ROTHAM'S DREAM COMES TRUE OF LANDING AT WEST COAST

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 12:25 AM by Chris Pike

JOSH Rotham grew up supporting the West Coast Eagles and the West Perth product now couldn’t be happier to be living out his dream after being drafted last Friday.

Rotham can still recall watching as an eight-year-old as West Coast won the 2006 premiership and ever since he has dreamed of playing with the Eagles. Going into last Friday's NAB AFL Draft that seemed a one in 18 chance, but now it is more likely than not of eventuating.

West Coast selected the West Perth defender with pick No. 37 in the National Draft with the 18-year-old over the moon to be picked up by the Eagles.

Rotham has come right through the ranks with the Falcons including playing in the WA State 18s team the past two seasons. He has played some outstanding colts football and emerged as one of the best 18-year-old defenders in the country.

That's what got him drafted to the Eagles on Friday and he couldn’t be happier. Having already spent time at the club's headquarters as part of the NAB Academy as well, it's not a totally foreign environment for him either.

"Obviously growing up in Perth, I'm a West Coast supporter and it's a dream come true landing here at the club," Rotham said.

"It was all a bit surreal and it's only really sinking in now, but I'm sure once we get stuck into training we will all starting to feel at home. I have been here before so that helps but over the next couple of weeks it will start to feel like home."

Draft day is a nervous time for any player dreaming of an AFL career and it was no different for Rotham last Friday.

He had plenty of family and friends come to his home and while the first 36 picks provided a nervous wait, selection 37 provided what they were all waiting for.

"All the family came over at home so there was a bit of hype of leading up to it. There was a few Josh's called out before I was so the family was all sitting there holding on," he said.

"Then when my name was called out that West Coast picked me I was stoked. I had no idea going in they were going to pick me but that's what made it exciting I guess."

When asked who in the modern game he models himself on, Rotham was quick to point out Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood. But his immediate focus is on trying to put on some bulk and getting through his first AFL pre-season.

"I try to model myself on an Easton Wood type who can play as that third tall rebounding defender who can use the footy well by foot and hand," Rotham said.

"Obviously with my frame I need to put on a little bit more weight and then get used to playing down at East Perth.

"But for now I'm focusing on getting through a pre-season and we'll take it from there. I'm sitting at about 80kg now and to play that third tall role I probably need to put on another 6-8kgs. That will come through the gym and getting a pre-season under my belt."