West Coast have appointed co-captains for just the second time in the AFL club's history, with Oscar Allen and Liam Duggan named as joint…
West Coast’s third Rising Star nominee in 2023 is midfielder Elijah Hewett who, despite his Eagles being smashed by over 100 points by Fremantle in Saturday’s Western Derby, collected 20 touches to go with his four clearances.
Hewett is a Perth local, completing his schooling at Scotch College in 2021 (and winning a PSA flag) whilst also impressing for Swan Districts at the Colts level. This led to him being touted as a potential top five draft pick, especially as his combination of size and explosiveness would naturally fit well in an AFL environment.
Hewett found himself selected at pick 14 after the Eagles had split their number 2 pick for two selections later in the first round given there were several WA boys likely to be available early in the draft without being at the absolute top end. The combination of Reuben Ginbey and Hewett will be a very interesting watch in years to come, especially how their development and careers compare with Harry Sheezel, who North Melbourne selected with the pick they received from the Eagles.
Hewett is only 12 games into his career, and to begin with it was a real mixed bag – a couple of outings as the sub, an omission, an ankle injury in a WAFL match that saw him miss six weeks, and then a bad concussion after getting taken out illegally by Jordan De Goey in his return from the ankle injury. That saw him miss another fortnight, but in the eight matches since he has averaged 16 disposals whilst kicking four goals.
He has also increased his tackling numbers and is a regular clearance winner which is, in my opinion, a sign of his developing confidence as he feels more and more comfortable at the level. Hewett is a smooth mover, and definitely already has the build of an older player, but still needs to work on his consistency of effort as well as his disposal under pressure where he has a tendency to kick up and under the ball.
Obviously not really anything to be worried about from a long term perspective!
Chances of winning the Rising Star
Nil, but I like him.
Hewett has a similar body shape and movement to his teammate Tim Kelly.
Like quite a few of the young midfielders in the competition, Hewett needs to consistently win more of the ball. He has shown glimpses of this capability, but with the size and speed he possesses, the chances of him becoming a really damaging midfielder are quite high if he can mix it with plenty of 20+ possession games. And, it goes without saying, West Coast are going to need it!