AFL Eagles to ponder resting options - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Eagles to ponder resting options

By Justin Chadwick 24/08/2011 06:07:46 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold will consider resting some of his AFL players over the next fortnight in order to have them firing on all cylinders come finals time.

The Eagles are largely injury-free and will guarantee themselves a top-four berth with a win over Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night or victory over Adelaide in Perth the following week.

Worsfold said his squad on the whole were coping well with the rigours of the season, but said the coaching staff would debate whether certain players needed to freshen up ahead of the finals.

Ruckman Dean Cox, Adam Selwood, Mark Nicoski, Matt Priddis, Shannon Hurn, Scott Selwood and Luke Shuey are yet to miss a game this season and could be in line for a rest, while Quinten Lynch (19 games), Andrew Embley (19), Brad Ebert (19), Will Schofield (19) and Nic Naitanui (18) are others to have shouldered heavy workloads.

"Any of those players that have played massive ground time this year we would consider (giving a rest)," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"It would be guys who would benefit from the rest because they're really sore.

"The players that we were looking at resting - (Jack) Darling was one but he's had a forced rest anyway (when he was a late withdrawal against Essendon last week).

"And the other guys are all tracking along pretty well."

Worsfold rated midfielder Daniel Kerr and Darling as just 50-50 chances to front up against Brisbane.

Darling missed last week's win over Essendon with a minor hip complaint, while Kerr was left nursing a sore back after being crunched by Bombers duo Heath Hocking and Nathan Lovett-Murray in separate incidents.

"They're both pretty good but still in some doubt whether they'll be selected to play ... 50-50," Worsfold said.

"(We are) keeping (Kerr) very low key at the moment, getting the soreness out first (before he trains)."

Defender Sam Butler is likely to return via WAFL ranks this weekend after overcoming a calf complaint, while Patrick McGinnity is available for senior selection after serving his one-week club-imposed ban for vilifying Melbourne's Ricky Petterd.

Worsfold said he wasn't surprised by the match review panel's decision to clear Beau Waters for his bump on Jobe Watson, claiming the Eagles vice-captain had little time to adjust his stance as Watson charged in.

"He (Waters) was in there ready to win the footy and quite a lot of things changed that didn't really give him any other option than standing his ground," Worsfold said.

Although the Eagles are expected to easily account for Brisbane and Adelaide, Worsfold warned there would be a price to pay if anyone dropped their intensity.

"It's the challenge that I'm measuring them on - the way they perform this week - and we've got good competition for guys wanting to play in the side, so no one can really afford to ease off," he said.

West Coast have lost their past four matches against the Lions, with their last win at the Gabba coming back in 2006.

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