Young Eagle tipped to fly in 2021

16 February 2021 17:30:25 GMTPlus11

West Coast star Brad Sheppard has saluted teammate Harry Edwards and believes the Eagles have a "very special" player on their hands.

Edwards has returned for the 2021 AFL campaign in great shape and has impressed everyone in pre-season, including Sheppard, who believes he will be a huge asset for the club moving forward.

The tall defender stands at 197cm and caught the eye when playing on Eagles star forward Jack Darling during match simulation on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old saw his senior debut cut short in 2020 after he collided with Sheppard during the game with Geelong, but should get plenty more chances to shine in 2021.

"He's still got a lot of developing within himself, but you see the way he reads the game, he's going to be a pretty special player," Sheppard said on Tuesday.

"Any key-position player who is 200cm is a real asset to your footy club. He's learning from the best and he's really like a sponge out there. Hopefully he gets his opportunity again this year.

"He's still dirty with me after I knocked him out in his debut game."

Meanwhile from a personal point of view, Sheppard has enjoyed the pre-season and is feeling fit and ready.

"No doubt it's been hard, (and) the training itself has elevated in that January period, but physically feeling pretty good and I've quite enjoyed it," he added.

"Really the onus is on the individual to come back in good shape, because if you come back out of shape that ramp is probably a bit too great to try and keep up.

"We're starting to get into match simulation and hopefully get the intraclub out this week."

The Eagles are priced at 8/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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