The AFL’s number one draft pick Harley Reid says it was a relief to finally have his name read out by West Coast.
The Tongala product has long been considered the top player in his draft class, particularly ever since dominating as an underage player for the Bendigo Pioneers and Vic Country.
With West Coast looking like the likely holders of the first pick all season, speculation surrounded Reid and whether he’d be happy to move west, something that he himself stated that he’d be happy to do on SEN.
After all of the hype and all of the chatter, Reid is now finally an Eagle and the teenager says he’s glad to put all of that outside noise behind him.
“Yeah, for sure,” Reid told SEN WA Breakfast.
“It was a big sigh of relief when I heard my name get called out. It was all over.
“It was a pretty surreal moment, to be honest.”
While Reid had to convince some that he was happy to go to West Coast, he says he hasn’t had to do any of that since pulling on his new number nine guernsey.
He’s truly appreciative of the opportunity afforded to him by the power club.
“It’s so good to have the opportunity that I have,” Reid said.
“To be drafted to West Coast, surely that says it all.
“I didn't have to say much once I put that guernsey on.”
When asked what he’s most looking forward to about his cross-country move, Reid says creating relationships with his new teammates and coaches first of all.
On the field, the young gun hopes a strong pre-season can put him in the frame for a Round 1 debut.
“Getting across and meeting all of the players and creating those relationships with both staff and players, to be honest,” Reid said.
“Within a footy club being from a country area, that's something that I find is a huge value, creating relationships to play good footy.
“I feel once I got their relationships on and off the field, I feel that's where I play my best footy.
“Like every other draftee, their first goal is probably to play Round 1. “I'd love to be in that window to play Round 1, but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge.
“I'm just super keen to get stuck into it.”
Reid is West Coast’s latest number-one overall draft pick since Michael Gardiner in 1996.