Cooney three years off peak, says Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooney three years off peak, says Eade

By Robert Grant 14/11/2008 05:38:19 PM Comments (0)

Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney will not reach his peak for at least three years, according to Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade.

While the 23-year-old clinched the AFL best and fairest award this season, Eade believes he can still improve significantly.

He puts the red-headed midfielder in a group of younger players he feels will keep the Dogs highly competitive over the next few years.

"I think that's where our improvement will come from, our players who are 26 and younger," Eade said.

"I know Coons (Adam Cooney) has just won the Brownlow but you would like to think his best football is still ahead of him.

"He's a fairly level-headed young guy .... he's just turned 23, we think his best football is going to be at about 26 or 27 years of age.

"He's learning every year and we've given him benchmarks to come back with in a whole range of areas and he's met all those."

Cooney will begin full training in two weeks following surgery on a fractured kneecap while star forward Robert Murphy will not be able to start running until January.

"Cooney's prognosis was he'd be able to run after eight weeks post-op, and it's about six now so he'll be able to run soon but he's kept himself in reasonable shape," Eade said.

Murphy has a longer layoff after an intricate operation to repair a hole in his patella tendon.

Eade said he was impressed by the way Murphy played at the end of the season with the injury and kicked four goals in the final against Sydney with painkillers.

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