The West Coast Eagles finished fifth on the AFL ladder in 2019.
They won their first final against the Essendon Bombers, but lost the following week to the Geelong Cats.
Despite being knocked out in the second week of the 2019 finals series, the Eagles would be content with their home-and-away season record of 15 wins.
If Round 1 of season 2020 is the start of a trend and not an aberration, then expect the Eagles to be in the reckoning when it comes to discussions regarding premiership contenders when the season reaches the business end.
10. Liam Duggan
He is a quality defender that has plenty of ability. Duggan had a good start to the season in Round 1 of season 2020 with 21 disposals playing in a back pocket. He is a pivotal part of the Eagles’ back six.
9. Brad Sheppard
He was a part of the 2019 AFL All Australian squad of 40. Sheppard finished third in the Eagles’ best-and-fairest. He is a pivotal part of the Eagles’ back six. He averaged 19.29 disposals per game, which is a respectable amount for the role he plays. He didn’t miss a game in 2019.
8. Elliot Yeo
He was named on the interchange bench in the 2019 AFL All Australian team. Yeo finished second in the West Coast Eagles 2019 best-and-fairest. He is a pivotal part of the Eagles team and shows how much quality they have as he was only selected eighth on this list. He was added to the Eagles’ leadership group for season 2020.
7. Shannon Hurn
He was named vice-captain of the 2019 AFL All Australian team on the halfback flank. Despite that fact Hurn finished ninth in the 2019 West Coast Eagles best-and-fairest, he did play well in Round 1 of season 2020. That’s a good sign he won’t regress due to not being a part of the leadership group for season 2020.
6. Nic Naitanui
He may have played just five games in 2019 due to injury, but he was sorely missed. The West Coast Eagles are a better team with Naitanui in the team. He would have been higher on the list, but the Eagles have two handy back-up ruckmen in Nathan Vardy and Tom Hickey. Naitanui is a part of the Eagles’ leadership group.
5. Luke Shuey
He was named in the 2019 AFL All Australian squad of 40. Shuey played every game in 2019, averaging the second most disposals of any midfielder for the Eagles with an average of 26.96 disposals per game. He won the 2019 Eagles best-and-fairest. He is the captain of the Eagles for season 2020.
4. Tim Kelly
He was named on the wing in the 2019 AFL All Australian team. Kelly finished second in the Geelong Cats best-and-fairest. He will prove to be an important player structurally for the West Coast Eagles as he will probably be tagged by the opposing team’s best negating midfielder, which will free up the other Eagles midfielders.
3. Jack Darling
He was selected in the forward pocket of the 2019 AFL All Australian team. Darling may have only finished fifth in the Eagles 2019 best-and-fairest, but he is a pivotal part of their structure. He kicked the fourth most goals of any player in the AFL in 2019 with 59 goals. He played all 24 games that the Eagles were involved in for 2019. He has been added to the leadership group for the Eagles in season 2020.
2. Jeremy McGovern
He was named at centre halfback in the 2019 AFL All Australian team. McGovern is a pivotal part of the West Coast Eagles’ structure, often playing a key role for the Eagles in negating the opposition’s centre half forward.
1. Andrew Gaff
He had an impressive season in 2019 as he was named in the All Australian squad of 40. Gaff was fourth in the 2019 West Coast Eagles best-and-fairest award, despite missing two games. He averaged a mind-boggling 31.91 disposals per game in 2019, which shows how high his work rate is. He played well in the Eagles’ first game of season 2020. He was arguably best on ground. Expect him to keep that form up when footy resumes. He is a part of the Eagles’ leadership group.