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Eagles in awe as Harley Reid's star continues to rise

3 minute read

No.1 draft pick Harley Reid has booted three goals from 19 disposals to help lead West Coast to an upset 37-point western derby win over arch rivals Fremantle.

Harley Reid
Harley Reid

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says Harley Reid is already exceeding the club's expectations after the No.1 draft pick tore Fremantle to shreds in the western derby win.

Reid kicked three goals to go with 19 disposals, seven clearances and two contested marks in West Coast's stunning 16.9 (105) to 10.8 (68) victory over Fremantle on Saturday.

The 37-point win followed on from his hot display in the 39-point win over Richmond, when Reid racked up 27 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.

Reid is the most hyped No.1 draft pick in AFL history, and he's well and truly living up to his billing.

"We love what Harley's doing and our internal expectations are not what he's producing - they (his performances) are a lot higher," Simpson said.

"They're probably just meeting expectations publicly. So I'm really cautious to not overplay it, because he's 19. It's hard to sustain that coming into the AFL.

"While he keeps doing it. I think we should all enjoy it, but let's not get too worried if he has an off day.

"Today he ... kicked three and really energised the crowd and the players, but we're not expecting that every week."

Reid's growing popularity is on track to rival that of Nic Naitanui and Ben Cousins in their hey day - not that the Victorian is letting the popularity go to his head.

"I'm sure Harley will be the first to say it's not about him," Simpson said.

"It's about all of us. I think we all enjoy the fact that he contributes the way he does.

"But I'm sure he doesn't want us to say it's about him, although he's a very good player and he's he's helped us."

The injection of youth has helped energise West Coast.

But their veterans are also performing to a high level, with the likes of Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly, Tom Barrass, Jeremy McGovern and Liam Duggan all performing strongly.

Simpson has been pleased with his team's comeback from last year's wooden spoon campaign, but says they are "nowhere near" the finished product.

"I was at pains to say to our players that we don't (want to) rely on Jake (Waterman) kicking five or Elliot having 15 clearances," Simpson said.

"We just want good team footy I suppose."

West Coast will be aiming to post their third win on the trot when they take on Gold Coast at People First Stadium on Sunday.

The Eagles are sweating on the availability of defender Tom Barrass, who could be in strife for his sling tackle on Michael Walters.

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