West Coast primed for AFL derby redemption - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast primed for AFL derby redemption

By Justin Chadwick 12/05/2011 07:01:29 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold hopes the return to form and fitness of several key players will help his side break a seven-game losing streak against AFL arch-rivals Fremantle this Sunday.

Defender Darren Glass and midfielders Daniel Kerr and Luke Shuey have starred for the Eagles this season after missing most of last year through injury, while veterans Dean Cox and Andrew Embley have returned to the form of yesteryear.

Add to the mix emerging youngsters Jack Darling and Andrew Gaff and the Eagles have improved markedly this season, winning three of their six games after tasting victory just four times in 2010.

Worsfold felt his side were well-placed to win their first western derby since 2007.

"We're probably in better form and our squad is in better shape (than in previous few years)," Worsfold said on Thursday.

"That would probably be the biggest difference, to last year especially.

"Just having Glassy back and going and Coxy (in peak fitness) ... means we're in a better position than we were last year and the year before.

"I've heard several players comment publicly that they'd like to finish the run where we haven't won.

"But personally, it's about this season with where we're at.

"We've had some good performances but we've still only won half of our games and we'd like to be better than that. So the challenge is to match it with Fremantle and get a win on the board."

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey is yet to lose a western derby and said his charges would be eager to make amends for last week's 49-point loss to Richmond.

"It wouldn't be something that would sit well with me if we were to lose on the weekend," Harvey said.

"I think that's where our team's got a lot better.

"When they get beaten, they just want to make sure it doesn't happen again quickly.

"So on the back of Richmond, the mindset of our players will be 'hopefully it's not regular'.

"Good teams overcome a poor quarter. We reviewed the game (against Richmond), you move on quickly.

"Has it taken any confidence out of the group? No it hasn't. It's more about redemption, about getting back to playing the level we were for say the first three quarters of that game.

"This is the game we probably needed after that last quarter."

Former Collingwood forward Jack Anthony and ex-Adelaide ruckman Jonathon Griffin are in line to play their first match for the Dockers after being included in the 25-man squad.

Ryan Crowley and Jesse Crichton were also named on the extended interchange bench, with Dylan Roberton axed.

Eagles midfielders Chris Masten and Gaff are strong chances to survive the final cut after being handed recalls, while Patrick McGinnity is also in the mix to play after overcoming a virus.

Harvey rated goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) a 60-40 chance to play.

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