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AFL 2017 First Elimination Final - Port Adelaide v West Coast

Luke Partington in the centre of the action against Port Adelaide

It's a bit challenging, but it's part of footy and I enjoy it

IT WAS a dream come true for Luke Partington to play in West Coast's unforgettable elimination final win, and the young Eagle is crossing his fingers for a plane ticket to Sydney.

Last Saturday night's epic victory over the Power in front of family and friends at Adelaide Oval was just the sixth game of Partington's fledgling career.

In the lead-up, there was speculation Sharrod Wellingham would get the nod as a defensive forward, and Partington wasn't sure himself that he would make the cut.

But the Eagles went in unchanged and the 181cm youngster did his job with 11 touches and two tackles – not that he's taking his spot for granted ahead of a semi-final showdown against the Giants.

"It was pretty close last week and that's AFL footy," Partington told

"If you're not performing as well as other people your spot is going to be there up for grabs.

"I was fortunate to get through selection and it was just amazing to be part of the game.

"For me being a young guy and new to the system you've got to wait until Wednesday night to know whether (you're playing).

"It's a bit challenging, but it's part of footy and I enjoy it."

Partington has grown accustomed to living on the fringes of selection.

There had been calls for weeks for the 20-year-old to debut before he finally got a guernsey against the Brisbane Lions in round 19.

He ran onto Domain Stadium to a huge cheer from Eagles fans, who wanted fresh blood injected into the line-up and were well aware of Partington's prolific WAFL form in averaging 27 disposals and a goal in 13 games.

Since then he has held onto his spot, and being part of the extra-time thriller against the Power was especially sweet for the South Australian.

Partington lost his father Brian in a mining accident only nine months before he was drafted in 2015, and was thrilled to share the emotion-charged celebrations with family.

"They wouldn't miss it. A game in Adelaide, you don't get too many of those during the year, so they loved every moment," he said.

"They got to come into the change-rooms after the game to watch the boys sing the song, so that was pretty special."

Although finals intensity was "a massive step up" from the regular season, not much fazes the boy from Tumby Bay.

If he is picked to face the Giants, as seems likely, Partington's role will be shutting down their damaging half-backs and getting dangerous at the feet of Josh Kennedy.

"They've got some senior experienced half-backs (Nathan) Wilson, (Zac) Williams and Heath Shaw," he said.

"It's not how much of the footy you get, it's how you play your role and keep your defenders engaged and that forward pressure.

"For me it's about ticking those boxes off."