West Coast legend Chris Waterman full of praise for son Alec’s AFL fight after Essendon lifeline
Eagles legend Chris Waterman has praised son Alec’s “big effort” to get back on an AFL list after his ongoing battle with adrenal fatigue.
Alec Waterman was today handed an AFL lifeline at Essendon, nearly seven years after he was first drafted to West Coast.
And his dad, two-time Eagles premiership winner Chris, couldn’t be prouder.
“I was pretty happy just for him after what he’s been through the last five or so years,” Waterman said.
“He was bed-ridden there for 18 months really.
“He’s not exactly 100 per cent (now) but he’s getting pretty close.
“You’re hoping (your children) go well… I can relax a bit.”
Waterman admits it was hard to see his son’s health battle during his stint at the Eagles before he was delisted without playing a game.
“There’s no medical description for it,” he said.
“It just takes time (to recover).
“Unfortunately it took a couple of years with him to start moving back into footy.”
In that time, Waterman’s other son Jake was snapped up by West Coast while Alec struggled to get back on the park.
After a four-year absence from the WAFL, Alec Waterman made his return for Claremont in 2019 but like much of his footy career, injury again struck.
“In 2019 (Alec’s Tigers) played against West Coast. Jake was in the other team,” Waterman recalled.
“Early in the first quarter, he got a nasty knee in his back and he played it out. He came around (the next day) and he was pretty ordinary so I sent him off to the doc.
“He rang me in an hour and said ‘I’m in the back of an ambulance going to hospital, I’ve got three broken ribs and a punctured lung’.
“He couldn’t run or do anything for six weeks and he was dying to do something.”
By 2020 as COVID struck, Waterman said he feared his first-born son’s chance was slipping away.
“I thought: ‘This kid’s never going to get to play the game’,” he revealed.
But an impressive showing in 2020 put Alec Waterman’s name back in AFL contention.
“It was round one, Subi had been so dominant over the years, by quarter time (Alec) had four shots and kicked two two. He just tore them apart,” Waterman recalled.
“That’s when the phone calls started coming in. I thought there’s going to be a chance (of an AFL return).”
After a four-goal haul in Essendon’s practice match, Waterman had sealed his second AFL chance.
Alec Waterman signed a one-year deal to be listed as an Essendon rookie for 2021.
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