The West

Teens get taste of AFL life
Talented tyros Sam Bevan and Clem Smith got to spend a week with the Eagles. Pic: Mogens Johansen

All-Australian under-18 defender Clem Smith knows there's a long way to go until this year's national draft, but spending the week at West Coast has made him all the more determined to make sure his name is one of those read out.

Smith, a product of the Perth district, and Claremont's Sam Bevan spent the week with the Eagles as part of their AIS-AFL scholarships.

Fellow scholarship holders Jarrod Pickett and Matthew Ah Sui (South Fremantle), and Brad Walsh (Peel) trained with Fremantle, while Ryan Lim (Claremont) travelled east to go through his paces at Richmond.

Smith starred for WA as a bottom-aged player at last season's U18 titles, earning the team's MVP award with a mix of aggression and skill.

He said playing in the AFL had always been a dream and the past week had him itching to get stuck into the 2014 season and earn a chance to play at the elite level.

"Right now I just want to get into the system already, train with all the boys and have a lot of fun as well," Smith said.

"But I'm looking forward to this season, I just want to keep a clean head and play my best like I did last time."

Bevan grew up supporting the Eagles and said spending time with the team and learning how much effort it put in, on and off the training track, had been an eye-opener.

"It's been a great learning experience getting an insight into an AFL club, what they do every day of the week," he said.

All scholarship players eligible to be drafted this year will embark on a tour of Europe in April.

The West Australian

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