List Mgmt. Welcome Noah Long (Pick 58, 2022 National Draft)

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West Coast forward Noah Long on lesson he learned in first season at the Eagles​

Noah Long knew being an AFL player wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but the West Coast youngster says the biggest lesson he’s learnt is that it’s a “24/7 job”.

Long was the surprise packet of the Eagles’ disastrous 2023 season, playing an incredible 19 games and finishing equal-ninth in the John Worsfold Medal count after being taken with the second last pick in the draft the year before.

From the Bendigo Pioneers, Long talented but his draft stocks took a hit in his draft year because of a broken collarbone.
The small forward has become one of the most highly-touted young players at the club and inherited the No.13 guersney from retired skipper and Norm Smith medallist as a result.

Reflecting on his impressive first season, Long acknowledged he learned a lot including how much of a grind it was to play at the top level.
“It’s a real 24/7 job. You’ve got to be the ultimate professional Monday through to Sunday night to get the best out of yourself,” Long told The West Australian.

“It’s not easy and it’s a week-to-week grind that anyone that plays just loves it. Finishing a game, it’s recovery and then you automatically go into next week.

“The biggest thing I learnt is you’ve always had to be switched on, but then there’s also the importance of getting the mental recovery and being able to switch off as well.
“That’s a balance you start to work through and you start to figure out in your first year and going into my second, I’ve been able to find a better balance.”
While Long’s first season was impressive in terms of games played, the teenager booted only seven goals and kicked 10 behinds, something he wants to improve on in 2024.


“Every forward would love to hit the scoreboard more, but that’s the one thing I highlighted - making the most of my opportunities in front of goal,” Long said.
“Whether or not I get the opportunities, I want to ensure my processes are right, my patterns are right and then hopefully I get more opportunities to make the most of them.

“That was something I labelled at the end of last season to go after last year as well as my consistently week-to-week, just being able to perform my role in a position that is quite tough ... some weeks it will go my way and some weeks it won’t but as long as my processes are there, that’s what I’m going for this year.”

Long’s ability to have an impact at the AFL level bucks a belief that the game is built for big, powerful men.


At only 179cm, the Echuca 19-year-old says he relies on his craft and football nous rather than physicality to have an impact.
“I think there’s a niche for everyone, particularly nowadays. Whether you’re super tall or super small, you’re not out of luck,” Long said.

“I try to base my game around my cleanliness and footy smarts because when you aren’t as tall you need to get yourself in the right spots and when you get an opportunity to get the ball you’ve got to make the most of it.
“This year I want to improve on getting the most bang for buck that I can.”

Long has built a cult hero status among the Eagles’ faithful but it’s something he tries not to think about.
“I am focused on just being myself,” Long said.
“There has been a great energy around the club this pre-season and us younger boys have been encouraged to bring our strengths and express ourselves which we’ve all really loved.

“My big focus is just being me and making sure I perform my role out on the field.”
God damn Long is clean in traffic.

Hopefully he will be able to regularly pinch hit in the midfield.

Not sure if he has the athletic profile to be in there full time but he looks like damn good when he is in the contest.

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