FORMER West Coast forward Alec Waterman has committed to a one-year rookie deal with Essendon, shooting him into calculations for a round one AFL debut.
Waterman was officially signed by the Bombers on Tuesday morning less than a week after kicking four goals in a practice match against Carlton.
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Invited to train from WA this summer, the 24-year-old was preparing to pack his bags to return home two weeks ago before the Bombers recalled him back to the club's squad.
The 183cm forward was delisted by the Eagles at the end of 2016 after two seasons heavily impacted by glandular fever and will now vie for a berth in a new-look forward line against Hawthorn on March 20.
The Bombers lost spearhead Joe Daniher and speedster Orazio Fantasia this off-season and are likely to turn to the uncapped Harrison Jones, Cale Hooker and former Sun Peter Wright in the key posts in attack this year.
Waterman, the son of dual premiership Eagle Chris, bagged 24 goals in 10 games for Claremont in the WAFL last year before being overlooked in the NAB AFL Draft.
He flew to Melbourne to train with Essendon this summer and impressed in a recent intraclub before starring in the hitout at Ikon Park last week.
Waterman joins via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP) rules and takes the vacant rookie spot the Bombers left open after the Rookie Draft.
By placing Irving Mosquitpo (ACL) on the long-term injury list, the Bombers could opt to utilise another list berth before the SSP closure on March 9 or hold it to the Mid-Season Draft.
The move to sign Waterman comes exactly a week after the Bombers attempted to nab Western Bulldogs rookie Anthony Scott before he signed for the Dogs.
Scott met with Bombers coach Ben Rutten, head of football Josh Mahoney and list manager Adrian Dodoro last Tuesday before committing to the Dogs on the Wednesday.