Eagles tell Kerr to cool it in the WAFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles tell Kerr to cool it in the WAFL

By Justin Chadwick 24/03/2011 08:34:48 PM Comments (0)

West Coast have resisted the temptation to rush Daniel Kerr back for the start of the AFL season.

Instead, they've warned the star midfielder to control his on-field aggression after last week's brain snap.

Kerr pulled up well from last Saturday's hit-out with WAFL side East Fremantle, finding plenty of the ball in his first competitive match since tearing a hamstring 11 months ago.

But the performance was marred by his off-the-ball elbow to the face of Claremont's Luke Blackwell, which was clearly captured by TV cameras.

The incident was missed by the umpires and Kerr had no case to answer when Claremont chose not to submit a notice of investigation, a loophole that has since been closed by the WAFL.

Kerr has a long history of failing to control his on-field aggression and Eagles coach John Worsfold admitted he was worried after viewing the latest incident.

"I was nervous, wondering whether that would cost him a hiccup in his comeback. But he's had a bit of luck," Worsfold said on Thursday.

"I've certainly spoken to Daniel about it and he's well and truly aware of where he sits with that.

"There's things that happen in the intensity of AFL football.

"We see players now face suspensions - not for doing anything that's crude - but there's rules around protecting the head.

"So now bumps that in the old days were fair bumps will now come under scrutiny.

"Daniel can't afford to be doing anything over and above that. We know he plays the game hard, but those lapses of concentration where he reacts he's got to make sure he's on top of."

Worsfold considered playing Kerr as West Coast's nominated substitute in Sunday's season-opener against North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium.

But given Kerr's injury-plagued history, the Eagles decided to err on the side of caution, with the 170-game veteran to instead line up for East Fremantle against Perth on Saturday.

Adam Selwood (hamstring), Nic Naitanui (shoulder) and Mitch Brown (shoulder) were all named after overcoming pre-season injuries, but defender Eric Mackenzie (hamstring) failed to recover in time.

Jack Darling, snared with pick No.26 in last year's national draft, will make his AFL debut after being named in the pocket, while No.4 pick Andrew Gaff could join him after being named on the extended interchange bench.

North Melbourne will blood three new players, with Shaun Atley, 23-year-old Cameron Richardson and 24-year-old upgraded rookie Cameron Pedersen earning the nod.

Meanwhile, West Coast defender Shannon Hurn will remain at the club until at least the end of 2014 after signing a three-year contract extension.

The 23-year-old wasn't fazed by West Coast's horror 2010 wooden spoon campaign, believing a golden era lay ahead.

"I can see some exciting times," Hurn said.

"We have had a terrific pre-season, have a good group of players who are determined to be successful and I want to be a part of that."

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