Eagles fly again with new game plan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles fly again with new game plan

Justin Chadwick 28/05/2011 12:10:05 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold claims his side's rapid rise in 2011 can be traced back to an overhaul of the game plan after Chris Judd and Ben Cousins departed.

The Eagles have transformed themselves from wooden spooners to finals contenders in less than a year, with their disciplined structure and unrelenting forward press making them one of the most feared teams in the competition.

Last week's 123-point mauling of the Western Bulldogs highlighted just how far the Eagles have come since scraping together a paltry four wins last year.

But Worsfold denied he had simply taken a leaf from Collingwood's book and applied it to his team at the end of last year.

Worsfold says the current model West Coast are using has been evolving since the end of 2007, when a major reshuffle was needed when star midfielders Judd and Cousins left.

"(It was) probably more towards the end of 2007 and throughout 2008, (we) started looking at where the game was heading and where we wanted to take our game," Worsfold said ahead of Sunday's blockbuster clash with Collingwood at the MCG.

"We didn't specifically sit down and look at what Collingwood were doing (at the end of last year).

"There were areas of our game that we wanted to change slightly (after last year), around fixing some areas of concern for us.

"But there's other areas we've been working on for three years pretty hard that have improved and where people now notice them.

"It's that gradual improvement plus making some minor changes.

"Evolution. I think that's always the way.

"You add to parts of your game.

"We've been educating our older players to play a different style but also the younger players, educating what we expect of them.

"So that's been a work in progress and been coming together over three years."

West Coast (5-3) are on track to reach the finals for the first time since 2007.

But their new-found belief will be put to the test against defending premiers Collingwood, who have thrashed the Eagles by 83 and 100 points in their past two meetings in Melbourne.

"It gives us an idea against what most would say are the best team in the competition, even though they're not on top of the ladder at the moment," Worsfold said of the MCG clash.

"There are some brilliant individual tests for the players.

"If (Will) Schofield's playing on (Chris) Dawes or (Travis) Cloke it's another big test for him.

"(Luke) Shuey might be on (Dane) Swann or (Scott) Pendlebury ...

"It's a really good test for some of our younger players."

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