He might have grown up barracking for one of West Coast’s archenemies, but Isiah Winder appeared tickled blue and gold following his first official training session as an Eagle today.
The exciting Eaton product told local media outlets today that he was still trying to get his head around the fact he was an AFL player and running around with the likes of Tim Kelly and Liam Ryan at Mineral Resources Park.
West Coast used pick No.57 to land Winder during last Wednesday’s 2020 NAB AFL Draft, but today was the first time he pulled on the club’s colours and hit the training track alongside his new Eagles teammates.
It is unlikely the recruitment team would have changed their draft strategy if they knew Winder supported Sydney, but the 18-year-old suggested he kept his previous allegiance to the Swans on the down low during discussions with the Eagles.
“I was actually a Sydney supporter,” Winder revealed, nervously.
“Dad grew up with Derek Kickett, so that’s the reason we supported them.
“Ryan O’Keefe was probably my favourite player growing up. I watched him play in all the grand finals actually against the Eagles.”
While he was formerly a fan of ‘The Bloods’, Winder made it clear that he now bled blue and gold and hoped to have West Coast fans on the edge of their seats with his exciting style of play.
Winder played the majority of his footy with Peel’s Colts side this year, where he averaged 28 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s per game.
But he also got a taste of senior footy, representing the Thunder’s league team on three occasions in rounds three, seven and nine.
“I’m just trying to soak it all in. I moved up to Perth on Friday.”— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) December 14, 2020
Isiah Winder pic.twitter.com/1vwfG4P7Qm
The 18-year-old hoped the experience of playing alongside seasoned campaigners would hold him in good stead for his future endeavours with the Eagles.
“Senior footy is so different to playing colts footy,” Winder said.
“To be out there and to learn from some ex-AFL players gives me a lot of confidence going into an AFL system.”