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Eagles players dazzled by football 'freak' Harley Reid

3 minute read

Adelaide will be keeping a close check on West Coast rising star Harley Reid when the two sides lock horns at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Harley Reid.
Harley Reid.

West Coast defender Tom Barrass has described Harley Reid as a "genuine freak", but the No.1 draft pick is not the only player dazzling his teammates.

Reid has set tongues wagging all around the league with a series of audacious highlights in his debut AFL season.

In last week's 35-point win over Melbourne, the 19-year-old produced a goal-of-the-year contender by burning off Christian Petracca with three bounces before kicking truly from 45m.

Later, he fended off Clayton Oliver and Petracca in a magical piece of play to set up a goal for Jack Darling.

Such is the hype surrounding him, Reid is being tipped to become the first player to earn $2 million a season in the future.

"He's a genuine freak," Barrass said.

"I've never seen anything like it.

"He's a lovely bloke and a lovely character, so I love seeing him play good footy."

Reid will again be the centre of attention when West Coast take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

"Harley, he'll definitely be in our sights as far as how we can stop him," Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said.

"He's a tough one to stop, he's a unique player for such a young player ... to come in and perform the way he has."

However, another Eagle to have burst into the spotlight this season is forward Jake Waterman, who finished last round as joint leader of the Coleman medal with 29 goals to his name.

Waterman was stuck behind Josh Kennedy and Darling early in his career and managed just 79 goals across 84 games when he did play.

The 26-year-old was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis last year, an auto-immune illness that threatened his AFL career.

There was also a prospect Waterman would move clubs, given his career seemed to be stagnating at the Eagles.

But after re-signing with West Coast until the end of 2025, Waterman has become one of the league's elite forwards within the space of two months, with his marking a particular weapon.

Waterman took five contested grabs among his 13 marks on the way to kicking 5.1 against Melbourne last week, which gave him 23 goals in his past five games.

"Mate, I've never seen someone have such a turnaround in their footy," Barrass marvelled.

"I'm really proud of him, and I'm really stoked for him.

"He's shown a lot of resilience to come back from those health issues."

West Coast have been boosted by the return of gun midfielder Elliot Yeo.

The Crows, still licking their wounds from last week's four-point loss to Collingwood, will be without Izak Rankine (hamstring) and Elliott Himmelberg (cheekbone).

Adelaide midfielder Harry Schoenberg returns for his first AFL match since rupturing an achilles tendon in round 24 last year.

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