Eagle Josh Hill glows with indigenous pride ... boots and all
JOSH Hill was probably always destined to become an Eagle.
Hill was originally drafted by the Bulldogs in 2006, but the wedge-tailed eagle is his people's totem.
And he will again be wearing specially designed boots featuring the bird when West Coast hosts Gold Coast at Subiaco tomorrow as part of the league's Indigenous Round.
Designed by his uncle Walter McGuire, the boots also feature elements of his Kimberley heritage.
Hill, 27, has always embraced the concept of being "able to go and play for your family and your culture, respect your tribes by performing for them".
He was in the sights of those other birds of prey, the Hawks, in 2011, but was happy to head back home to WA when leaving the Dogs.
Hawthorn eventually drafted his cousin Brad Hill, who has since been a part of three premierships.
"They've got Bradley there, and he's done well," says Hill, who enjoys heading north to the Kimberley to visit family and do a spot of fishing.
"So, no regrets, but happy for them all. It's all worked out for the best."
Hill (pictured) would like to be a part of at least one premiership though after the disappointment of losing last season's grand final.
But, he said he and teammates weren't dwelling on the defeat: "We've moved on from that, this is a different year and we've got a different side".
Hill once played under-14s footy with Lance Franklin in Perth, before rooming with Jarrod Harbrow when they arrived at the Bulldogs.
"It was probably the worst year of my life," he says with a laugh. "Nah, he's a good man Harbrow. We looked after each other."
With Harbrow now a Sun and one of the league's best attacking defenders, and Hill an integral part of that potent Eagles' forward line, the pair will no doubt cross paths tomorrow on such a special occasion.
"We always end up somehow bumping into each other on the field," says Hill, coming off a career-best 40 goals in 22 games last season.
"He's one of those players you never know what to expect."