Ea­gles swoop on Fo­ley

Wanneroo Times - - FRONT PAGE - Justin Bian­chini

NO doubt the Fo­ley name wasn’t lost on the West Coast Ea­gles when they swooped on tal­ented 19year-old Luke Fo­ley in Fri­day’s na­tional draft.

Fo­ley’s great un­cle Brian was West Perth’s 1959 San­dover medal­list, cousin Dan played for the Fal­cons and Rich­mond, and an­other great un­cle Des rep­re­sented West Perth and East Perth.

And hav­ing had his grand­fa­ther John Fo­ley – a more-than-handy ruck­man for Shen­ton Park am­a­teurs in his day – watch him come through ju­niors, the for­mer Sa­cred Heart stu­dent is con­scious of his fam­ily’s foot­ball her­itage.

“Ob­vi­ously I’m joined into a pretty big footy fam­ily with that lin­eage and happy to be part of it,” he said. “I’m very hon­oured and there’s a lot of his­tory in the name.”

Fo­ley, taken by the Ea­gles with pick No. 31, said ner­vous­ness gave way to re­lief and ex­cite­ment when his name was called.

“I couldn’t be hap­pier,” he said.

The Su­bi­aco colts star, known for his hard run­ning and pen­e­trat­ing kick, grew up bar­rack­ing for the Ea­gles, with “prob­a­bly Luke Shuey” his favourite player.

He re­ceived a con­grat­u­la­tory phone call from coach Adam Simp­son and texts from his fu­ture team­mates.

“Nic Nai­tanui gave me a call,” Fo­ley said. “He just said wel­come to the club and that he would see me on Mon­day when I start.”

He vis­ited his old school in Sor­rento to thank prin­ci­pal Pe­ter Bothe for his sup­port, which in­cluded field­ing calls from AFL clubs in­quir­ing about the young foot­baller.

He has not been the only Fo­ley in WAFL ranks, with his brother Fraser (21) on the se­nior list at West Perth, younger brother Kane (17) try­ing out for Subi colts next sea­son and cousin Lo­gan Fo­ley rep­re­sent­ing the Fal­cons colts this year.

And no doubt the Curtin Univer­sity ex­er­cise, sports and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion sci­ence stu­dent’s se­lec­tion made his par­ents and grand­fa­ther John proud.

“He watched my games in ju­niors and al­ways had an eye out for me, which was good,” Fo­ley said of his grand­fa­ther, whose ad­vice to him in­cluded “al­ways run and kick the ball”.

“He used to love the long kicks, Pop.”

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

Luke Fo­ley marks strongly for WA at the U18 Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

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