Eade at ease with West absence at 'Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade at ease with West absence at 'Dogs

By Tara Ravens 26/06/2008 07:08:46 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade is confident veteran midfielder Scott West will prove a valuable "recruit" in the run-up to the AFL finals.

The 33-year-old seven-time best and fairest winner has not played since round six, with a knee bone stress injury that was initially expected to sideline him for just a fortnight.

But, after the club announced this week that he would miss at least another five games, Eade hosed down speculation that West's entire season could be wiped out.

"It's not a disaster, it's a bit of a setback," Eade said.

"I think he'll be a great recruit for us when he's able to come back.

"He's still kept himself pretty fit, so it's just a matter of getting the match conditioning into him.

"Round 18 or 19 he'll be able to play at (VFL club) Williamstown and then we can take it from there."

Eade said the second-placed Bulldogs were intent on securing their top four spot, after already assuring themselves of a finals berth with nine rounds remaining.

Port Adelaide, their opponents in Darwin on Saturday, have little to play for after coach Mark Williams declared their finals hopes "officially" dead when they lost to Richmond last round.

"It's not like both teams are fighting for their lives," Eade said of the clash.

"But we need to keep winning because we're after a top four spot."

In an attempt to minimise any drop-off in performance during the match, the second-placed Bulldogs have been visiting a heat chamber up to three times a week for the past month.

Eade said Darwin was seen as "a home away from home".

"It's a great surface," he said.

Arriving in the Northern Territory capital on Thursday, two days out from the game, Eade said that was also part of the acclimatisation process.

"The fact that we have a heat change, we've got here a couple of days (early)... the fact that we like to train on the Thursday as well, we thought we'd do that here rather than Melbourne," he said.

Meanwhile, Eade has ruled the Bulldogs out of chasing former West Coast skipper Ben Cousins, saying the club had "no interest".

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