Young and restless for improvement
NORMALLY by this stage of the season everyone has a pretty good read on how the competition is starting to pan out.
By now, as we get pretty close to the halfway mark, there is usually a bit of a gap between the top five or six and then there are another five or six clubs in a bit of a cluster, fighting for a spot around the bottom end of the top eight.
But things are a bit different in 2015 and it might take a bit longer to sort out. I suppose that is exactly what the AFL has been looking for and the fact that there is no easy game shows the draft and the salary cap are working.
The surprise mover has been Greater Western Sydney. We all expected them to improve pretty quickly once their “kids” started to mature and build their way into the competition, but they have probably done that 12 months sooner than most would have expected.
The Giants had access to the best young talent in the country for three or four consecutive drafts and those youngsters have started to impact on the competition.
People outside our club might also consider that we have surprised with our efforts so far this year, but internally we expected to improve.
There is a long way to go in this season, but we have been pretty happy with the start. We have a young, exciting list and there is a really good vibe around the club.
We have a good mix of youth and experience, we have developed a good understanding of Adam Simpson’s game plan and it is starting to come together. STAR ruckman Nic Naitanui was among West Coast Eagles players who imparted skills and knowledge to young new players from all backgrounds and skill levels at the 2015 Multicultural Gala Day.
“Diversity is what we’re preaching here,” Naitanui said.
“Players have grown up with Aussie Rules footy, so to teach those who haven’t, what better way to learn than off those guys.
“We’re just teaching the kids some basic skills and letting them play a game of AFL 9s; we’re just lucky the rain held off today too.
“There were more than 800 students across the three locations this morning, which is a great thing.
“It’s great that AFL football can bring people from different backgrounds together.”
The squad was spread across the metropolitan area last Monday, with Eagles at Tom Bateman Sporting Complex, Thornlie, Morris Buzacott Reserve, Kardinya, and MacDonald Park, Padbury.
Throughout the day, children competed in a round-robin tournament under the AFL 9s format, as well as working on their skills and meeting players.
Community Newspaper Group is an affiliated partner of the West Coast Eagles. EAGLES fans can win an epic footy sleepover experience this week.
The prize includes an overnight stay for the winner and three friends in an Airbnb customised suite at West Coast's home ground, the night before the Eagles take on Essendon.
The sleepover prize starts with dinner hosted by club legends Dean Cox and Andrew Embley, followed by watching Fri- day night footy on the stadium's massive big screen.
It continues the next day with an inner-sanctum tour of Eagles HQ and a kickto-kick session on the oval before the winner, their guests and six more invited friends watch West Coast's clash with Essendon from their corporate suite.
Visit www.westcoasteagles.com.au/ airbnb for competition details.
Former Eagles Andrew Embley and Dean Cox check out the special sleepover suite.