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West Coast Eagles

The bald Eagle who likes to keep things interesting

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Lewis Jetta of the Eagles almost smiles after the win during the 2019 AFL round 11 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on June 02, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
Lewis Jetta likes to keep things interesting

In a sometimes drab AFL landscape where players rarely reveal their true personality, Lewis Jetta's colourful character shines like a beacon.

West Coast's resident prankster, Jetta has a knack for brightening up the cutthroat environment at the elite level.

Cast your mind back to last year when he was filmed dancing with Liam Ryan and Willie Rioli in the changerooms during half-time at Adelaide Oval.

Or to the intense qualifying final against Collingwood, when the defender snuck forward and celebrated snapping the go-ahead goal with a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired move.

Followers of the Eagles' social media accounts regularly see the lighter side of one of the game's quirkiest footballers.

If he's not performing a jig or staring down a camera, the ex-Swan might be quietly sipping a tea instead of Gatorade or soft drinks as part of his new post-game ritual.

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tea time.

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"I absolutely love it. It's been working for me. It relaxes my body," Jetta told AFL.com.au.

"I saw it for the first time with Kieren Jack in the Sydney days, and I thought the same thing: 'what are you doing?'.

"I totally forgot about it (until four weeks ago) and spoke to the dietitian.

"I did ask for green tea, but I've been getting English breakfast. Any tea is fine.

"I'm starting to get into all different flavoured teas, so it's actually amazing."

Doing things differently and bringing a smile to people's faces is all part of who Jetta is.

Three weeks ago, when he arrived at a Tuesday night training session at Optus Stadium sporting a George Costanza style haircut, Jetta got the reaction he hoped for after a spur-of-the-moment decision.

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what did Jetts say to the barber?

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"I went to my uncle's place, went to the bathroom looked into the mirror and (thought) 'oh well, why not just cut it off for a laugh?'," he said.

"I don't really care about my hair. As long as people look at it and start laughing then my job is done."

The new 'do' even drew a grin from coach Adam Simpson, who quickly predicted during his weekly media conference that Jetta's new style might not last.

"He looked at it first and then just started smiling," Jetta said.

"’Simmo’ knows how I am. If the boys are down, I get them up with something random or crazy. I figured a 1970s, 1980s hairstyle, try to bring it back.

"It was actually my boy (who told him to completely shave his head). He was like 'alright daddy, you can cut off your hair now'.

"A lot of the hairstyles I ask (Lewis) Junior and my daughter 'what do you think about this one, should I get this one?'.

"It's a bit of fun that I have with my kids."

For all the lighter side to Jetta's personality, it shouldn't overshadow what he has added on the field since settling at half-back last year, and as a mentor to West Coast's indigenous players.

The 30-year-old put an arm around Ryan's shoulders at three-quarter time of last year's Grand Final, telling him to forget dropping a mark and to bring some magic in the final term.

Ryan famously went on to play a key role, setting up Josh Kennedy and match-winner Dom Sheed for crucial goals.

It was acts like Jetta's encouragement of Ryan, combined with his Wirrpanda Foundation work and leadership, that saw him awarded the Chris Mainwaring Medal as best clubman last October.

During his speech, Jetta acknowledged the "hard feedback" from his teammates which helped him reach his potential after two up-and-down years back in the west.

Switching from a wing to half-back helped Jetta unlock his damaging best, and coach Adam Simpson believes there is still room for improvement in the former Swans' defensive game.

"He's spot on," agreed Jetta, who is in talks to extend his contract beyond this year.

"There's a lot of things (to learn) – not as tough as the midfield, but still pretty tough.

"That's all I can do at training, and when I'm playing on good forwards of our side, all I can do is try to beat them, see different ways to beat them, body positioning and all that stuff.

"I'm still learning how to become a complete defender, still got a lot to improve."