Young and rest­less for im­prove­ment

Western Suburbs Weekly - - State Of Union -

with Josh Kennedy 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 Fri­day 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.

Pic­ture:

For­mer Ea­gles An­drew Em­b­ley and Dean Cox check out the spe­cial sleep­over suite.

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