FIRST-ROUND draft pick Bailey Smith will make his debut for the Western Bulldogs against Sydney on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.

The skilful inside midfielder, who was the seventh overall pick in the draft, was told the news on Tuesday afternoon.

Smith has spent much of this pre-season on the sidelines as he recovers from an Achilles injury, which first flared during the back-end of his under-18 season with Sandringham Dragons.

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"The most exciting things that happen in footy are quite diverse, but one of the things that are at the top of the tree is when a young player gets told he is playing his first AFL game," coach Luke Beveridge said in a video on

"You've (Smith) got a very exciting future, we're fortunate to have you here. We'll obviously present you with a jumper a bit later in the week, but it's a fine achievement, one I know you've dreamed about. Onwards and upwards."

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The 18-year-old played half a game in each of the club's JLT Community Series matches against Gold Coast and St Kilda.

"I'm still on cloud nine, I've got no words, really," Smith told the club website.

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"It got announced in the meeting, I didn't have a clue, I was just shocked. As I said in the meeting, without everyone at the club, I wouldn't be where I am today and I'm so grateful.

"To run out in the red, white and blue, with so much history that the club has is just an honour and something I don't take lightly. I'll do my best to do the jumper proud."