West Coast Eagles used their first No. 1 pick since 1996 on former Bendigo Pioneers and Victoria Country player Harley Reid.
West Coast draft Harley Reid with No. 1 pick in the 2023 AFL Draft
- Eagles take Harley Reid with the number one pick.
- Reid is widely considered to be one of the best prospects in AFL draft history.
- “Readymade” say West Coast Eagles.
- Eagles still tipped to finish last by AFL betting sites.
West Coast Eagles started off a frantic 2023 AFL Draft night by doing what we all expected them to do. That’s right, Eagles drafted Harley Reid with the first pick of the 2023 AFL Draft. Reid is seen by many as one of the best AFL draft prospects in history.
No-brainer decision for Eagles
AFL fans have known for months that West Coast would have the top pick in the 2023 AFL Draft. They have also known that Harley Reid would be going number one.
Reid, who is just 18 years old, has been tipped to be the top overall pick in the 2023 draft for nearly 18 months. Some betting sites were not even offering odds on who would go number one since it was such an obvious decision.
This year, Reid was named Vic Country’s MVP at the national under-18s championships where he averaged 20 disposals, 13 contested possessions, and a carnival-high seven clearances.He also kicked 5.6 and earned his second consecutive All-Australian honours. Simply put, Reid was the best player available, so it’s no surprise that he went number one. However, some people were surprised that he went to Eagles.
West Coast were the worst team in the AFL last season, so some assumed they may value win-now pieces instead of taking Reid. However, a trade never materialised and Reid will be an Eagle. West Coast obviously are not too upset about this as Reid, who the club describes as “readymade” for the AFL, will join Eagles’ young core of Reuben Ginbey, Elijah Hewett, Noah Long, and Oscar Allen.
Reid handed No. 9 jumper
In addition to being drafted with the prestigious number one overall pick, Harley Reid has also been handed Eagles’ illustrious No. 9 jumper. The 18-year-old was handed the jumper on stage at the 2023 AFL Draft ceremony by Nic Naitanui, the former owner of West Coast’s No. 9 jumper. Brownlow medallist Ben Cousins famously wore the No. 9 jumper for Eagles before Naitanui.
Reid was asked after the draft about the ceremonial passing of the torch and what it meant to be given the jumper by Naitanui. “I’m super grateful to be in the position that I am and lucky enough to have Nic Nat present the jumper to me,” said the Victoria native, “I couldn’t think of anything better than to look at the number on my back. It’s a huge privilege.”
He further went on to say that the No. 9 jumper will inspire him to do more and give it his all. “It’s not just a number,” Reid said, “It’s huge. To see the history and what’s behind it, and to add it is something that’s going to motivate me to get to the next level.”
Eagles near the bottom of 2024 AFL betting odds
Despite this huge acquisition and West Coast Eagles’ strong young core, no one really expects much from them this season. The AFL betting sites widely tip them to the worst AFL team for yet another season.
PlayUp gives Eagles $251.00 odds to win the Premiership. No team has longer odds. As you would expect, West Coast are also at the bottom of the odds list for the Make the Top Eight, Make the Top Four, and Minor Premiers betting markets.
As exciting as Harley Reid now is as a prospect, West Coast are a rebuilding side, so don’t expect too much from the youngster this season. If Eagles somehow finish outside the bottom two, this season will be a success for both Reid and his new club.