Subiaco coach Beau Wardman believes West Coast will rue missing out on new Essendon recruit Nick Martin

Headshot of Catherine Healey
Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
Essendon's new rookies Nick Martin and Tex Wanganeen.
Camera IconEssendon's new rookies Nick Martin and Tex Wanganeen. Credit: Essendon Football Club

West Coast could end up “paying the price” for not locking down new Essendon recruit Nick Martin, Subiaco coach Beau Wardman has warned.

Wardman, who coached Martin in Subiaco’s 2018 Colts winning team, said he was confident the young forward would shine at his new club.

“I think he’s going to go well for (Essendon). He’s got the speed, he’s got a really good vertical leap and strong hands with his marking ability,” Wardman recalled on SEN.

“He’s worked hard with his transition running.

“He’s going to be a really versatile player and I’m sure in that system as a full-time professional footballer we’re going to see the best out of him.”

Martin was this week announced as one of two rookies to win a spot on Essendon’s list for the 2022 season, alongside Tex Wanganeen — the son of club great Gavin.

Just 12 months ago Martin failed to win a spot on West Coast’s list despite training with the Eagles over the 2021 summer break.

But he went back to the WAFL and impressed, before heading to Victoria for another chance at an AFL lifeline.

Now Wardman fears West Coast will end up with another Tim Kelly situation, where the club coughed up key first round draft picks to get the midfielder home to WA — after not giving him a chance in the draft before Geelong swooped.

“I’m sure (West Coast) probably would have liked to get him on board a little bit earlier than Essendon got him, having tracked what he did last year,” Wardman said.

“I suppose it’s a similar sort of story to Tim Kelly; you miss out on another WA product and might pay the price in three or four years’ time. Hopefully Nick can do that.”

Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro was thrilled to have Martin on board for the upcoming season.

“In his short time with the club, Nick has displayed hunger, professionalism and dedication to take his game to another level and seize the opportunity in front of him,” he said.

“With Nick’s experience and natural goalkicking abilities, we see him evolving into a high half-forward/wing position which will complement our existing forward line.

“Both Tex and Nick’s signings are fantastic stories in their own right, so we’re looking forward to seeing both men continue to improve in 2022.”

It’s not the first time Essendon have taken a punt on a WAFL forward, with the club gifting Claremont’s Alex Waterman another shot in the AFL.

Waterman was snapped up by the Bombers before the 2021 season, and finished the season with 17 goals in 14 games.

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