WEST Coast Eagles footballer Josh Hill says it’s all about taking the opportunities if you want to make it to AFL level.
The goal sneak is looking forward to his first AFL grand final on Saturday after the Eagles beat North Melbourne in the preliminary final.
Hill said the side had to remain focused.
“You can never be too settled because footy is a funny sport,” he said.
“You back yourselves every week to perform as a whole.”
He credited coach Adam Simpson for the side’s unexpected improvement this season.
“We try to step up for all occasions and this season the coach has given us a new structure and that gave us confidence to play,” he said.
“He’s a really passionate person… past players like him still want to be out there (playing).”
Hill has had a strong season up forward.
He has emerged as an important goal kicker under finals pressure, scoring three against Hawthorn in the qualifying final and one against North Melbourne at the preliminary stage.
He won the Ross Glendinning Medal in the Eagles’ most recent Western Derby win over Fremantle when he booted five majors.
His form this season, in which he has kicked 39 goals, earned him a one-year contract extension.
“I was happy to get an opportunity to play at the start of the season after missing a few games,” he said.
“The coaches have been very patient with me to play my game as a forward and wingman.”
Hill took time out of his busy AFL finals schedule to cheer on his junior football club Armadale in its grand final loss to Nollamara on September 12.
The Hill family has a strong connection to the club with some of Hill’s cousins still playing there including former West Coast Eagles forward Ashley Sampi.
He played footy in Armadale as a junior before making a move to Broome before coming back to attend Trinity College in Perth.
Although the 26-year-old does not consider himself a ‘big deal’, he does see himself as a role model to younger kids.
“I get back there [Armadale Football Club] and see kids walking around and some kids say hello and I am happy to answer any questions,” he said.
“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it no matter where you come.
“It’s up to whether you take it or not.”
61st overall in the 2006 National Draft
Clubs: Western Bulldogs (2007-2011: 66 games, 75 goals) West Coast Eagles (2012-present: 72 games, 110 goals).
Debut: 2007 (Bulldogs)
Recruited from: Claremont (WA)