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Eagles looking to make amends

Justin Chadwick 11/03/2011 06:24:20 PM Comments (0)

West Coast skipper-in-waiting Beau Waters hopes the club's hunger to make amends for last year's horror campaign will hold them in good stead for the coming AFL season.

The Eagles won just four games on the way to their first-ever wooden spoon last year, but Waters said players had taken it upon themselves to lift several notches over the summer in order to avoid a repeat performance.

"There's a real desire and hunger in the team," Waters said ahead of Saturday's pre-season clash with arch rivals Fremantle.

"I think there's always an element of anticipation when you go into a start of the season.

"And when you finish on the bottom it seems to be heightened, there's an anticipation to make up for lost ground last year.

"The AFL industry has a funny way of weeding out players if they don't improve so my plan over the pre-season was to get bigger, stronger and faster and build on the games I played last year and have an impact on the side."

Waters was one of the few shining lights for West Coast last year, playing 21 matches in his first season back after spending 18 months on the sidelines with a career-threatening elbow injury.

The 24-year-old's perseverance and leadership qualities were rewarded in January when he was named as the sole deputy to skipper Darren Glass.

With Glass likely to step down as captain at the end of the year, Eagles coach John Worsfold said Waters was a prime candidate to assume the role down the track.

"Right at the moment Beau Waters is (the favourite to take over the captaincy) with the way we've gone about our selection process," Worsfold said.

"We have some other young players pushing up like Josh Kennedy, Shannon Hurn and Scotty Selwood.

"But we don't know what our circumstances will be in 12 months or two years' time so it's hard to speculate on that.

"But right at the moment, if Darren's injured, then Beau Waters will lead the side."

Waters copped a friendly-fire hit from teammate Shannon Hurn in last week's NAB Cup semi-final loss to Collingwood.

But the hard-nut defender declared himself fit to take on the Dockers at Fremantle Oval.

"The big freight train Shannon Hurn, the big 100kg monster ran through me," Waters told Fairfax radio.

"Just divided the brain cells from about four down to two. I've got a limited life span with these concussions.

"But, no, it was seriously just an innocuous thing."

The Eagles will unveil 202cm ruckman Scott Lycett and father-son recruit Jacob Brennan against the Dockers, but Daniel Kerr was given another week to build-up match fitness after almost 11 months out with a hamstring injury..

Fremantle welcome back midfielders David Mundy and Stephen Hill, while Hayden Ballantyne and Nat Fyfe are expected to be given more game time in their second match back from injury.

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