Harley Reid's new confession after family comments spark frenzy over AFL team switch

The West Coast Eagles player sparked speculation he'll eventually look to move back to Victoria.

Harley Reid has moved to clarify that he's happy living in Perth after recent comments about missing his family sparked new speculation he'll eventually seek a trade to a Victorian AFL club. The 19-year-old has made a sensational start to his career with the West Coast Eagles after he was selected with the No.1 overall pick in the draft.

Prior to being selected by the Eagles, there was some speculation Reid wouldn't be happy about moving to Perth and leaving his friends and family behind in Country Victoria. But Reid, who hails from Tongala in the Goulburn Valley region, said after being drafted: "It was pretty annoying at times when they say it and they really haven't even met you. 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 family members.
Harley Reid has moved to clarify his situation after sad comments about his family. Image: Channel 7/Getty

That speculation had been put to bed as Reid lit up the AFL world with a brilliant start to his career. But it was re-ignited after the Eagles' win over Melbourne last weekend when he told ABC radio about how unhappy he was that he had to spend his recent 19th birthday away from his family.

“In April there’s three of our birthdays," he said. "I missed my sister’s, and mine too - I got to spend that on my own. It was probably the worst birthday.”


Reid was given a week off in round seven to mentally and physically refresh. He was given permission to fly home to Tongala to catch up with his loved-ones. “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," he said last weekend.

“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.”

Harley Reid, pictured here in action for the West Coast Eagles in the AFL.
Harley Reid in action for the West Coast Eagles.

But speaking on Channel 7 on Thursday night, Reid moved to clear up his comments and assure Eagles fans he's happy living in Perth. “I don’t really feel that I’ve been homesick at all,” he said on 'Talking Footy'.

“You’re so busy over here and the club’s been huge (in) that regard. I think for me it’s been good to get away - you get into a new home, you learn new things. I haven’t done life without my family, so it’s good for a change.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve felt homesick at all, I just felt like it was a great time of year to get back and see my family and friends. I don’t really know Perth at all so I don’t really know where to go, but the club’s been huge, [coach Adam Simpson has] given me little outlets to go and I try get away when I can, but you get pretty busy at times and you don’t really know what to do with yourself.”

The teenager said he was taking all the hype in his stride after sparking a social media frenzy with some of his on-field highlights. “It’s obviously tough. It gets to you at stages,” he admitted. “For me, it was kind of just taking it each stride as I go.

“It’s obviously hard, it’s daunting at such a young age like me. Just little things I can’t really do without someone there or someone watching. But I just try to let my footy do the talking.”