Geraldton young gun and AFL prospect Jed Hagan staying focused on big draft year after relocating to Perth
AFL draft prospect Jed Hagan says seeing former teammate and fellow Geraldtonian Judd McVee get picked up by Melbourne has added a bit of extra motivation to make it to the top level.
Hagan, who recently relocated to Perth to focus on playing with East Fremantle, said McVee’s move to the Demons made his long-held goal of reaching the AFL seem “more real”.
“I’ve spoken to him (McVee) a fair bit,” Hagan said.
“He’s loving it.
“Playing with him, it inspires you to dedicate yourself that little bit extra to get where he has because it would be an awesome experience.”
The pair played for opposing sides in the Great Northern Football League, but ended up as teammates at East Fremantle and the State 19s last year.
McVee, a Rovers Football Club product, was taken with pick No.16 in last year’s AFL rookie draft.
There are also huge wraps on Brigades’ Hagan, who is being rated as a strong chance to make it to the big time when the draft rolls around again later this year.
He made the 2020 WAFL colts team of the year and was picked in both the State 17s and 19s squads in 2021.
Speaking to the Guardian ahead of a summer training camp with the State side, Hagan said it was difficult to block out external expectations on his 2022 draft prospects.
“I’m just trying to focus on myself and do what I can do best,” he said.
“I’m not going to worry about what everyone else says.”
The strong-bodied midfielder said he was working hard to find a way into the East Fremantle League side as a small forward or wing.
“My goal is to hopefully get a few senior games,” he said.
The 18-year-old underwent shoulder surgery late last year, but said he had recovered well.
“The body is feeling great,” he said.
“I’m feeling really fit and ready to go for another year.”
Hagan, who won Athlete of the Year at the 2021 Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards, said he would look back on his time in Geraldton fondly.
“It’s where it all started really, playing with all my mates when I was really young,” he said.
“It was a stepping stone to where I am today. I’m very grateful for what Brigades have done for me.”
The young gun worked closely with two-time AFL premiership winner Harry Taylor last year through the Mid West Academy of Sport.
Hagan said Taylor’s technical teachings were invaluable.
“He’s been big for me,” he said.
“He’s been a mentor for me to understand what AFL life is like.
“That’s been the biggest thing for me. Now I’ve got an understanding of what the standards are.”
If the talent scouts are right, 2022 will see another Geraldton gun drafted into the AFL.
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