward. 

"This morning I was shovelling sand and now I'm back here having interviews," the apprentice electrician said. 

"I've been working hard doing my apprenticeship and training in the arvos, but now it's just fully training."