If West Coast recruiters were looking for a committed and competitive player in Wednesday night’s national draft, they certainly picked correctly with Isiah Winder.
Because there is no doubt about the athletic and quick midfielder Peel youngster's desire to make it to the top level.
Winder travelled nearly two hours each way back and forth to training in Mandurah from Eaton, just outside Bunbury, this season in a bid to make his AFL dream become a reality.
He missed the moment his name was called out live on Fox Footy after a marathon draft night, but he was soon overwhelmed by jubilant family celebrations.
“I turned it (the TV) off after a bit and that’s when I started getting the notifications on my phone. That’s when I turned the TV back on and saw the Eagles had picked me,” Winder told westcoasteagles.com.au.
“I had my mum and dad, my five siblings there with me, and then I also had my nan and my two cousins.
“As soon as it happened, as soon as it was called out, there was tears in the house. It’s a small house with a lot of people in it and there were tears everywhere.”
It didn’t take long for West Coast’s list manager Darren Glass to jump on the phone to pass his congratulations on, soon followed by several Eagles he will soon get to know very well.
“I’ve had a call from Simmo (coach Adam Simpson) and Jarrod Cameron gave me a call and said hello, and Liam Duggan messaged me, so I’ve had a few contacts,” Winder said.
Winder averaged 28 possessions, seven marks and five tackles this season, finishing ninth in the WAFL Colts best and fairest award.
A taste of League football with the Thunder whet his appetite for playing against men and the 18-year-old will soon have the chance to test himself against the best at West Coast training.
“I reckon I’m a very competitive player. I’m really caring for my teammates, but I reckon that I run the white line fever,” he said.
“But also I love being out there and I love enjoying my football.”