West Coast delivered the first shock of the 2022 AFL Draft by selecting Elijah Hewett with their second pick, overlooking the son of former Fremantle gun Ben Allan.
There were hugs, back slaps and plenty of smiles as the family of “mad Eagles fans” celebrated when Hewett’s name was read out with pick 14.
Hewett was clearly ecstatic to remain home in WA while his brothers and friends were left pumping their fists in celebration of the news.
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“I’m just super excited and so excited I can be around my family,” he told Fox Footy.
“I’m so excited to start there with (Eagles’ first draft pick Ginbey) Reuben.
“I’m real fortunate. I’m so glad.”
The Eagles had already snapped up fellow West Aussie Reuben Ginbey with pick nine before turning to Hewett with their second first round selection.
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“Honestly I didn’t have much clue – it was really touch and go with a lot of these picks,” Hewett said when asked if he was confident the Eagles would call.
“Just to finally get my name read out is a huge relief and I’m incredibly excited.”
Hewett laughed as he admitted quitting his job at the Claremont Golf Course just two weeks ago as he turned his attention to life as an AFL footballer.
The teen had been juggling studying a commerce degree with his job while still playing footy in WA.
Draft expert Kevin Sheehan described Hewett as an “explosive midfielder” who was like a Jake Stringer when played forward.
“Against Vic Metro (he had) 29 disposals and two goals,” Sheehan said on Fox Footy.
“He set the standard then. He’s an explosive midfielder.
“He’s got that speed, the agility. I liken him to a Jake Stringer when he goes forward … you can’t put a hand on him!”
Fox Footy’s draft guru Mick Ablett said the Eagles would be ecstatic snapping up two West Aussies with the two first round picks they got by trading away pick two in the deal that got North’s Jason Horne-Francis to Port Adelaide.
“You want to talk swagger, (Hewett) does not lack any confidence at all,” he said.
“He took it up to the best of these guys and guys that had AFL experience and didn’t take a backwards step.
“He was a player touted as a potential top five or top 10 pick. West Coast have bought into absolute elite WA talent.”