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Skinny Ruckman Going From Strength to StrengthTuesday, October 3, 2023 - 11:19 AM

Peel Thunder’s Mitch Edwards has revealed he’s on a campaign to put on muscle before next month’s NAB AFL Draft.

At 206cm and 88 kilograms, Edwards is the epitome of a modern-day ruckman, with strong tap work and an ability to push forward.

A premiership player with Peel Colts in 2022, Edwards is part of the Dockers’ Next Generation Academy.

Edwards averaged 35 hit-outs and more than 13 disposals a game playing for Peel’s Colts side this year, while also playing for the club’s Reserves side.

As part of his busy footy year, Edwards also represented WA at the 2023 AFL National Championships – U18 Boys, collecting 30 disposals and nearly 70 hit-outs.

Edwards recalls his pathway to a potential AFL career.

“My footy journey started at South Mandurah JFC at Auskick, and I went all the way through to Year 10 where we won a Grand Final and that was an unreal experience,” Edwards said.

Fast forward to the challenge his faces before the Draft.

“What I’ve done to prepare for clubland is get my body right,” he said.

“I’ve tried to put on as much muscle as I can being a key position player.

“Strength, fitness and developing my forward craft have been priorities.”

Edwards is under no illusion about the task ahead should his name be called out.

“There’s going to be a lot of physical challenges for me being a skinny ruckman and I might get thrown around for a couple of years, but I’m ready for that,” he said.

Edwards has also been used more in attack this year at the Thunder.

“Been playing more of a forward role and developing my craft there,” he said.

Like every player nominating for the Draft, anxiety levels will be through the roof.

“Entering the Draft, I’ll be happy to go anywhere, whether it’s over east or here,” Edwards said.

“It’s going to be a tough week in the lead up because of the nerves.

“Then again, if I get drafted it’ll be the best week of my life.”

Edwards is one of 12 WA-based players heading to Melbourne for this weekend's NAB AFL Draft Combine.