From WA to the Big Smoke: Peel Thunder’s Wade Derksen Joins GWS Giants in AFL Mid-Season
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From WA to the Big Smoke: Peel Thunder’s Wade Derksen Joins GWS Giants in AFL Mid-Season

It’s been a whirlwind week for Peel forward Wade Derksen, who settled in Sydney just days after being drafted by the GWS Giants in the AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.’

From WA to the Big Smoke: Peel Thunder's Wade Derksen Joins GWS Giants in AFL Mid-Season

The 20-year-old, selected with pick five in Wednesday night’s draft, said he is over the moon.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said.

“It’s everything I’ve ever wanted and worked towards, so I’m super excited to be here.”

Originally from Darwin, Derksen played for the Nightcliff Tigers, where his father played over 200 games before moving to Victoria.

After an injury and COVID-filled stint in Essendon’s VFL program, Derksen returned to the Northern Territory before moving to WA, signing with Peel Thunder this year.

Camera IconDerksen played through three games with Peel before being snatched by the Giants Credit: James Worsfold/TheWest.

“He has an attractive athletic profile and a huge advantage given his lack of exposure. He has developed at the forefront this year, but he has also shown a glimpse that he can play behind the ball as well,” he said.

“Wade has shown a great desire to continue his football as evidenced by his move to the VFL in 2020 and WAFL in 2022, and it’s great that this is paying off.”

Sydney is now Derken’s fifth state in two years, and he and his young family hope this is the last big step for a while.

“Fingers crossed,” he said.

“I hope to stay here as long as possible and make the most of this opportunity.”

“Dieka and my son Kaelan are coming to see me in a few weeks. We are busy finding a place to stay.”

Derksen was one of three WAFL players picked up mid-season, alongside East Fremantle’s Brynn Teakle (pick-eight to Port Adelaide) and East Perth forward Sebit Kuek (like 15 to Fremantle).

In the draft, Derksen will bond with good friend and former teammate Josh Fahey, who was called to the club last year.

“It’s really good to be around him again; it’s been a while,” he said.

“I really want to play alongside Tom Green and Toby, I think I can learn a lot from them, and Stevie J, the forward coach, I’m sure he has a few tricks up his sleeve.”

While Derksen’s run with Peel may have been short, he said he quickly fell in love with the club.

“Peel was great; they helped me a lot, not just as a footballer but as a person,” he said.

“I know I can always call them for anything. They’ve done nothing but help me, and I can’t thank them enough.”