- Young star in the making has been likened to Dustin Martin
- Will be a cornerstone of struggling Eagles’ rebuild
- Has already found himself caught up in an AFL scandal
Newly minted No.1 draft pick Harley Reid has already found himself at the centre of his first footy scandal after fans were left fuming over the way the AFL honoured him during the draft.
Reid was selected by the West Coast Eagles as the No. 1 pick during the selection process’s opening night on Monday.
Despite receiving various trade offers for Reid, the Eagles opted to secure the talented youngster, who is often likened to Dustin Martin for his explosive style of play.
There’s optimism he will play a crucial role in the rejuvenation of West Coast, a team determined to climb up from the bottom of the ladder and re-establish itself as a force.
However, he has already had to weather his first social media storm, with footy fans enraged over the AFL’s decision to honour him with a medal on stage.
Club champion Nic Naitanui presents Harley Reid with a West Coast Eagles guernsey after he was picked at No.1 in the national draft
Reid wears the Aylett Medal that got footy fans all worked up while talking to media personality and former player Ben Dixon
The Eagles have high hopes that Reid can help rebuild the battling club and lead them back into finals contention
In September, the AFL announced the establishment of the Allen Aylett Medal, dedicated to the memory of the late North Melbourne champion and VFL president, Dr Allen Aylett.
In a special moment, Reid was presented with the inaugural Allen Aylett Medal by the grandson of the North legend.
Following this recognition, recently retired Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui handed Reid a West Coast No. 9 jersey.
The AFL clarified that the Aylett Medal would be a regular feature, presented to the No.1 pick in subsequent drafts, as a tribute to Allen’s exceptional skills as a player and his broad perspective on Australian Rules football.
Some viewers expressed confusion about the new medal tradition, especially since top draftees had previously just received a National Australia Bank wealth portfolio.
‘They’re seriously giving out a medal for being taken pick one,’ asked one fan.
‘Are you serious? A medal for being the number 1 pick. Fark. This generation,’ another livid fan posted.
It became a common theme, with another fan posting: ‘What now you get a medal for being picked #1? That’s stupid.’
‘Now there’s a medal for being selected at pick one? You’re kidding,’ added another.
Reid himself said he was grateful after earning the No.1 pick accolades and his first AFL contract.
‘There was a lot of huge opportunities that came my way this year and I was happy to take them with both hands,’ he said.
‘I was pretty laidback with it all, to be honest.
‘I was just super grateful for the people around me, all my friends and family and my local club.