20/04/2024

West Coast selected Rueben Ginbey with their first pick of the 2022 AFL Draft (Image: West Coast Twitter)

A dream come true will see a change of allegiances for Reuben Ginbey and his family.

The hard-nosed midfielder, selected by the Eagles at pick 9 of the AFL draft, grew up in a house alongside rusted-on Fremantle fans. But 2023 and beyond will see the Ginbey’s trade in the Purple for a fresh kit of royal blue and gold.

“I think the family are going to be throwing away the purple pretty quickly after last night,” he told The Inner Sanctum.

Hailing from Dunsborough, both Ginbey and his family were convinced he’d be moving interstate for a spot on a list. Fortunately, he was taken by the local club and will have the chance to stay local and play in front of his friends and family every couple of weeks.

 “Waking up it’s starting to sink in that I’m at West Coast and it’s great,” Ginbey said.

“To hear my name called out for the Eagles and realise that I’d be staying home with my family just added a new level of excitement to the night.

“At the start of the draft a lot of things were still up in the air, there were a few teams who’d flown out to see me just days before the draft.

“But when I slid through those picks and realised I could land at West Coast I got really nervous.”

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Ginbey will join a midfield that’s desperate for youth and an ability to run, he’s more than happy to facilitate their needs. A self-described team first player, he’s all about doing the contested work so his teammates can benefit from some easy ball.

“I’m just a naturally contested player, someone who loves doing the hard stuff,” Ginbey said, describing what he’ll bring to the Eagles line-up.

“I’m a team-first player who loves freeing up my teammates on the outside, I’d like to be remembered as a guy who was always up for a contest.”

He’ll join West Coast alongside Swan Districts teammate Elijah Hewett who the Eagles took with pick 16. Walking into a new club with someone he’s played lots of footy with is going to be a comfort he says, and make the transition much easier.

“To hear his [Elijah’s] name called out just a few picks after me was a great feeling,” he said.

“To know I’ll be starting my journey with someone I’ve played a lot of footy with this year is great. I’m really looking forward to building that bond and strengthening our relationship.”

Both midfielders with different styles of play, Ginbey is looking forward to working with Luke Schuey and Elliot Yeo, so he can build upon his already elite stoppage craft. He says being able to utilise their experience will be a big plus as the club starts its build back up the ladder.

“I can’t wait to get into it with [Luke] Schuey and [Elliot] Yeo, both of them are just such hard-working midfielders that I want to model my game off,” he said.

“Even though I was a Fremantle fan, I couldn’t help but admire the way those two go about it, I just want to learn everything from them.

“It’s exciting the spot we’re in I think, us younger guys have so many experienced heads to lean on and take advice from.

“I know I’m looking forward to getting into it with the group and hopefully build something good over the coming years.”

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