We've had finals on our minds: Embley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We've had finals on our minds: Embley

By James Dampney 31/08/2005 06:22:56 PM Comments (0)

West Coast winger Andrew Embley has finally admitted what pundits have speculated for weeks - the Eagles' minds have been firmly fixed on September during their recent AFL form slump.

In a comment that is unlikely to please coach John Worsfold, Embley has conceded the players' thoughts turned to the finals series around six weeks ago, once it became clear the club would finish the home-and-away season in the top two.

After starting the year with 15 wins from their first 16 games to emerge as clear flag favourites, the Eagles have faltered badly in the lead-up to the finals, losing four of their past six matches.

West Coast lost three consecutive away matches from rounds 17-21 - to Sydney, the Bulldogs and Geelong - but was still performing solidly at home until last week's eight-point loss to Adelaide that cost the club the minor premiership.

That defeat also snapped a 20-game home winning streak and left many believing the Eagles are vulnerable in Friday's qualifying final against the in-form Swans at Subiaco Oval.

Worsfold has steadfastly refused to concede the club has taken its eyes off the ball and virtually mocked anyone in recent weeks that dared suggest the club was undergoing a form slump.

But Embley, who only returned from a broken foot against Adelaide last week, finally voiced what most had suspected.

"There's no doubt that we've been thinking about this finals campaign for a long time now," Embley said.

"Coming up against sides like the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, regardless of how we played, we knew we were going to finish one or two, where they needed to win to make the finals and were more desperate than us.

"So in a way we've been probably waiting for this opportunity, waiting for this first final, and now it's here and I just think the boys were hanging for it and can't wait for Friday night."

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