Lynch the man as Eagles boost firepower - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lynch the man as Eagles boost firepower

By Justin Chadwick 03/02/2010 04:44:07 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold wants big man Quinten Lynch to make the full forward position his own this AFL season as the Eagles aim to boost their firepower in a bid to return to finals football.

Lynch booted 65 goals as a key forward in the Eagles' 2006 premiership season but the 27-year-old has been forced to fill gaps in the midfield in recent years, providing invaluable back-up to Dean Cox in the ruck.

But with the emergence of ruckman Nic Naitanui plus a more settled midfield group, Worsfold wants Lynch to return to the goalsquare and said Ashley Hansen, Tony Notte and Callum Wilson were also candidates for the role should Lynch fail.

"We are keen to see a player really make that his position," Worsfold said of the full-forward spot.

"That's where the challenge is for those guys I've mentioned, to say I'm going to be a consistent contributor for you at full forward."

Small forward Mark LeCras booted 58 goals last season and also impressed during stints in the midfield as the club toyed with the idea of turning him into a full-time on-baller.

But Worsfold said the continued development of young midfielders Brad Ebert, Matt Rosa, Chris Masten and Tom Swift, plus the addition of former Lion Bradd Dalziell and Luke Shuey's return to fitness, meant LeCras would remain a permanent forward.

"Lecca is a pretty special talent as a small forward so certainly in the longer period Lecca is going to make us a better team by being that goal-kicking forward," Worsfold said.

The Eagles ranked 11th in points for last season as they missed the finals for the second straight year.

Worsfold said the club must become one of the elite scoring teams in the competition in order to seriously challenge for a fourth premiership.

The coach confirmed Josh Kennedy was the club's No.1 choice at centre half-forward but sweeping defender Mark Nicoski could become a surprise goal-scoring option this year as the Eagles tweak their attacking line-up.

"We've laid down the challenge for him to add to his game," Worsfold said of Nicoski.

"We know he can play back for us so ... if he can show us he can contribute in other areas we can make our squad stronger.

"For us as a club ... we want to improve our attacking game.

"We want to be able to score more and be one of the top teams in the competition in scoring and we want to be a very good defensive team as well.

"We are probably further off the mark in terms of our attacking game than we are defensively, we defended pretty well last year.

"When I say attacking, it's how (defenders) (Darren) Glassy and Scott Selwood and Brett Jones move the ball, that's part of our attacking game."

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