Young Eagles starting to take flight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Young Eagles starting to take flight

Guy Hand 16/04/2011 07:19:53 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold can see the potential.

He just can't taste the victory.

But the overwhelming sense is the Eagles' AFL rebuilding is on track after a seven-point loss to finals fancies Hawthorn in Launceston which could so easily have been a West Coast win.

Poor shooting for goal in the first half proved costly for the Eagles, while Lance Franklin booted six at the other end to highlight the importance of a little polish in front of the sticks.

Trailing by 26 points entering time-on in the final term, the Eagles powered back to be scuttled by the siren.

The competitive Worsfold's post-match hurting was eased by the knowledge that a West Coast team few tipped above the bottom four may be a lot better than everybody thinks with two wins in their opening four games.

"We let it slip out of our reach and we nearly pegged it back," Worsfold said after the 10.12 (72) to 9.11 (65) loss.

"They've still not arrived where they're going to get to yet - there's still a lot of improvement in our squad.

"But they're keen to work hard and learn and become the best players they can be, and be part of a very good, successful team.

"If they keep working as hard as they have been, it will happen for them fairly quickly."

While ever-reliable midfielder Matt Priddis was brilliant, there is a core of talent rising to help him.

First-year player Jack Darling was outstanding, with 24 touches and his first AFL goal as he relished an old-fashioned rover's role.

And midfielder Luke Shuey's evolution continues, along with the revitalisation of veterans Andrew Embley and Dean Cox after below-par seasons in 2010.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson agrees the Eagles are taking flight and will trouble more teams.

"We've actually been tracking West Coast pretty closely over the last month to six weeks, and we've got a fair bit of regard for how they go about it," he said.

"They're going to beat a lot of sidesthis year."

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