Worsfold to ease up on Naitanui - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Worsfold to ease up on Naitanui

By Justin Chadwick 25/05/2010 04:40:04 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold admits even he has to temper his expectations of emerging star Nic Naitanui after the ruckman's AFL form dip in recent weeks.

Naitanui whipped crowds into a frenzy and stormed into Brownlow Medal contention after a bright start to the season.

But the 201cm crowd pleaser has averaged just 11 possessions a game over the past five weeks, with his flashes of brilliance becoming few and far between.

Worsfold predicted Naitanui would need a rest sometime soon but hoped the 20-year-old could hang on until West Coast's mid-season bye after round 13.

"We are always looking at the young players and their workloads and Nic still is just a second year player who's carrying a big workload," Worsfold said on Tuesday.

"We are aware we've got a bye coming up in four or five weeks, so we know that's on the radar.

"I would expect he would be fine to get through to the bye."

Worsfold said fans, along with himself, shouldn't place unrealistic expectations on a second year player still learning his craft.

"(I've) got to warn ... myself not to expect too much because it is easy to get carried away to think he's going to lead us to some big wins regularly, weekly, right now," Worsfold said.

"He's a young man who's still growing.

"He's carrying a lot more weight this year than he did last year, he's put on a lot of muscle.

"All those things take a few years to condition yourself to.

"We're rapt with the way Nic's progressing at the moment in his development and we'll continue to see that development."

Worsfold revealed Naitanui had to deal with a family issue before his quiet performance in Sunday's loss to the Saints.

"On the weekend he'd had a pretty stressful week," Worsfold said.

"It was all family related.

"We take that one (quiet game) out of the equation (in assessing his performances) to a certain degree.

"But he'll be fresh and ready to go this week."

Meanwhile, Worsfold all but ruled captain Darren Glass out of Sunday's clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium due to his ongoing groin complaint.

Glass, who sat out the loss to St Kilda, will up his running load this week but Worsfold said the defender's exact problem was still unknown.

"It gets very cloudy with his groin issues whether they're bony issues or muscular issues, abdominal issues versus abductors," Worsfold said.

"It's unlikely we'll have him for selection this week.

"He'll do a bit more running on Thursday, build that up over the weekend and we'll see how he is next week."

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