Harley Reid lifts the lid in sad admission about family after 'worst birthday' in Perth

The 19-year-old is living in Western Australia away from his family in Victoria.

Harley Reid has opened up about life away from his family in Western Australia, saying his 19th birthday last month was the worst he's ever had. Reid has had to relocate from Victoria to WA after being taken by the West Coast Eagles with the No.1 pick in the AFL draft.

The 19-year-old has made a sensational start to his AFL career, but Eagles coach Adam Simpson identified last month that the teenager needed a break and opted not to play him against the Gold Coast in Round 7. Reid flew home on his week off and spent some much-needed time with his family - who have remained in Country Victoria while he's living in Perth.

Nevertheless, Reid later spent his 19th birthday away from his family and also missed his sister's birthday. “In April there’s three of our birthdays,” he told the ABC after starring for the Eagles against Melbourne last weekend. “I missed my sister’s, and mine too - I got to spend that on my own. It was probably the worst birthday.”

Harley Reid with his family.
Harley Reid has had to move away from his family in Victoria. Image: Getty

He said of seeing his family in April: “It was good to get back and I felt like I needed to see the family. It was good to connect back there with them.

“Sometimes on your day off you’d love to drive around and see your family but obviously you can’t, so it was good to get a weekend home and see the family. I’m 19, I’ve never moved out of home, so I don’t know any different without my parents around and my family.”


Reid, who hails from Tongala in Victoria's Goulburn Valley region, previously moved to deny speculation he'll seek a move to a Melbourne club at some stage. "It was pretty annoying at times when they say it and they really haven't even met you," he said of the speculation he wasn't happy to move west. "It (the Eagles jumper) is on me now, so hopefully that puts a bit of word out there that I'm keen to go over there and get stuck into it."

Harley Reid with West Coast Eagles teammates.
Harley Reid with teammates after West Coast's win over Melbourne.

Reid sent social media into meltdown again on Sunday with a number of dazzling plays in West Coast's 16.9 (105) to 10.10 (70) win over Melbourne. The 19-year-old produced a goal-of-the-year contender and a stunning double fend-off on Demons stars Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver.

"He's carrying a heavy weight at the moment," Simpson said after Sunday's game in regards to the hype around Reid at such a young age. "I'm really trying to be cautious about how much attention he gets. But when he plays like that - it just looked like he had fun tonight, and that's our goal for him - to enjoy being an AFL player. When he's enjoying the game for what it is and playing to his strengths, then we're all happy. And if he plays well, we'd take that, but if he doesn't, then that's OK too. He's 19."

Simpson said other players are feeding off Reid's energy too. "We're trying to connect with that crowd as much as we can, and I think it's a real advantage," Simpson said. "Harley obviously is the new toy, he's pretty good to play with."

with AAP