Essendon has officially signed train-on forward Alec Waterman following a dazzling four-goal performance in last week's practice match against Carlton.
The Bombers on Tuesday morning confirmed that the 24-year old has signed a one-year deal with the club for 2021 and will be put on the Rookie A list.
Waterman was thrilled to get a second chance at the top level, having played eight games for West Coast from 2015-2016.
“I’m over the moon to have signed with Essendon,” Waterman told essendonfc.com.au.
“To come over here to Melbourne and win a contract with the Bombers is unbelievable, and I’m very thankful to the club for offering me a spot on the rookie list.
“I feel like I have a lot to prove now that I’ve got another crack at AFL footy. I’m just so excited to hopefully get a clean run at it and put my best foot forward as I know I’ve got a lot to offer as a player at senior level.”
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) March 2, 2021
Essendon has two free list spots for the 2021 season, with Waterman, son of dual premiership Eagle Chris, elevated ahead of fellow trial players Angus Baker (Canberra) and Charlie Byrne (Murray Bushrangers).
Three goals to Alec Waterman. Looks to have punched his ticket to be upgraded as a summer rookie for Essendon. Great story for the former Eagle. @superfooty
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) February 25, 2021
As seen in the Bombers' loss to the Blues, Waterman will inject a new avenue for goal for Ben Rutten's forward line and firms a strong chance to line up against Hawthorn in Round 1.
The Dons were able to add Peter Wright from the Suns to their attacking structure in the off-season as the club looks to fill the void left by Joe Daniher.
“Four goals, he played half a game, so (it’s a) great effort on his behalf and he’s going to keep training. We will see what happens contract wise," Essendon assistant coach Blake Caracella said.
It is understood that several rival clubs expressed interest in Waterman following last Thursday's performance, but the Claremont is now officially a Bomber.
Alec Waterman’s mother (Peta) told 6PR’s @BeaumontSimon this morning that Alec’s manager had calls from multiple clubs after his 4 goals against Carlton on Thursday.
If Essendon haven’t signed him already - someone will.
— Mitchell Turner (@MitchellTurner8) February 28, 2021
“We’re rapt to have offered Alec a deal for 2021,” Bombers lit boss Adrian Dodoro said.
“We’ve been impressed by Alec since he arrived at the club in February, where he’s clearly demonstrated an ability to fit comfortably into an AFL environment and contribute to our side.
“He possesses a body which is ready for the rigours of AFL football, and he showed in the most recent practice match against the Blues that he has an innate ability for a mid-forward role, something which he played so well in during the WAFL last year when he booted 26 goals in 10 games for Claremont.
“It’s a fantastic story to see him get another chance at AFL level after illness hurt his first go at it with West Coast, so we’re looking forward to seeing Alec make his mark in 2021.”
AFL clubs will have until March 9 to sign players via the Supplementary Selection Period, with the Bombers holding the option to open a third available list spot should they move exciting youngster Irving Mosquito to the long-term injury list.
Clubs will also have the option to sign players via the Mid-season Rookie Draft on June 2.