West Coast Eagles recruit Lewis Broome
West Coast Eagles recruit Lewis Broome

Not everything is new about the latest chapter in West Coast recruit Lewis Broome's football journey.

Broome hails from the north-west town of Looma, a remote indigenous community 120km south-east of Derby with a population of about 400.

The exciting 18-year-old started his football journey with Looma Eagles in the West Kimberley Football Association before moving to the Clontarf Academy in Perth last year and Claremont this year.

An avid West Coast fan, Broome grew up idolising the feats of club greats Peter Matera, David Wirrpanda and Darren Glass and honing his skills with the Looma Eagles.

While Matera and Wirrpanda have retired, Broome had the chance to rub shoulders with West Coast captain Glass at his first training session with the club at Claremont Oval yesterday.

The first of West Coast's four picks at Tuesday's rookie draft, Broome was in Looma when word filtered through that he had been rookie- listed.

"My school principal came up and told me that I got rookie-listed to the Eagles so I was happy," Broome told _The West Australian _yesterday.

"He looked it up on the internet. It was good because my school has been very supportive, helping me out."

Broome caught the eye of West Coast's recruiting staff with some stunning games for the Claremont colts this year, especially in the team's grand final win against Peel.

The lightning-quick forward, one of seven indigenous players in the Tigers colts side, kicked five goals and won the Mel Whinnen Medal for the best player on the ground in the season decider.

Six players from the Claremont colts grand final line-up have since been picked in either the national, pre-season or rookie drafts.

Broome's Tigers teammate Ryan Neates was the Eagles' only pick in Tuesday's pre-season draft.

Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Nick Winmar (St Kilda), Travis Colyer (Essendon) and Gerrick Weedon (West Coast) were all included on AFL senior lists in the national draft on November 26.

Broome said he was excited about the chance to join Weedon and Neates at West Coast and hoped to break into Claremont's league team next year.

West Coast indigenous liaison officer Phil Narkle said Broome had plenty to offer in the long term.

"He's very quick, very skilful and has got that natural indigenous instinct around goals," Narkle said of the slightly-built teenager.

"Going by that (his spindly legs), his natural ability is going to be his speed and awareness around goals.

"Don't be deceived by the smallness. I think he's got a big heart and will show that once he's developed."

Narkle described Broome as a "long-term project" who would take two to three years to be at his peak.

"Especially coming from a place like the Looma community and then into Clontarf and the Claremont colts, it's going to take a little more time with Lewis, but he's going to learn a lot and develop a lot," Narkle said.

Broome was one of 10 WAFL players recruited in this year's AFL draft who started with country teams.

The West Australian

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