By Breanna Inferrera
WHILE he might need to watch a replay to remember leaving the ground with a concussion, running out onto Optus Stadium to make his AFL debut for the West Coast Eagles is something Gooseberry Hill resident Harry Edwards will never forget.
The 19-year-old, who grew up playing footy for the Kalamunda and Districts Junior Football Club and Mazenod Junior Football Club, came in to replace injured All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern for West Coast’s clash with Geelong on Saturday, August 1.
Edwards told Echo News about the moment senior coach Adam Simpson told him he had been given the green light to play on the big stage.
“It was amazing you grow up watching stars play and you just want to be in that position,” he said.
“To get that opportunity after years of hard work was just awesome.
“Overall joy, just a rush over your body of pure excitement and happiness.”
However, the 197cm key defender’s night ended early with a concussion after colliding with teammate Brad Sheppard in the second quarter.
Edwards said the collision was just one of those things that is a part of footy.
“I don’t remember the incident or coming off the ground, I remembered everything else about the game, which is good, didn’t forget my debut,” he said with a laugh.
“Obviously I wasn’t available to play last week just as a precaution it’s better to take a week off.
“I think the coaches were pretty happy with me, it’s hard to judge off one quarter but they just said yeah you look comfortable at AFL level and hopefully get another opportunity this year at some point.”
Edwards was recruited to West Coast from Swan Districts in the 2018 Rookie Draft.
He said his first season at West Coast was a lot of hard work as he had never played back before.
“I was mainly a midfielder, in my draft year at Swan Districts I kind of moved around a bit so I stayed a bit forward, ruck, mid,” he said.
“I got told I’d be a defender, so the first season was just learning my craft, putting on a bit of size and I grew a bit as well.”
The second-year Eagle said he hoped to get a few more games under his belt this year.
“From there I guess building and becoming a better defender and becoming a regular in the side hopefully, however long that takes,” he said.
“I’ve obviously got some pretty good guys ahead of me.
“But it’s about taking opportunities when they come.”