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AFL discard shapes as West Coast’s no.1 ruckman in 2019

So much so, that he is well in the frame for a senior berth come the club’s opening game of 2019 against the Lions in Brisbane.

With star ruckman Naitanui sidelined for most of next season and Scott Lycett back in black, white and teal with new club Port Adelaide, Brooksby is contending for the club’s lead ruck role with premiership player Nathan Vardy, ex-Saint Tom Hickey and versatile tall Fraser McInnes.

A trio of young Eagles – Bailey Williams, Patrick Bines and Harry Edwards – will also push their senior teammates throughout the summer for a crack at round one, a situation Brooksby said was ideal for the group.

“It is definitely very healthy to have that level of competition,” Brooksby said.

“The one thing that West Coast really do is put value on that ruck role, which is something I’m excited about.”

Brooksby knows he needs to stand out from the crowd if he wants to play senior football with the 2018 premiers and, as such, has put much effort in the pre-season on improving his attacking skills.

Brooksby has excelled so far for West Coast in the pre-season.

Brooksby has excelled so far for West Coast in the pre-season.

“The thing I need to keep working on is the point of difference, the forward craft,” he said.

“Being able to take a couple of marks up forward and convert them into goals.

The forward contested marking is something I’m working quite hard on.”

Brooksby’s prowess above his head has been noticed by at least Vardy, who admitted the new recruit held a marking edge over other ruckmen at the club.

“What surprised me was he’s a really strong mark,” he said.

“There’s a bit of marking practice going on and he’s hard to move and he’s got a good set of hands so, yeah, he’s going alright.”

While his arrival at West Coast was somewhat unconventional, Brooksby is determined to settle in to a routine at his new club.

“It was an unreal experience coming over before Christmas,” he said. “We obviously went on camp for a week.

“To be around the boys for four days was a good way to get to know them and then coming back the last week I’ve settled into more of a routine. So far I’m loving it.”

David writes about sports and lifestyle for WAtoday.

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