West Coast have praised Harley Reid's resilience as the Eagles prepare to select the prodigious young gun with the top pick in the AFL draft.
Coming off five wins across the past two seasons, the Eagles head to Marvel Stadium on Monday with the prized No.1 draft pick in their possession.
This year's wooden spooners have toyed with the idea of trading the top pick for multiple selections early in the draft but seem set on recruiting Reid out of the country Victorian town of Tongala.
Some good offers have come through for pick No.1 but the Eagles are standing firm.https://t.co/4VBH4Z5KNx
— AFL (@AFL) November 19, 2023
The 18-year-old midfielder has been forced to defend himself amid speculation he was less than happy to move outside of Victoria, particularly to the struggling Eagles.
Recently-retired West Coast great Nic Naitanui is expected to be in Melbourne to present Reid, arguably the most-hyped draft prospect in history, with his first West Eagles jumper.
"I think he's done a marvellous job. It's something I have not seen before to the level it has been, which just goes to show the interest in the draft these days and the young boys in the draft," West Coast lis boss Rohan O'Brien told AFL Media on Sunday night.
"He's been exposed to a lot more than anybody I've seen going through the draft system before and he's handled himself remarkably well the whole way through."
Although West Coast will hang onto pick one, the Eagles could still trade up in the draft to secure key defender Daniel Curtin, a Western Australian product.
"We've discussed potentially trading back in with a few clubs, which is something we do most years," O'Brien said.
"Whether it's Dan or anyone else, you're always looking to get access to the best talent, so if that becomes a possibility tomorrow night we will certainly look at it."
North Melbourne, who finished just ahead of the Eagles on the ladder, are also keen on Curtin, with Kangaroos coach Alastair Clarkson interesting in a big bodied defender after the departure of Ben McKay during the trade period.
The Kangaroos will likely bring in Tasmanian star Colby McKercher with their first selection in the draft at pick two.