Yeo, this reborn Eagle can now really fly in the midfield
THE comparisons between Fremantle superstar Nat Fyfe and West Coast rising star Elliot Yeo are not surprising.
They both attended Aquinas College in Perth, with Yeo, now 21, growing up watching the older Fyfe, 23, play for the school team and then hoping to emulate him by reaching the AFL.
He did just that when he was selected by Brisbane in the 2011 national draft.
And now, spending more time in the midfield with the Eagles, who he joined last season, and upping his fearless attack on the ball, fans have been likening Yeo to this year's Brownlow Medal favourite more and more.
The man himself is just happy being the first Elliot Yeo. "I'm not going to get caught up in that," he told APN ahead of tonight's clash between the Eagles and the Suns at Subiaco. "I'm just going out there to play my type of football and do what the team needs me to do."
It was only a matter of time before Yeo, who showed promise as a running halfback for the Lions, pushed further upfield.
Ironically, it was at the Gabba three weeks ago where he began making his mark as an onballer.
In his past three games he has averaged 23 disposals, and 10 contested, far above his career average of 15 and five, respectively.
Yeo was forced to sit out a large part of the pre-season after re-breaking the hand he snapped midway through last season, sidelining him for 10 weeks. But, it may have been a blessing in disguise for his fitness levels.
"That set me back a little bit, but I did plenty of running in the off-season ... built the tank up a bit," Yeo said.
"Now it's paying off, going through the midfield, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.
"We'll see how it all unfolds, but there might be some stages where I might have to head back," he said.
"As much as it sounds like a cliche, I'll play wherever Simmo (coach Adam Simpson) needs me."
The versatility of the 189cm Yeo was on show during the pre-season when he had to stand Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich.
But, the defence has been holding together well despite not only being without Yeo, but also key men Mitch Brown (knee), Eric McKenzie (knee) and Beau Waters (retired), with the big-marking Jeremy McGovern leading the way.
"He's a freak," Yeo said of the player now being referred to as 'Mits'.
The second-placed Eagles will go into tonight's round-seven clash with the visiting Suns (16th) confident after upstaging Port Adelaide at home in an epic battle.Yeo likened it to the win he enjoyed with the Lions two years ago over Geelong when Ash McGrath kicked a goal after the siren to seal it.
"We're all very confident in our abilities and our roles in the team," Yeo said.