Ford studies the best

Eddie Ford. (Shawn Smits)

Tara Murray

Western Jets draft hopeful Eddie Ford didn’t sit on his hands this year while there was no football.

Keen to put his best foot forward and keep his name in front of recruiters, the utility looked at other ways to improve his game.

It included contacting AFL clubs to help him out.

“I asked Fremantle for some vision of Nat Fyfe and a couple of other clubs for vision of their players to just show their inside work, how they work in contested footy in the midfield and running patterns as well,” he said.

“I try and base my game on the best players to get the best out of it. Nat Fyfe is obviously a cracking player with two Brownlows under his belt.

“I got a bit of vision of him which was good to see how he plays the game.”

Ford’s work wasn’t just restricted to just studying vision, as he and his brother set up a gym at their dad’s place to keep fit.

He said he had managed to keep himself in pretty good shape.

“I stayed up to date with running and fitness,” he said.

“It was pretty average, hard not playing something you love doing, especially through the winter months and early spring months, it’s what you do. I’ve been doing it for nine, 10 years.

“I guess I had the combine in mind to stay fit and I’m a pretty active bloke. I was running four to five times a week and the only thing I missed out on was the game awareness sort of stuff.”

Ford said that he tested pretty well at the combine, including having the equal highest vertical jump on the board that day.

Those results and his performances last season have seen the Yarraville-Seddon Eagles player speak to about 14 clubs.

“Hopefully it’s a good indication of what is to come and they’ve all been pretty good, I think they like me,” he said.

“I ended my season pretty well last year and played the all-star game and had a good game according to some people.

“I would have liked to have had a more consistent season as a bottom ager and I think the two pre-seasons games for this season showed glimpses.

“If I was to get drafted, I would take the opportunity on-board and make the most of it.”

Ford said one of his strengths going into the draft is his flexibility and ability to play multiple positions.

While he’s played a lot down forward in recent years, he’s more than capable of having an impact in the midfield.

He said he’s happy to play in any position to achieve his dream of being an AFL player.

“I’ve been wanting to play more midfield lately as I didn’t get the biggest crack at it last year, unfortunately,” he said.

“I grew up playing a lot of my footy in the midfield, forward and that was my role. I guess the thing I wanted to show clubs is my versatility and being able to play any position.

“Growing up I played back, midfield and forward. There was a grand final once when I was in under-15s and there was a really strong wind, I would swap between forward and back to be around the footy.”

“I enjoy playing midfield and enjoy kicking a goal as well.”