The West Coast Eagles are headed for the cliff’s edge

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


93 Have your say

    West Coast’s remarkable efforts to scrape into finals and then win past Port Adelaide were among the most memorable moments of 2017 – but don’t let that fool you. The Eagles have problems.

    AFL list management series
    18 – Brisbane Lions
    17 – Gold Coast Suns
    16 – Carlton Blues
    15 – North Melbourne Kangaroos
    14 – Fremantle Dockers
    13 – Collingwood Magpies
    12 – Hawthorn Hawks
    11 – St Kilda Saints
    10 – Western Bulldogs
    9 – Melbourne Demons
    8 – Essendon Bombers
    7 – Port Adelaide Power
    5 – Sydney Swans
    4 – GWS Giants
    3 – Geelong Cats

    2017 in short

    The Eagles entered this season likely aiming for a top-four berth and with a bit of hope at being premiership contenders. I certainly thought they were.

    As it was, they fell well short of that lofty goal. Really, if you took their 2015 season off the books it’d be hard to understand why anyone thought they were a particularly good team at all.

    A bit of good luck and some commendable efforts saw them sneak into the finals and even win one, but this doesn’t seem likely to have been anything other than a memorable last hurrah for a few retiring veterans.

    Matt Priddis West Coast Eagles AFL 2017 Finals

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)


    It’s amazing how quickly you can go from hero to zero in the coaching game. Adam Simpson was widely lauded after taking West Coast unexpectedly to a grand final in 2015, but the club’s middling results since have left many Eagles fans a bit unhappy with him.

    As it is, he’s contracted until the end of 2019 and will certainly remain in charge of the Eagles next year, however there’s a good chance they’ll be dropping down the ladder in 2018 and if they do, scrutiny around him will quickly intensify.

    It’s worth noting that at the end of 2015 Adelaide poached his right-hand man Don Pyke to be their new senior coach, and the team hasn’t been the same since. There’s more to the story than that, certainly, but perhaps the Eagles need to invest more heavily in the staff supporting him.


    Shannon Hurn took over captaining the club in 2015 and led the team all the way to a grand final in his first year, and they have made finals in every year under his leadership.

    At 30 years old, the club should be turning an eye to who is likely to be the team’s next skipper and a change could be made as soon as this offseason.

    Luke Shuey probably seems like the most likely candidate for the job, though truth be told there isn’t really a standout young leader on West Coast’s list, which is a potential concern for them going forward, and perhaps a quality they should be looking for when they hit the draft this year.

    Shannon Hurn West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    List management

    West Coast’s veteran core is at a clear tipping point where the majority of players that make up the group are only scarcely in the best 22.

    Some of them are finishing up this year, and most of those that continue on will only do so to retire at the end of next year instead.

    Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie (both 34), Matt Priddis (32) and Sam Butler (31) have already confirmed their retirements. Mark LeCras (31), Eric Mackenzie, Sharrod Wellingham (both 29) and Josh Hill (28) are out of contract. Jonathan Giles (29) is unconfirmed, but probably is out of contract also.

    Of the veterans on the list, Josh J Kennedy and Shannon Hurn (both 30) look the only ones likely to make a serious contribution next year – Kennedy as once again a potential Coleman medallist, and Hurn likely as captain of the club or the mentor to a new one.

    Mackenzie (29), Will Schofield, Chris Masten and Lewis Jetta (all 28) could all play some role over the next couple of years but seem unlikely to significantly steer the direction of the side.

    Instead, West Coast in 2018 and beyond will structure their side around the current middle tier which is a reasonably strong group with some genuine star power.

    Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey (both 27), Jack Redden, Brad Sheppard, Mark Hutchings (all 26), Jeremy McGovern, Jack Darling, Andrew Gaff (all 25) and Elliot Yeo (23) is the core of this team for the next few years at least, and not a bad one.

    Luke Shuey West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    What would be more concerning from West Coast’s perspective is a relative lack of youth ready to take up the workload left behind by the retiring veteran core.

    Dom Sheed (22), Tom Barrass (21) and Liam Duggan (20) have all shown enough to suggest they can be key members of the best 22 going forward, but that’s about it.

    The likes of Malcolm Karpany, Willie Rioli (both 22), Tom Lamb, Luke Partington, Tom Cole (all 20), Josh Rotham (19) and Daniel Venables (18) could all join this group, but we haven’t seen enough of them at senior level yet to say for sure.

    If the Eagles can find a good crop of future stars out of this group then their list will be in a healthy enough position to be happy enough, but that’s a big if as you’d think they’d have forced their way in for more senior opportunities by now if that was the case.

    The chief concern would be that it’s largely a vanilla group of inside midfielders and flanker-types, without much in the way of genuine speed, excitement or star power.

    To be genuinely competitive in the flag race with this group of players, West Coast probably need to add some more talent to this group, but that will be hard to do without compromising their ability to continue adding youth through the draft.

    It’s a classic catch-22 situation that is pretty common for teams that, like West Coast, have prioritised the push for a premiership over drafting and developing genuine youth in recent years. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t get the desired reward for doing so.

    Liam Duggan West Coast Eagles AFL 2017 tall

    (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    West Coast players by age
    Sam Mitchell – 34yr 11mth
    Drew Petrie (R) – 34yr 11mth
    Matthew Priddis – 32yr 5mth
    Sam Butler – 31yr 8mth
    Mark LeCras – 31yr
    Josh J Kennedy – 30yr
    Shannon Hurn – 30yr
    Jonathan Giles – 29yr 8mth
    Eric Mackenzie – 29yr 3mth
    Sharrod Wellingham – 29yr 2mth
    Josh Hill – 28yr 7mth
    Will Schofield – 28yr 7mth
    Chris Masten – 28yr 4mth
    Lewis Jetta – 28yr 4mth
    Nic Naitanui – 27yr 4mth
    Luke Shuey – 27yr 3mth
    Jack Redden – 26yr 9mth
    Bradley Sheppard – 26yr 3mth
    Mark Hutchings – 26yr 3mth
    Nathan Vardy – 26yr 2mth
    Jeremy McGovern – 25yr 5mth
    Jamie Cripps – 25yr 4mth
    Jack Darling – 25yr 3mth
    Andrew Gaff – 25yr 3mth
    Scott Lycett – 24yr 11mth
    Simon Tunbridge (R) – 24yr 5mth
    Fraser McInnes (R) – 24yr 1mth
    Elliot Yeo – 23yr 11mth
    Paddy Brophy (R) – 23yr 6mth
    Dom Sheed – 22yr 5mth
    Malcolm Karpany – 22yr 3mth
    Willie Rioli – 22yr 2mth
    Francis Watson (R) – 21yr 11mth
    Tom Barrass – 21yr 11mth
    Jackson Nelson – 21yr 6mth
    Tom Gorter (R) – 21yr
    Tom Lamb – 20yr 10mth
    Liam Duggan – 20yr 9mth
    Luke Partington – 20yr 6mth
    Kurt Mutimer – 20yr 6mth
    Tom Cole – 20yr 3mth
    Jordan Snadden (R) – 20yr 1mth
    Matthew Allen – 19yr 10mth
    Josh Rotham – 19yr 6mth
    Tarir Bayok (R) – 19yr 6mth
    Jake Waterman – 19yr 6mth
    Daniel Venables – 18yr 9mth

    Dom Sheed West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    The Eagles do have some tough decisions to make on this current out of contract group before they get anything else started in the 2018 offseason.

    Four veterans are already moving on and they’ve got older players Eric Mackenzie, Mark LeCras, Josh Hill and Sharrod Wellingham also out of contract.

    As a general rule, eight players is a lot to replace in the space of a single year, especially given that the Eagles don’t seem to have any clear trade targets or a fistful of draft picks to do so with.

    Eric Mackenzie should certainly be re-signed at least on a one-year deal. Of the other three, Mark LeCras would be the best choice to retain if the Eagles feel they need to stagger their retirements to some degree.

    The other big question is Tom Lamb, who debuted for the Eagles in Round 1 after he was drafted (albeit as the substitute), then was dropped and never seen again.

    He has played good football in the WAFL this year without getting any senior opportunities, but would be worth keeping around another year to see if he can crack into the side with more spots open next year.

    The Eagles also have a few important names in the 2018 contract group they’ll want to look towards retaining as soon as possible.

    Liam Duggan, Andrew Gaff, Jeremy McGovern and Elliot Yeo are all crucial players coming out of contract next year that, for peace of mind, West Coast should ideally sign to long-term deals before 2018 even begins.

    Jeremy McGovern West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    West Coast players by contract status
    Luke Shuey


    Jack Darling
    Daniel Venables

    Tom Barrass
    Tom Cole
    Josh J Kennedy
    Chris Masten
    Nic Naitanui
    Jackson Nelson
    Will Schofield
    Dom Sheed
    Brad Sheppard

    Jamie Cripps
    Liam Duggan
    Andrew Gaff
    Mark Hutchings
    Malcolm Karpany
    Shannon Hurn
    Scott Lycett
    Jeremy McGovern
    Luke Partington
    Matt Priddis
    Willie Rioli
    Josh Rotham
    Jake Waterman
    Elliot Yeo

    Out of contract
    Matthew Allen (R)
    Tarir Bayok (R)
    Paddy Brophy (R)
    Sam Butler
    Tom Gorter (R)
    Josh Hill
    Tom Lamb
    Mark LeCras
    Eric Mackenzie
    Fraser McInnes (R)
    Sam Mitchell
    Kurt Mutimer
    Drew Petrie
    Jordan Snadden (R)
    Simon Tunbridge
    Francis Watson (R)
    Sharrod Wellingham

    Jonathan Giles
    Lewis Jetta
    Jack Redden
    Nathan Vardy

    Elliot Yeo West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Delistings and retirements

    Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie and Sam Butler have already confirmed their retirements, and rookie Paddy Brophy left the club earlier in the year.

    As discussed, Josh Hill and Sharrod Wellingham are other possible delisting candidates, with neither able to hold a spot in the best 22 this year.

    Simon Tunbridge and Kurt Mutimer haven’t done much to suggest they’ll deserve another deal, and Jonathan Giles’ time will probably end if he is indeed out of contract.

    One way or another, it’s clear that there’s going to be a lot of change at West Coast this offseason, though some players who are possible candidates to move on will probably be kept simply to prevent there being too much sudden change.

    Free agency

    Mark LeCras (unrestricted)
    Eric Mackenzie (restricted)

    Mackenzie might get some interest from a club looking for a mature key defender if the Eagles don’t opt to retain him, though at 29 it would have to be one looking only for a short-term fix.

    LeCras presumably will either stay on with the Eagles or retire.

    West Coast haven’t been linked to any free agents in particular and this seems unlikely to change. If they’re targeting someone this offseason it’s probably someone too young to currently be eligible for free agency.

    Trade period

    Things have been pretty quiet on the rumour front as far as West Coast’s trade ambitions go this year.

    They were linked to both Jason Johanissen and Mitch McGovern during the year as potential Western Australian players to return home, but in both cases they re-signed, and in both cases Fremantle’s pursuit of them was probably more advanced and more financially lucrative than that of the Eagles.

    Brandon Matera is another who could be on the way to WA and would be worth putting in an offer for, though not likely any big loss if they miss out.

    At this stage, unless the Eagles throw us a serious curveball during this offseason, it seems more likely than anything else that they will have a quiet one and prepare to hunt players more aggressively in 2018 and beyond.

    Trading a player or two out is something they should be seriously considering as a way to make a greater investment in the draft, but this would be a tough decision.

    Chris Masten will likely be floated as someone who is available to other clubs, but it’s difficult to see there being much interest, let alone a club willing to give up a high draft pick.

    From a purely logical perspective, the best way for the West Coast Eagles to increase their investment at the draft without robbing their middle tier or youth of talent would be to trade 30-year-old Josh J Kennedy.

    Even though he is a veteran player, his elite abilities could still see him be worth a first-round draft pick to the right club.

    From a more realistic point of view though, this seems unlikely to happen – it would come as a slap in the face to fans and the Eagles are unlikely to consider going down that path.

    If it was to happen it’d more likely need to be initiated by the club targeting Kennedy, and that’d need to be a club that has salary cap space and draft picks to spend, and wants to do so on a 30-year-old key forward. There probably isn’t one in the league right now.

    Josh J Kennedy West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)


    First three rounds: 13, 31, 49.

    Local prospect Aaron Naughton would be a consideration for the Eagles if still around at this stage, but that does seem a bit unlikely.

    Another WA prospect in the mix would be Oscar Allen, a key forward. It’s probably a little earlier than most would expect to see him picked.

    The ideal result for the Eagles would be that a dynamic midfielder like Jack Higgins or Jaidyn Stephenson slips to this pick, but that’s more optimistic than realistic.

    It may be the case that, as they have more than once in recent years, they are forced to settle for someone a bit more vanilla.


    The promise of West Coast’s future largely banks on the development of a 22-and-under group that, at this point in time, looks worryingly thin.

    These players should get more exposure at senior level in 2018, something they’ve been starved of so far, and Eagles fans must hope that they flourish when given these opportunities.

    If we don’t seem some hidden talent revealed here then it will be fair to say that West Coast’s situation looks a little bleak, and they are likely headed over a cliff.

    A team that loses a lot of veteran talent in a short space of time and doesn’t have much in the way of youth to replace it is only headed in one direction: down.

    West Coast Eagles AFL

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    Don’t be surprised if that prompts questions about the future of Adam Simpson at the club or even makes it difficult to retain out-of-contract stars like Jeremy McGovern or Andrew Gaff, or young gun Liam Duggan.

    In order to make best use of what is a talented middle tier, the Eagles will eventually need to look to bolster their 19-22 crowd.

    However in addition to it being traditionally difficult for the WA clubs to attract talent that isn’t WA-born players, to do this the Eagles would have to rob Peter to pay Paul by giving up draft picks they should instead be using to acquire young talent.

    Likely the best path forward will be to keep investing in the draft and only look to land talent via either free agency or shopping at the bargain basement bin and hope for the best when it comes to trading with other clubs.

    In, say, four to eight years, it’ll be a good time to hit the free agency market and bolster what is currently the 22-and-under group, and if the Eagles have drafted some good talent between now and then they may be able to briefly push for the flag again in the early 2020s while the likes of Nic Naitanui and Luke Shuey are still contributing as veterans.

    In the short term though, with a good chunk of talent leaving the club, next year looks likely to be a year of transition and rebuilding – perhaps the first of several in a row – and after just barely making the finals this time around the Eagles will probably fall well short in 2018.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (93)

    • September 18th 2017 @ 8:31am
      Don Freo said | September 18th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      To compensate for a trade as good as Kennedy, they’d need some value.

      Like for almost like and something ok to bridge the difference. How about Kennedy for Ben Brown AND Robbie Tarrant?

      • September 20th 2017 @ 8:35am
        Davo said | September 20th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        No way. Ben brown is only 24 and showing lots of promise while Tarrant is one of the best defenders. North wouldn’t swap even one of the above for Kennedy, even though he is a great player. St Kilda would be a good fit for Kennedy and they do have a lot of high draft picks to play with (two in the top 10).

        • September 20th 2017 @ 10:09am
          Don Freo said | September 20th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          I know.

          Kennedy is worth way more than those two despite how good they are. I am just pointing out the silliness of trading anyone like Josh Kennedy.

          When you have the best, why trade for a series of OK types? That’s just strange.

    • September 18th 2017 @ 8:37am
      Lroy said | September 18th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Good article. I think Sam Butler is the classic example of a former champion who was kept on too long. To survive clubs need to turn the list over and Sam, loyal servant that he was should have been let go at the end of 2015.

      The other strange decision was Eric McKenzie. Essendon apparently wanted him and we would have received a great draft pick in return. The Eagles made a song and dance about him being a ”contracted player” then didn’t even play him. He did turn things around and played well at the end of the year (full credit to him) but why didn’t the Eagles trade him when they had the chance?? They wont get draft picks Essendon would have offered for him now.

      Its inconceivable that LeCras could get an extension, hes been another great servant of the club, but finals make reputations, and the Frenchman was pretty quiet this year. Someone should have tapped him on the shoulder weeks ago so he could have bowed out with dignity like Petrie , Priddis and Mitchel.

      Masten is another, you wouldn’t get a dead dog for him now, you might have got something if you traded him back in 2015.

      Sir Alex Ferguson had a very simple philosophy, didn’t matter how good a guy was, he traded them while he could still get something for them. He then recruited the next young superstar. Beckham and Van Nistelroy are the two most famous examples.

      United won everything on offer for 20 years with Ferguson, they’ve barely won anything since he left.

      Adam Simpson has caused long term harm to the club by refusing to blood young players during his tenure, the sooner the Eagles get rid of him the better.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 9:10am
        Gecko said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        Lroy is a bit harsh on Simpson, who’s had the Eagles win at least 1 final in every season he’s coached. But given his recruiting of veterans last year, he’ll have to pull off a Houdini to achieve a rapid rebuild, and may well be under threat at the end of 2018.

        I agree re Josh and Lroy that Le Cras and Masten are finished. Sharrod Wellingham, if he can get his mind and body right, still has more to offer, or could alternatively have a small amount of trade value for premiership contention clubs looking to boost their depth.

        Eagles were top 6 in 2017 and will be bottom 6 in 2018.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 11:02am
          Birdman said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          Priddis himself admits he’s too slow for the modern game but I’d be very happy for the Bombers to get him for two years just for the lols

        • September 18th 2017 @ 11:30am
          Matto said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          Eagles haven’t won a final every year simpson has coached.

          • September 18th 2017 @ 12:11pm
            Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

            Have beaten hawthorn and norths in 2015 and port in 2017.3 out of 6 finals coached.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 18th 2017 @ 10:08am
        Seano said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        Masten is rubbish but that’s not important.

        Reading this makes it all seam very strange that Priddis was made to retire. LeCras and Butler stay but Priddis can’t get a game?

        I hope the Suns or The bombers offer him a 2 year deal.

        Even funnier if the dockers do!

      • September 18th 2017 @ 11:05am
        truetigerfan said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        Wow! ‘Sam Butler’ and ‘former champion’, eh? Two things I never thought I’d hear in the same sentence!

        • September 18th 2017 @ 1:40pm
          Lroy said | September 18th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

          Win a flag and your considered a champion for life over on this side of the Nullabor 😉

          • September 18th 2017 @ 10:06pm
            Matto said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

            Can see how a richmond fan wouldnt be able to comprehend that.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 12:06pm
        David C said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        A certain Ronaldo would want to be mentioned there with Beckham and Van Nistelroy.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 1:34pm
          Lroy said | September 18th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          Sure, but didn’t Real Madrid simply offer too much money?? I think Sir Alex probably wanted to keep him 😉

    • September 18th 2017 @ 9:31am
      Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Am of the view Simpson will lead this team fwd as he is a bloody good coach (you don’t reach a gf if you’re a shimmelbush sorry josh), we all know the issues facing wce, they are clear as day but easily turned around as the core group is there to structure around.
      Lroy the Ferguson comparison is interesting but afl coaches don’t have the list control or unlimited funds that a premier league manager of one of the top clubs in the world has, not being argumentative we both know that is true.
      The fact a lot of language being used regarding wce is closer to describing qld football is puzzling and naive in my opinion as we will rebound quite quickly and astute drafting like what netted us the likes of Kerr and embers or Braun with late 1st round and 2nd round picks is our only way fwd as we rarely drop of the planet, that isn’t the wce way.
      Bring on the silly season I say and let’s review this all again mid next season as that is when we will all know the direction our club is headed.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 9:57am
        DJW said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        The Eagles looked terribly coached this year.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 10:24am
          truetigerfan said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Simpson produced a miracle getting this team into the finals! Realistically 3 or 4 sides outside the 8 will overtake WC easily next year making them a 13th to 18th team. No better!

          • September 18th 2017 @ 12:06pm
            Matto said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

            Nice comment and maths.
            Would be surprised if you actually watch games other than richmond playing. And normally not watch at all in a regular season because youre so sick of seeing your average organisation miss out on finals footy and being involved in september has you all fired up enough to comment on any article.
            I wonder though…
            Which is it you think? There are 3-4 teams that can push west coast down to 12th?
            Or that they will be a 13th – 18th team next season?

            • September 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm
              truetigerfan said | September 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              No need to get narky, Matto! Let me join the dots for you. 3-4 teams from outside the 8 will overtake WC without having to improve! Others may well do the same with natural improvement, trades, drafts, luck, easier draw, etc. So yeah, 13th to 18th.

              • September 18th 2017 @ 9:45pm
                Don Freo said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

                Your tone is very narky itself. You’ve really slipped the unpleasant pills. I’d say Matto is calling you correctly. You’ve been fun to read on the Tiger Train but your West Coast nastiness is really inexplicable.

                Do you really want to establish an Anon persona? Can’t imagine why.

            • September 18th 2017 @ 7:57pm
              Peter the Scribe said | September 18th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

              Yeah Matto don’t take any notice of True Tigers comments, he loves to try and rally up supporters against their own side and invariably fails.

    • September 18th 2017 @ 9:54am
      Birdman said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      I keep hearing Billy Hartung is a trade target for West Coast – I wonder if Sam Mitchell has something to do with that?

      • September 18th 2017 @ 9:58am
        Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        I’ve heard the same birdman possibly for a 2nd round pick, his speed would be welcome addition at wce.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 10:09am
          Don Freo said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          That would be like a poor man’s version of Tom Swift. Just play the draftees. Not one benefit in getting a proven AFL struggler.

          WC has to stop doing mates and relatives stuff. Simmo with all his NM connections (esp coaches) and now Mitchell with Hawthorn cast offs.

          • September 18th 2017 @ 11:35am
            Matto said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            Fully agree Donald.
            Summa has been doing a good job with the U18 boys, has to be some talent he is aware of that will slip to our later picks.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 12:12pm
          David C said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          He was only a fringe player for hawthorn this year, worth a gamble but not for a second rounder.

          • September 18th 2017 @ 12:31pm
            Birdman said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            18 games in 2017 – not sure I’d call that fringe

            • September 18th 2017 @ 1:14pm
              Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              His defensive side has been questioned that’s the only negative I’ve seen/heard

              • September 18th 2017 @ 2:33pm
                Birdman said | September 18th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                decision making could also improve but with more of a stay at home forward structure, he’ll have targets.

                This could end up a good bit of business by West Coast given their need for speed

              • September 18th 2017 @ 7:44pm
                Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

                Its not hard to decide should you pass it to Kennedy up the guts or darling in the pocket hey birdman.

            • September 18th 2017 @ 4:46pm
              Ditto said | September 18th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

              Birdman, Hartung is not AFL standard, if Hawks can get something for him, good on ’em, but otherwise just delist him and move on.

              • September 18th 2017 @ 9:48pm
                Don Freo said | September 18th 2017 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

                Hartung or Masten? I’d take Masten…but then, I rank Masten. I reckon he has something to give.

    • September 18th 2017 @ 10:21am
      Mattyb said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      Like the Fremantle article,no mention of Ryan or Kelly so I’ll mention it again.
      One of the WA clubs should draft Liam Ryan orTim Kelly,maybe they can have one each,Ryan in particular is anything but ‘vanilla’,electrifying excitement machine is how I’d describe him.
      Probably worth mentioning when talking about the Eagles next year that they’ll be playing in the best stadium in Australia. I think this might give them an even greater home ground advantage,

      • September 18th 2017 @ 10:58am
        Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        With Schofield heavily linked with an assistant position at wce next season I hope liam Ryan follows him there.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 11:24am
          Mattyb said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

          6×6,did you see Ryan yesterday? One of his goals said it all. Flew for a mark while totally out of position,hangs in the air managing to get a hand on the ball,miraculously taps the ball from the marking contest to his advantage,lands on his feet to gather the crumbs he’s created,sprints away at lightning speed,has 3 bounces and kicks the goal.
          Unbelievable and magic in the highest order. Has already won the WAFL goal kicking award and should poll well in the Sandover. Kids an absolute star,if someone doesn’t draft him these recruiters have no idea and need to pay far more attention to natural footballers.

          • September 18th 2017 @ 1:16pm
            Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            He was phenomenal yesterday, whenever subi needed something he was a catalyst, played a lot more unselfish game than what I’ve seen from him before aswell which was a huge positive.

            • September 19th 2017 @ 7:12am
              rusty said | September 19th 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

              Ryan will get drafted but clubs will be closely monitoring if his fitness has improved from last years combine where he registered the worst ever beep test.
              Tim Kelly and Schloithe should also get looked at. Both are ready to go.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 11:36am
        Matto said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        No room for “,electrifying excitement machine’s” in Ross’ game plan.
        Coming to eagles is a no brainer.

        • September 18th 2017 @ 11:53am
          Mattyb said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          Lol Matto,in fairness Walters goes alright.
          How is there no talk of Ryan though? Don’t hear his name mentioned by anyone except a few WA people,phantom drafts don’t even tend to mention him. You see some of the U18 draft hopefuls highlights packages and they’re OK,but nothing special,and they’re obviously meaningless with no context really,imagine a highlights package of Ryan? He takes a hanger a week at least,kicks great goals and has blistering pace. He’s really improving his defensive game also. Funny thing is this website had a video of his mark against East Perth a couple of weeks ago,and still no one knows who he is.That’s mark of the year in any comp everyday of the week.

          • Roar Guru

            September 18th 2017 @ 12:45pm
            AdelaideDocker said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            I’m hearing more and more about him lately, and he seems like a great talent.

            You’re right though, there has virtually been zero awareness about him over my side of the country (I guess Adelaide counts as the East coast!).

            That might be a good thing, though. Keep him under the wraps so the two WA teams get first pick on him!

        • Roar Guru

          September 18th 2017 @ 11:19pm
          Dalgety Carrington said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

          Hey, unfair stereotype. Last year Freo had 4 nominations in the MoY, while the WC had just the solitary 1.

          I tend to think, if the Yarran situation had played out to its conclusion before the draft, Liam Ryan would already be on Freo’s list. We’ve got a few excitement machines on the list already, with Bennell, Walters, Hills, Crozier, he’ll slot in nicely.

          • September 19th 2017 @ 11:02am
            Matto said | September 19th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            Too true. Walters and the Hill brothers are some of my favorite players to watch.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 12:14pm
        13th Man said | September 18th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

        Watched the WAFL prelim final yesterday. Liam Ryan is an absolute gun and whilst I really hope Freo get him, he should also be well and truly in West Coast’s sights as well.
        Schofield will be a good coaching pickup as well for whoever gets him, sounds as though WC will.

      • September 18th 2017 @ 8:47pm
        Scott said | September 18th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

        I will be absolutely devastated if West Coast don’t pick up Ryan. I was devastated when we didn’t rookie list him last year and got Gorter instead. He would easily be best 22 in every team in the comp. Fingers crossed he doesn’t go to someone else early on. Kelly and Ryan are the 2 I’ve got my eye on as well. Both will slot straight into West Coasts 22 I reckon and Kelly could be a very late pick

        • September 18th 2017 @ 11:03pm
          Mattyb said | September 18th 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

          Scott,I’m a doggies man who was also devastated we didn’t pick up Ryan last year. I was also big on recruiting Hannan as a Rookie from the VFL but he went way before that,Long from the VFL also but he went from under our nose. The WA clubs need to go strong on Ryan and get him. My Victorian brethren have little idea,they are talking up Rayner for goodness sake,the kid goes missing in TAC games with rules about tagging and can’t get a kick in school footy,while Ryan is dominating against men.
          I’m on record being against rejects unless they can can prove themselves in state leagues after rejection,I’d love to also see Schoithe poll well in the Sandover, a Ryan,Kelly,Schoithe 1,2,3 would be sensational. From VFL rejects Gowers is worth a look and from unproven VFL talent someone like Jamiason. The WAFL is a super strong comp though,Adams dominated immediately and Yarran was a star immediately,only to be ruined by personal issues. Ryan is an out an out gun,everyone who has seen him play agrees,the rest stay silent because they don’t understand football outside their own state or Sheehan and Wallace comments.

          • September 19th 2017 @ 2:06pm
            Scott said | September 19th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

            Hey Mattyb which midfielders from the VFL this year do you think could easily start in an AFL midfield? Are the dogs gonna list Gowers and Jamieson and where will they’d be picked I find they do?

            • September 19th 2017 @ 9:17pm
              Mattyb said | September 19th 2017 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

              Scott,I don’t see to many midfielders at the VFL who I’d be overly confident on,also,most VFL clubs run AFL listed players through there and fill holes elsewhere. Messe in the ruck I could see clubs being interested in,he plays for Williamstown. Victorian football is currently very poorly structured so there could be rough diamonds in local leagues I’m unaware of.
              I don’t really know where Jamaison or Gowers would be willing to risk Gowers as a late pick or rookie,if someone else picks him up,so be it. I’d make a call on Jamaison though and take him in the third round if there,maybe sooner as I think there will be a bit of interest in state league players this year,just a hunch as some of the U18 names being mentioned,and the order they might go in doesn’t add up,Rayner as I’ve mentioned is a perfect example of this. I’ll be very disappointed if he ends up with us,put it that way,especially as we seem to be showing Stringer the door when Rayner has many of the same issues but far less talent.
              VFL clubs also tend to give local players a couple of games to have a look at them when numbers are low due to Afl listed injuries,there was a guy called Braun who did this and performed well when given the opportunity,he was a forward though.
              I’d say Schoithe and Kelly are a long way ahead of anyone at VFL level,good to see they went 1,2 in the Sandover. 4 of the last 10 Sandover winners have gone on to play AFL. There’s no one at VFL even close to Ryan though.

              • September 19th 2017 @ 11:22pm
                Mattyb said | September 19th 2017 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

                It appears people,including the author aren’t that interested in the Ryan link provided,so here’s something more centralised,as Nick Cave would say…”I call upon the author to explain”

              • Roar Guru

                September 20th 2017 @ 6:01pm
                Handles said | September 20th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

                I expect MattyB’s internet accounts to get shut down shortly. The whole of WA is trying to keep Liam Ryan out of view until the draft, and he keeps posting highlight reels!

    • September 18th 2017 @ 10:29am
      sammy said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

      I wonder if the crows might make a play for Jeremy McGovern after they know what deal they will get for Lever. Now that Mitch has signed on for another 3 years, it might be tempting for Jeremy who is out of contract at the end of next year to want to play with his brother and be part of a team that still has a few more years around the upper parts of the ladder. I am sure that the Eagles have no thoughts on moving him on, but could they be tempted if they are planning on doing a rebuild and could secure a high draft pick and a player for him?

      • September 18th 2017 @ 10:33am
        Mattician6x6 said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        From all reports Jeremy and his missus , both west aussies are extremely settled here. Nice pie in the sky stuff though Sammy;)

        • September 18th 2017 @ 10:50am
          sammy said | September 18th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          It was only just a thought and that was because his brother has just signed on for the next few seasons and he himself is out of contract at the end of next year. He is held in very high regard and whilst as you say he is very settled, we can’t help but hope 🙂

        • September 18th 2017 @ 4:54pm
          Ditto said | September 18th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          I don’t think Sammy was suggesting that he wasn’t settled, but it has been known to happen that people move states even if their ok with where they currently live.

      • September 20th 2017 @ 2:58pm
        Nathan Dryden said | September 20th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

        It has merit he would have very high value in a trade .Gov is worth a top ten pick or 2 first rounders anything less than that would be foolish….