The next chapter begins for Harley Reid.
After completing one of the most storied and hyped under-age football careers, the Bendigo Pioneers product now embarks on an AFL career with the West Coast Eagles after he was selected by the club with the first pick of the national draft.
While Eagle fans will have big expectations of Reid, the teenager was quick to play down his importance to the club's rebuild.
"There's not too much expectation from me," Reid said.
"It's more get in there and learn the system and get introduced to how it is.
"Hopefully a few senior boys take me under their wing and teach me the ways.
"I'm not going to have a huge impact straight up. I'll just try to go through and play my best footy really."
Eagles list manager Rohan O'Brien was elated to gain Reid's services.
"We identified Harley as a player we were keen to bring into the club before we were locked into the No.1 draft position," O'Brien told the club's website.
"We believe Harley will be central to the club's build and look forward to seeing him play alongside some of the other players already on our list.
"We have had a strong focus on bringing the best young talent available into our club and drafting Harley definitely fits the strategy."
O'Brien conceded the Eagles did contemplate trading pick one.
"When you weight that up around the trades that get done in trade period, they're really good offers, but we decided to stick with the player," O'Brien said.
"For a lot of players you'd have to really consider them, and we did consider them, but pick one doesn't come along very often.
"We think Harley's a player that's a little bit unique ... so whilst we thought about it, we were happy to stick with him."
Reid created history for the Bendigo Pioneers by becoming the club's first number one selection at the national draft.
Coach Danny O'Bree and other Pioneers' staff members attended the draft as guests and watched on with pride.
"Harley had some good mates and his family with him at the draft and that's how he wanted it,'' O'Bree said.
"He handled the whole night so well. There were a fair few comments floating around the room about how well Harley spoke.
"That's just him, it's how he goes about it. He's a professional customer.
"We couldn't be prouder of him."
Reid joins his former Bendigo Pioneers team-mate Noah Long at the Eagles.
Originally from Echuca, Long has been a sounding board for Reid through the draft process.
"There was a lot of uncertainty and he was someone I could lean on who has been through those shoes," Reid said of Long.
"He's been a great mentor for me."
The Eagles have made a habit of selecting Bendigo Pioneers' talent.
Reid is the ninth Bendigo Pioneer to be picked by the Eagles in the national draft.
The previous eight were Michael Braun (1996), Michael O'Brien (1998), Kane Munro (1999), Adam Selwood (2002), Scott Selwood (2007), Tom Cole (2015), Jarrod Brander (2019) and Long (2022).
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