June 25, 2024

The West Coast Eagles have trained at Mineral Resources Park in Lathlain. PIctured - Harley Reid

Emerging talent Harley Reid from West Coast Eagles will be rested for Sunday’s match against Gold Coast, while premiership hero Liam Ryan makes his return to the team.

Reid, who was the No.1 draft pick last year, has had an impressive start to his AFL career, with his standout performance in last week’s Derby being the highlight so far. The 19-year-old contributed three goals and seven clearances from 19 disposals, leading West Coast to a 37-point victory over Fremantle.

In the preceding game against Richmond, Reid amassed 27 possessions, seven clearances, and a goal, contributing to a 39-point win.

Despite Reid’s excellent form, West Coast has decided to rest him for this week’s match, allowing him to return home to Victoria to spend time with family. West Coast football manager Gavin Bell stated, “We feel it is appropriate to manage him this week to give him the best chance to continue to be available and play at a high level for the remainder of 2024.” Bell emphasized the significant physical and mental demands placed on younger players and the importance of managing Reid’s body and energy levels as he navigates his first full season of AFL football.

The absence of Reid is a significant setback for West Coast’s aspirations of securing a third consecutive victory, particularly with Tom Barrass (suspended) also unavailable.

Young gun Harley Reid enters the AFL fishbowl and feasts on the hype | AFL  | The Guardian

However, Liam Ryan, who has not played at the AFL level since suffering a hamstring injury in round three last year, has been included in the lineup for a possible return. Given his recent appearances across half-back in the WAFL, Ryan could potentially feature as a defender.

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