Eighteen-year-old Bella Lewis has had a terrific season with the West Coast Eagles, but truly rose to the occasion in yesterday’s clash against Richmond.
The midfielder had a strong game on the wing, assisting the side in their best third quarter to date. The margin significantly narrowed thanks to the work of Lewis, with 18 disposals, five tackles, two marks and seven contested possessions.
Although the West Coast outfit couldn’t get across the line, Lewis put in her best work to assist the side in one of their strongest matches yet.
West Coast Eagles AFLW coach Daniel Pratt was more than impressed with her efforts.
"I’m really proud of her, she’s been working really hard on her game all year," Pratt said.
"The fact that we didn’t have Swanny (Emma Swanson), or Hooks (Dana Hooker), and then losing Aish (Aisling McCarthy), we needed a few of our midfielders to stand up, and I thought that Bella, along with Mikayla Bowen, was the one leading the charge.
"I’m really pleased that some of our first round draft picks are starting to impact games at AFL level."
Lewis was picked third in the 2020 draft, and has consistently impressed with clean ball work and speedy runs through the midfield.
She is also reliable in the contest, and brings an impressive level of pressure and intensity to the game.
Her turn-of-foot speed and ability to manoeuvre through contests is also admirable.
"For a first year player to be able to just instinctively take people on, or use her hand, or take a quick kick if she needs it, (she is a) really good decision maker." Pratt said.
"It’s probably a testament to her ability to really play footy, enjoying herself rather than overthinking or trying to make the game more complicated than it really is.
"She’s going to be a good player at the club for a long time."