OSCAR ALLEN THE LATEST FALCON TO ENTER AFL SYSTEM

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 8:39 AM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth once again had 10 players in the AFL system in 2017 and now Oscar Allen will be another in 2018 having been selected by the West Coast Eagles.

Allen was taken by West Coast with selection No. 21 at the NAB AFL Draft on the back of his stellar 2017 that included him winning the Larke Medal from WA's State 18s campaign where he captained the team along with playing colts, reserves and league football back at West Perth.

The exciting young forward will now begin his time as an AFL footballer with the Eagles from 2018 and beyond.

Allen's first step he is looking forward to is getting to know his new teammates and Josh Kennedy is one player he has already earmarked that he wants to follow closely in the footsteps of.

"At the moment I'm just taking small steps to get all my physicals done and get to know the guys. That's the most important thing, building that trust in the teammates," Allen said.

"I think that's the most important thing in football clubs, not only to build those relationships on and off the field but to really spur each other on instead of competing for a spot in the side. That allows everyone to perform at their best.

"He (Kennedy) plays that key forward role and although we're not really the same physical dimensions, he's someone who had his work rate in his early years at the club really set him up to have a successful career. 

"That's something I want. I want to really live in his back pocket and follow him to see what I can take from him."

Allen will now join fellow West Perth products Josh Rotham, Marcus Adams, Nick Robertson, Blake Acres, Mark Hutchings, Bradley Hill, Rohan Bewick, Jack Darling, Stephen Hill and Mark LeCras in the AFL system.

Of those, LeCras, Darling, Hutchings and Rotham are now teammates with him at the Eagles.

LeCras played another 19 games with the Eagles in 2017 to take his career tally to 196. He earned himself another contract for 2018 and now looks set to reach the 200-game milestone. 

He will become just the third West Perth player to achieve that feat since the AFL draft began in 1986, joining Quinten Lynch and his old colts teammate Nathan van Berlo.

Darling reached his 150-game milestone late in 2017 for the Eagles to earn life membership at the club having played another 23 games and kicking 43 goals.

Hutchings was able to become a more regular member in the West Coast midfield playing some important roles as well in 2017. The 2013 West Perth premiership player and Simpson Medallist added 19 matches in 2017 to take his career tally in the AFL to 75.

Rotham was picked up by West Coast in last year's National Draft and while he didn’t make his AFL debut in 2017, he played some strong WAFL football off half-back and will look to push for selection with the Eagles in that role through 2018.

Adams once again had an interrupted season at the Western Bulldogs through injury, but when healthy he was a first-choice player for the reigning AFL premiers. He managed 10 more games to give him 21 in two seasons at the Bulldogs.

Robertson had the most prolific season of his career at the Brisbane Lions in 2017 as well. Going from a fringe player to a permanent fixture, he added 21 games in 2017 to take his career tally to 47 with his career appearing ready to take off.

His Brisbane teammate Bewick played just eight AFL games in 2017 but that was enough for him to reach the 100-game milestone with the Lions.

Acres was another Falcons product to have the best season of his career in 2017. He played 18 games with St Kilda to reach 44 in his career to date.

Bradley and Stephen Hill were united at Fremantle in 2017 and both had tremendous seasons.

Bradley joined from Hawthorn where he was a triple premiership player and he instantly fit in at the Dockers. He was so impressive that he won the Doig Medal as the best and fairest as he approaches the 100-game AFL mark.

His older brother had another impressive season too as he moves into the veteran class with 17s games under his belt.