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New Eagle Tom Cole no longer a tormented Tiger

Tom Cole has represented Vic Country at the U18 titles for the past two seasons  - ${keywords}
Tom Cole has represented Vic Country at the U18 titles for the past two seasons
I followed the Tigers. It was a bit of a rough sort of childhood
New Eagle Tom Cole

WEST Coast draftee Tom Cole is hoping for some success with his new club after a childhood full of disappointment as a Richmond supporter in Victoria.

Cole was drafted by the Eagles with pick No.36 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft from the Bendigo Pioneers.

The 18-year-old said he was rapt to join West Coast after supporting a team that hadn't tasted much success in his lifetime.

"I followed the Tigers," Cole said.

"It was a bit of a rough sort of childhood."

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His favourite player was Matthew Richardson but he plays nothing like his hero. Rather, Cole is a 185cm running half-back with the ability to swing through the midfield and up forward. He has great endurance, running a 14.10 beep test and recording a 10min 37sec 3km time trial at the NAB AFL Draft Combine in October.

Cole dominated for the Pioneers in the TAC Cup, averaging 25 disposals a game. He played four games for Geelong in the VFL and said that experience gave him a lot of confidence that he could make it at AFL level.

"I matched up on a few forwards who have played in the AFL," Cole said.

"To get that experience was really good."

Cole played for Vic Country in the 2015 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships alongside Kurt Mutimer, who was drafted by the Eagles with pick No.57 this year.

Cole has also been a member of the NAB AFL Academy with fellow Eagles draftee Luke Partington and played for Vic Country in the 2014 under-18 championships alongside Jackson Nelson and Tom Lamb, who were both recruited by the Eagles last year and made their AFL debuts in 2015.

He said having so many familiar faces around the squad has helped him settle in during his first week.

"We're all sort of helping each other through it," Cole said.

"I'm staying with Luke Shuey at the moment. He's been looking after me. 

"He has been telling me about how he made the move (from Victoria) back when he was 18. He said it gets easier. He's made me feel pretty comfortable."