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Priddis pays credit to 'idol' Worsfold

Priddis wins Worsfold Medal Check out midfielder Matt Priddis' highlights from 2013
Matt Priddis of the Eagles in action during the 2013 AFL Round 22 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at the MCG, Melbourne on August 23, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Matt Priddis won the John Worsfold Medal on Friday night
MATT Priddis credits John Worsfold as being one of the most influential people in his life and was overwhelmed with the honour of being the inaugural John Worsfold medallist.
 
West Coast unveiled the new name for its best and fairest award on Friday night and Priddis received the honour for the first time having been runner-up in the Eagles club championship in 2010 and 2011.
 
Priddis revealed that as a kid growing up in Manjimup in WA's south-west he was a fanatical Eagles supporter and worshipped the man who was his first AFL coach.
 
"I've idolised (Worsfold) since I was a kid, since I've started following footy," Priddis said.
 
"He's had a massive impact on my life on and off the field.
 
"He's always encouraged me to play to your strengths. Don't be anyone else other than yourself and I can't thank him enough.
 
"So for this medal to be named after him it's a massive honour."
 
The best and fairest capped a wonderful night for the hard-working midfielder as he was also awarded life membership at West Coast after playing his 150th game against Collingwood in round 22.
 
His story is a nod to perseverance. He was overlooked at several drafts before finally being rookie listed with West Coast in 2006 as a 21-year-old. He won the Sandover Medal in the same season for Subiaco and is a model for any player that has ever been overlooked.
 
"The door will only close once you close it," Priddis said.
 
"So while you're giving it everything to get that opportunity you're always half a chance."
 
The 28-year-old said the Eagles playing group is buzzing at the start of pre-season under new coach Adam Simpson.
 
"It's been really exciting," Priddis said.
 
"It's going to be a new style of play. Not a massive change but it's a really young coaching group and they're all very enthusiastic.
 
"They've been taking it easy on us at the moment. They don't want to throw it all on us pretty early so they're gradually implementing their strategies.
 
"The early signs are very exciting."