Hansen facing the chop at Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hansen facing the chop at Eagles

By Chris Pike 05/05/2009 04:40:54 PM Comments (0)

Key forward Ashley Hansen could be the second West Coast premiership player to be dropped in as many weeks.

Hansen continued his disappointing start to the AFL season with his performance in the 13-point loss to Fremantle in Saturday's western derby.

Hansen has averaged just 11 possessions, four marks and kicked five goals so far this season and coach John Worsfold will consider dropping him to the WAFL ahead of Sunday's clash with Melbourne.

The previous week it was midfielder Tyson Stenglein who was demoted.

Josh Kennedy looms as Hansen's likely replacement despite missing last week's WAFL game for East Fremantle with an eye injury.

"Ash is certainly not playing near his best form and while he hasn't been poor, he hasn't been playing as well as he can," Worsfold said on Tuesday.

"We have been hoping his form would improve over the last couple of weeks and it hasn't got to where we'd like it to.

"His work rate on the weekend was really high, but he's not having the impact we'd like."

A hand injury to Brent Staker has opened the door for some youngsters to get a chance to face Melbourne including Jamie McNamara, Tim Houlihan, Scott Selwood and Tom Swift.

Stenglein was dumped for Saturday's western derby and didn't play on the weekend with Subiaco having the bye.

Worsfold will consider him for a return this Sunday, but he's more likely to line up in the WAFL to find some form.

"He hasn't missed much footy over the years and sometimes a week off is enough and you can see in their demeanour that they are ready to get back to their best," he said.

"Ideally you have to see him get back into form at Subi, but with a spot opened up we will consider Tyson."

Ruckman Nic Naitanui, the No.2 pick in last year's national draft, returned for Swan Districts in the reserves on Saturday for the first time this year after pre-season knee surgery and was solid with seven touches and eight hit outs.

With some good league WAFL form, Worsfold is looking forward to seeing what he offers at AFL level shortly.

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