Eade rules Aker out Port clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade rules Aker out Port clash

By Sam Lienert 14/07/2010 05:32:12 PM Comments (0)

Former Western Bulldogs star Luke Darcy believes Jason Akermanis can still play a key role in a Bulldogs' premiership and says his continued omission is a good sign.

Coach Rodney Eade has ruled the former Brisbane triple-premiership forward and Brownlow Medallist out of Saturday night's AFL clash with Port Adelaide in Darwin.

That is despite Akermanis having served a club-imposed suspension, overcome a hamstring injury and hit good form in the VFL, with five goals for Williamstown last weekend.

"We've been really pleased with his form and his work rate, but there's a couple of things which he just needs to work on, which I've spoken to Jason about and that will stay between Jason and myself," Eade said on Wednesday.

He refused to elaborate on the areas of concern, or whether they related purely to on-field issues.

Akermanis had been confident of slotting back in, given the Bulldogs have lost fellow forwards Barry Hall (ankle) and Brennan Stack (hamstring) from the side that thrashed Carlton last round.

But Darcy said it was encouraging that the Dogs could make him work for his AFL comeback.

"That's a good sign for a club when you set criteria that you expect people to live up to," Darcy told AAP.

"The other point I think of straight away is that the Bulldogs probably played one of their better games on the weekend.

"Even though there's some changes, there's other players that have been in pretty good form."

Eade listed Nathan Eagleton, Andrejs Everitt, Brodie Moles, Liam Jones and Josh Hill as possible inclusions.

But Darcy had little doubt Akermanis would significantly boost the Dogs' premiership bid.

"If they believe Jason Akermanis is the person to help them get there, and they obviously do because they sent him a really clear message about what they expected from him, when he meets that criteria and he plays, history says he's very capable of producing big moments in games," Darcy said.

"As a former Bulldog player, my hope is that he can do that again on a big stage in 2010.

"Jason's career individually has been incredible and he has got a great record of being able to deliver on big occasions.

"It's tough when you miss footy, it's tough when you get older, but he's certainly got a self-belief he can do it and it would be a dangerous thing to doubt that."

Darcy said the Dogs' premiership door reopened with their performance against Carlton, which, in conjunction with Fremantle's loss to Richmond, reignited their top four hopes.

He said it was important that Brad Johnson, Robert Murphy, Shaun Higgins, Liam Picken and Callan Ward were all playing, after injury-interrupted seasons.

Along with Akermanis' absence for the past five games, he said injuries had upset the Dogs' forward structure for much of the season so far, an issue not helped by Hall's absence.

"If they get the right side out on the park with enough game time into their key players, I honestly believe they could beat Geelong, who I reckon are the best side," Darcy said.

The Bulldogs will again be without Mitch Hahn (hamstring) and Will Minson (ankle), with neither certain to return for the crucial round 17 clash with the Dockers.

But Eade said Johnson would play on Saturday night, despite hurting his ankle against the Blues.

He said the Bulldogs would pick a running side to cope with forecast hot, humid conditions, which he also expected to have a follow-on effect when they play Fremantle eight days later.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news