Two young hopefuls with previous links to the West Coast Eagles have been added to the club’s senior list after tonight’s AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.
Versatile young Swan Districts defender Will Collins and hard-nosed West Perth midfielder Connor West have been seconded to the Eagles to replace forwards Daniel Venables and Jarrod Cameron who were this week placed on the inactive list because of long-term injuries.
Collins trained with the Eagles post-draft in the hope of getting an opportunity through the SSP listings, but the club did not venture down that track.
The 19-year-old defender has since made his senior debut with Swans in the WAFL, playing three games for an average of 10 possessions and four marks.
“Will’s a 191cm defender with really good speed and gives a great contest. He can play on various types. He can mix and match a bit," Recruiting and List Manager Rohan O'Brien told westcoasteagles.com.au.
"He trained with us for a number of weeks in the pre-season and really impressed. He has started the year well at Swans, and we’re happy to bring him in."
West, 22, is the son of former Eagle Robbie West who was on the club’s list between 1991-93, playing 13 games.
West has impressed in 40 WAFL games with the Falcons, the 183cm midfielder averaging 27 possessions across his career.
He also represented WA at under-18s level and just last month was in the WA team that played South Australia, where he handled the rise in class with aplomb, gathering 20 touches.
“We’ve tracked Connor for three or four years now. He’s broken into West Perth’s league team and gradually improved every year," O'Brien said.
"He is a midfielder, he can play on a wing or high forward. He’s represented WA this year against SA in the state game, and is averaging 27 disposals a game in League footy.
"Really good speed and running profile. It’s a pick with an eye to the future as well.
"He’s only 22 and we think he can offer something going forward.”
West snr. won the 1992 Sandover Medal, but was trying to break into a star-studded midfield when the Eagles were the best team in the competition, playing in three grands finals in four years and winning the 1992 and 1994 flags.
He moved to South Australia in 1995, playing in a premiership and winning Port Adelaide’s fairest and best.
Conor West is the grandson of East Perth legend Grant Dorrington, who was also a long time servant of the game as a WAFC Commissioner.