Eagles keen to do it for Woosha - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles keen to do it for Woosha

Justin Chadwick 13/08/2011 11:51:40 AM Comments (0)

West Coast midfielder Brad Ebert says the playing group feel indebted to coach John Worsfold for the faith he showed them during last year's horror AFL campaign.

Ebert praised Worsfold for sticking it tough with the group, saying the 2006 premiership coach's unrelenting confidence in the fledgling outfit has played a major role in the club's fairytale turnaround.

Worsfold was a man under siege during last year's wooden spoon campaign but never wavered from his belief that youngsters like Ebert, Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey, Nic Naitanui, Chris Masten and Brad Sheppard would eventually lead the club back to a successful era.

At the time, Worsfold was ridiculed for his predictions, with many experts struggling to see where the improvement would come from.

But the fifth-placed Eagles now loom as a major player in this year's finals series, with their mix of reliable veterans and exciting youth proving a winner.

Ebert said the playing group felt indebted to Worsfold after last year's horror campaign.

"It is about repaying the faith," Ebert told AAP ahead of Sunday's clash with struggling Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

"There were a lot of people who did doubt us and didn't really think that what Woosha was saying was correct.

"We've been able to prove them wrong, prove that we are a solid side coming through.

"He is a great coach and I've really enjoyed playing under him. It's been a great learning curve for me having Woosh as my coach.

"He's a great leader of people. It was on show when he was playing and also now with his coaching.

"He's done really well in being able to turn it around, along with all of the other assistants."

The Demons have suffered losses of 186 and 76 points in the past two weeks, but Ebert said the Eagles couldn't afford to let complacency creep in as they continue their push for a top-four finish.

"Melbourne are pretty unpredictable in the way they're performing, and you never know, they'll turn it on one day soon," Ebert said.

"I imagine it hasn't been easy with the media being around in the last few weeks.

"But they're a pretty strong club with a strong history.

"They're going to come out pretty hard, attack the footy and attack the game.

"We've got to be prepared for that."

Ebert, who has played across half-forward and through the midfield this season, booted a career-best four goals in last week's win over Richmond and will be keen to repeat the dose against Melbourne.

But the 21-year-old will have to get in line, with the returning Josh Kennedy, Quinten Lynch, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras and last week's six-goal hero Mark Nicoski also in the hunt for more goals.

Defender Eric Mackenzie and Ashton Hams joins Kennedy as West Coast's inclusions, the trio replacing rested skipper Darren Glass, Matt Rosa (knee) and Masten (omitted).

Melbourne regained ruckman Mark Jamar and handed recalls to Colin Sylvia, Sam Blease and Cale Morton.

James Strauss (leg) and Jordan Gysberts (scaphoid) couldn't be considered, while Matthew Bate and Max Gawn were dropped.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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