WEST Coast draftee Oscar Allen thought his chances of staying in Perth were dashed when the Eagles brushed him with their first pick at Friday's NAB AFL draft.
Allen, who won the Larke Medal as best player in this year's U18 national championships playing for Western Australia, was touted as a top 15 pick, but saw his name slip down the draft order after the Eagles selected Bendigo Pioneers key defender Jarrod Brander at pick No.13.
But the Eagles couldn't believe their luck when the athletic forward was still available in the second round and swooped with pick No.21.
The West Perth product, an Eagles fan, told AFL.com.au on Saturday that when he heard Brander's name read out he immediately thought he was destined to move interstate to begin his AFL career.
"It was so up in the air, and just before the draft everyone was saying that tall forwards always tend to slide down the order a bit," Allen said.
"When they didn't pick me, I was almost resigned to the fact that I wouldn't make it around to the Eagles' second pick, which I was fine with, but I'm stoked."
Allen starred as a tall forward for his state this season and played two senior games for the Falcons in the WAFL late in 2017, an experience he believes will help his transition to the AFL.
The 18-year-old played as a third tall in those matches and has already earmarked dual Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy as someone he intends to make his mentor at West Coast.
"Speaking to some of the Eagles coaches, they told me 'JK' is someone who builds his trade early and works incredibly hard in the pre-season," he said.
"So he's someone I'm keen to follow around so I can monitor his habits.
"That's the best way to learn, especially for someone like me who is so naïve in terms of the AFL environment, so asking those questions and getting involved is the best way to help me get to the next level.
"I think he might get pretty sick of me, because I think I'm going to be living in his back pocket."
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