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Versatile draft prospect credits WAFL stint with sharp improvement

Swans eye rival's star, top-five pick weighs up future Riley Beveridge and Cal Twomey wrap up all of the action from day two of the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

THERE aren't too many better CVs in this year's NAB AFL Draft than Jeremy Sharp's. 

The West Australian midfielder is one of only three two-time under-18 All Australians, after winning the honour as a bottom-ager and then backing it up this season.

He has also played well in the senior WAFL competition, having finished his campaign with a standout 22-disposal effort for East Fremantle against Perth.

Sharp is still difficult to place in this year's draft class – he's polarized recruiters, with some rating him a top-10 pick and others viewing him in the middle of the second round – but he finished his year knowing he hadn't left much to give.

"I've had a few really consistent seasons. At the start of the year I set out some goals I wanted to achieve, and I wanted to play League football. Probably those two are the biggest highlights of the season," the 18-year-old told AFL.com.au this week at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

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Sharp finished his season having played six League games and averaged 15 disposals, playing largely through the midfield and wing.

The 187cm prospect is a versatile player – he can play off half-back, on the wing or even drift closer to goal – and relies on his penetrating kicking and gut run to make an impact.

Sharp said lifting a level and playing regularly against mature opposition had benefited his game.

"They're so smart, they're so professional the way they run around packs, the way they do things off the field is elite. It definitely has opened my eyes a lot given many of them have played AFL, so it's been huge compared to Colts," he said. 

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"You can go in next year and know that, although they'll be better than you and more professional at the start, you have already learned a lot having played at senior level."

Sharp started the season with high expectations, having already put his name on the draft map last year as an under-17.

But he also started it unwell, unable to partake in his placement at Fremantle over the summer due to illness, which was set to be a part of his program after featuring in the 2018 NAB All Stars 'Futures' game. 

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He was unable to reschedule a training block at the Dockers or West Coast, but had some family allies to call upon when looking for advice about how to handle his draft season.

Sharp's grandfather is East Fremantle great Ken Holt, who is a member of the club's Hall of Fame. He was a WAFL legend, playing more than 200 games and booting 259 goals as a half-forward.

Holt, now 81, still closely watches Sharp's games and remains connected at the club.

"I love having a chat with him about footy, because he's played state games and big games. Whenever he walks around the club he's like a pop star – everyone wants to talk to him and have a chat," Sharp said.