Eagles primed to break Dockers hoodoo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles primed to break Dockers hoodoo

Justin Chadwick 11/05/2011 04:28:20 PM Comments (0)

West Coast skipper Darren Glass is adamant the Eagles now possess the weapons needed to break their demoralising losing run against AFL arch-rivals Fremantle.

The Eagles made life miserable for Fremantle in the early days, regularly playing the role of bully both on the scoreboard and in the physical stakes as the Dockers were handed a series of painful western derby losses.

But the tide has turned since Mark Harvey took the reins of Fremantle in late 2007, with the Dockers winning the past seven derbies to narrow the western derby ledger to 18-14 in West Coast's favour.

Although Fremantle are expected to push for a top-four berth this season and West Coast are still in rebuilding mode, Glass is confident the rejuvenated Eagles will be able to more than match it when the two teams meet at Patersons Stadium this Sunday.

"It's probably our best chance in a while," Glass said on Wednesday.

"I think over the last couple of years they've clearly been the better side.

"I don't think they've got the wood on us.

"I think this side has changed a lot over the last three years.

"Clearly we are a different side to last year so hopefully it can be a different result.

"There's certainly an element of wanting to win the derby.

"It's a big disappointment not having won one for quite some time, so we are keen to rectify that."

West Coast midfielders Andrew Gaff and Chris Masten are in line for a recall after starring in the WAFL last week.

Gaff, who has been used as West Coast's nominated sub for much of the season, tallied 34 disposals for South Fremantle last week, while Masten has now played two WAFL games since recovering from the knee injury he suffered in round one.

"I'd expect them both to be in the mix," Glass said.

"Gaffy was a good contributor for us coming on as a sub anyway ... and Masto has been in great form as well. I'd expect both of them to be thereabouts."

The Dockers will assess the fitnessof goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) on Saturday, but Fremantle coach Mark Harvey declared Kepler Bradley (shin) and Nat Fyfe (shoulder) certain starters.

West Coast (3-3 record) have enjoyed a bright start to the season and Glass was confident the side's young guns would stand tall in the heat of derby battle.

"We've got some game breakers like Luke Shuey (and) Scotty Selwood's a ferocious tackler," he said.

"I think we've got the mix in there for guys to play well in big games."

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