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West Coast Eagles

Nic Nat's grab a highlight for Allen

Allen press conference 09.07.18 Oscar Allen fronts the media following his debut game against the Giants

While most of his AFL debut felt like a “blur”, Oscar Allen says there is one moment he can recall as clear as day: Nic Naitanui’s incredible third-quarter screamer.

In spite of being locked in on his defensive task for the majority of the game, the 19-year-old admitted to getting lost in the moment when Naitanui rose above teammate Scott Lycett and Greater Western Sydney’s Aidan Corr and reeled in a mark of the year contender.

“I think seeing Nic Nat’s mark was pretty amazing,” Allen said.

“I caught myself looking for a couple of seconds thinking, ‘Did that just really happen? He might have just won himself a car’.

“I was probably 40m out from our own goal, so I had a pretty good vantage point.”

The other highlight of Allen’s first game in blue and gold was his smother on Giant Matt De Boer’s shot at goal in the opening term.

After losing his initial marking contest to GWS forward Harrison Himmelberg, Allen made amends with a fantastic smother on De Boer’s snap and followed it up with a smart collect and handball to Liam Duggan.

“The smother was something that allowed me to get my hands on the ball the first time and it was good to get involved in the play,” Allen said.

“It was a pretty unreal experience the whole game. What a game to be a part of – it was so close – and then to be able to get the win in the end was great for the boys.”

The West Perth product finished his first senior game with seven disposals, which he distributed at a team-high 100 per cent efficiency.

He also stuck three tackles – one of them earning a holding the ball free kick – and reeled in two marks on debut.

Recruited with pick No.21 in last year’s NAB AFL Draft as a key forward, Allen said he enjoyed playing down back and credited West Coast skipper Shannon Hurn and veteran defender Will Schofield for keeping him calm throughout his first official run on Perth’s Optus Stadium.

“Shannon Hurn and Will Schofield, plus Gov (Jeremy McGovern) – they’re all the best at what they do and the reason for that is because they’re not only good footballers but really good people. To be able to learn off them has been amazing,” Allen said.

“I’m happy playing wherever the coach puts me. I think I can play forward in the future and I’m sure that switch will get pulled at some stage throughout my career, but at the moment I am just enjoying my footy and trying to make the most out of every opportunity I get.”

Mature beyond his years, Allen knows his spot in the starting 22 is far from safe with so many senior players pressing to return against Collingwood this week.

But the prospect of missing out on a trip to Melbourne didn't appear to faze the affable youngster, who said he would accept the match committee’s call either way.

“Footy is such a brutal industry and everything can change so quickly,” he said.

“I’ve just got to recover, be myself and enjoy the experience. If I’m lucky enough to travel and play the Pies I’d be extremely grateful, and if I’m not that’s fine as well.

“I’ve got a lot of things I need to work on as a footballer, so it’ll give me a great opportunity to develop as a person as well.”