Harley Reid handballs during the match between Waalitj Marawar (West Coast) and Narrm (Melbourne) at Optus Stadium in round 10, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE STATE of Western Australia has been in the grips of Harley Reid mania since he was drafted last November and it is very quickly taking over the country.

Through the first nine rounds of the year, the No.1 draft pick had already produced a stunning highlights reel, but he went viral like never before against Narrm on Sunday night.

Having burnt off superstar Christian Petracca to kick one of the goals of the year in the first quarter, Reid turned young Demon Blake Howes inside out in the third term to kick his second as the Eagles stormed to an upset win.

But perhaps the biggest talking point of the day was a play in the third term when the 19-year-old fended off Clayton Oliver with his left arm and then Petracca with his right as he won a centre clearance before following up a few seconds later with another kick to set up a crucial goal.


Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd said the fact Reid destroyed one of the most well credentialed midfields in the competition spoke volumes of his quality.

"(Demons coach) Simon Goodwin said after the game they could not handle his stoppage work and power," Lloyd said on AFL.com.au's Access All Areas.

"This is a midfield with Petracca, Oliver and (Jack) Viney and he's saying they couldn't handle a first-year player.

"Let's just enjoy it. (The term) 'generational talent' gets thrown around a lot, but we are watching something very rare and special."


AFL.com.au chief football correspondent Damian Barrett said the 19-year-old is bringing a new level of excitement to all supporters, not just Eagles fans.

"I got off the chair and yelled (when he kicked the goal in the first quarter) – it was just a spontaneous reaction to what he's doing," Barrett said on AFL Daily.

"This is the effect he's having on people who have no connection to the footy club. It's across the nation with what he's doing just in terms of the excitement levels he has brought.

"He has transformed not just a footy club but a state's interest in football itself."


AFL Daily co-host Josh Gabelich said the fact Reid is playing on the ball and up forward at such a young age puts him ahead of other players to dominate their debut seasons in recent years.

"I don't think we've seen a draftee have this level of impact in the modern era straight away," he said.

"We've spoken about Nick Daicos, and Harry Sheezel was amazing last year, but both were provided an opportunity on a half-back flank to get going."

Eagles coach Adam Simpson said on Sunday night that he knew instantly that Reid's goal out of a centre bounce would "blow up social media", adding he was trying to remain "even" with his young star, who be labelled a "new toy" to engage the club's supporters.

"It just looked like he had fun tonight, and that's our goal for him – to enjoy being an AFL player," Simpson said.  

"When he's enjoying the game for what it is and playing to his strengths then we're all happy, and if he plays well we'd take that, but if he doesn't, then that's okay too."

Speaking on Monday, Brisbane star Lachie Neale said Reid would be a star of the competition for years to come.

"I love watching him. He's a pretty special talent. Yeah, I love that kid," he said.

"It's good to watch, some of the stuff he did last night and some of his highlights through nine games is unbelievable.

"I wouldn't mind having his power and physicality, those traits would be nice.

"It's pretty special watching a young player like him … he’s going to be a superstar for a long time."