Campbell Chesser celebrates a goal with teammates during the match between West Coast and Richmond at Optus Stadium in R5, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST Coast wingman Campbell Chesser is drawing confidence from his recent run at the top level, making up for lost time as the Eagles show faith in the powerful runner following a difficult start to his AFL career.

Chesser has played every game this season since starting as an impactful substitute against Port Adelaide, learning week-by-week as little moments within games help encourage the 20-year-old that he belongs at the top level.

While pandemic shutdowns and injuries restricted his junior football and debut AFL season, Chesser was able to play 14 games in 2023 in an injury-decimated team. His past five, however, have been more impactful in the skilful youngster's development.

"My ability to kind of recognise what's going on around me, understand the pace of the game, and all that kind of stuff has definitely improved," Chesser told ahead of Saturday night's Derby.

"So I think the 12 months probably set me back a little bit, but I think I've been able to fast-track my development with being available in the last 12 months to get out there as much as I can.

"The club have given me really good opportunities to be out there and spend more time out on the ground.

"Being out there and experiencing the AFL level and the pace of the game definitely helps and that's probably the most important thing for your development as a player."

Campbell Chesser during West Coast's match against Fremantle in R3, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Chesser's training standards and determination to improve have been noted at West Coast as he works with dual All-Australian and 2015 club champion Andrew Gaff on developing in the wing role.

The classy right-footer has also been learning from his opponents, with a quarter spent on Port Adelaide champion Travis Boak in round one revealing tricks he can add to his game.

"Some of the angles and running patterns that he runs, he is a very smart player, so he was probably one opponent that I picked some things up from," Chesser said.

"And Andrew Gaff has been one of the best wingmen in West Coast history, and a great wingman for 10-plus years of the competition, so he's been great to lean on for advice ever since I got here.

"He's been really welcoming being a Victorian boy as well, and I think his ability to teach and lean into my development and Harvey Johnston and those type of guys has been great. We're really fortunate to have him around at the club to help us develop in this role."

Liam Ryan, Jamie Cripps and Campbell Chesser during West Coast's 2024 official team photo day at Mineral Resources Park. Picture: AFL Photos

Chesser said the expectation on him as a wingman was to utilise his running power and cover the ground well, using his strengths as a player while connecting with the team's defenders and forwards.

He has grown more confident in his role in the team while the Eagles play a game style focused on pressure, contest and forward half football that has been easy for the club's many young players to embrace.

"We're able to try and comply to the team system and it also allows us to play to our strengths and bring them out on game day as well, so it doesn't confuse us on game day, which is great," Chesser said.

"All the young boys are enjoying the process of getting better, not just on the weekend, but throughout the week as well, turning up every day with an attitude to get better.

"I think we all have confidence in our own strengths and our ability to contribute to the team, then we've got great experienced players around us that are helping us learn."


The 39-point win included the second goal of Chesser's career after he got off the mark with a terrific running goal against Port Adelaide in round one. The most recent was more likely to stick in his memory though.

Chesser said he had been managing his body well this season and was feeling good physically after five games, with the enthusiasm generated by a breakthrough win against Richmond making everyone at the club feel fresher this week.

Reuben Ginbey and Campbell Chesser celebrates West Coast's win over Richmond with teammates in round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"It was nice. I kicked my first goal against Port Adelaide in round one, but it was on the siren and you kind of celebrate your first goal, but at the same time you just lost," Chesser said.

"So it was definitely a better feeling kicking my second one on the weekend in a win, and contributing to that was great.

"I think that'll be definitely the one that I do remember."