Fal­con flight

Joondalup Weekender - - News - Justin Bian­chini

It was a re­laxed Jack Dar­ling this week ahead of fly­ing out to Mel­bourne this af­ter­noon with his West Coast team­mates. The cham­pion for­ward is one of sev­eral West Perth prod­ucts in the Ea­gles camp for Satur­day’s grand fi­nal against Colling­wood. He was al­ways a prodi­gious ta­lent, ac­cord­ing to his for­mer coach.

THEY make up a third of the West Coast Ea­gles for­ward line.

And fans of the AFL jug­ger­naut are hop­ing West Perth prod­ucts Mark LeCras and Jack Dar­ling can fire at the MCG this Satur­day.

They will be joined on the day by other for­mer Fal­cons in mid­field tag­ger Mark Hutch­ings, as­sis­tant coach Nathan van Berlo and pos­si­ble emer­gency Os­car Allen.

West Perth coach Bill Mon­aghan said he wished them all well.

“They’ve played a re­ally big part in get­ting West Coast to a grand fi­nal,” he said.

“And it’s go­ing to be a rip­per game against prob­a­bly a sur­prise grand fi­nal­ist in Colling­wood.

“Hope­fully they can lift the holy grail… and think that West Perth played some part in get­ting them to where they are.”

Mon­aghan said he had coached Dar­ling as a 17-year-old be­fore the Ea­gles drafted him.

“He’s al­ways been a prodi­gious ta­lent,” he said.

“I think whilst he’s been a very good foot­baller in the AFL sys­tem, this year he’s taken his game to a new level.

“Those peo­ple who know Jack, it’s not sur­pris­ing. He was full of con­fi­dence and be­lief in him­self and he’s turned into a fan­tas­tic AFL foot­baller.”

Mon­aghan said Hutch­ings helped the Fal­cons win the 2013 premier­ship after he had been delisted by St Kilda.

“He came to us from St Kilda look­ing for mid­field op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“He played a re­ally big part in our 2013 premier­ship and that prob­a­bly helped him se­cure a spot on an AFL list. That’s a re­ally good story.

“He’s a rip­ping young fel­low and de­serves ev­ery­thing he’s got.”

Mon­aghan coached LeCras’ brother Brent but said he had not had the plea­sure of coach­ing Mark.

“The LeCras fam­ily, through Brent and Mark, have great suc­cess around the West Perth Foot­ball Club,” he said.

Mon­aghan said he had got to know for­mer Ade­laide cap­tain van Berlo.

“We went to a coach­ing con­fer­ence in Ade­laide a few years back and he got us into a cou­ple of Crows ses­sions to look at,” he said.

Pic­tures: Paul Kane

Pic­ture: Paul Kane

Siren sounds... Mark Hutch­ings re­flects on mak­ing the grand fi­nal after the Ea­gles rolled Mel­bourne last Satur­day at Op­tus Sta­dium.

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