Eagles' Shuey ready for AFL finals heat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles' Shuey ready for AFL finals heat

Justin Chadwick 21/09/2011 04:04:39 PM Comments (0)

West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey admits he was "found out" against Collingwood two weeks ago, but says he'll be ready to handle the pressure when he returns to the MCG for Saturday night's AFL preliminary final against Geelong.

Shuey initially struggled to adapt to the increased pace of finals football, getting run down three times from behind in the Eagles' 20-point qualifying final loss to the 'Pies.

The 21-year-old was more aware of his surroundings in last week's semi-final win over Carlton and said he had adjusted to the increased demands of finals football.

"I went into the Collingwood game thinking I was ready and got found out," Shuey said on Wednesday.

"But it's all part of the process of learning and I think I've learnt that you can't hold the ball for too long in finals footy and obviously improved on that from last week.

"Hopefully I'll keep on improving ... I'm confident I can stand up this week and have an impact."

West Coast coach John Worsfold said he would encourage Shuey to keep taking the game on.

"We asked him what he learnt out of that game (against Collingwood). It was a great experience for him," Worsfold said.

"And I think he was better positioned on the weekend and he'll be better positioned again this week with what he learnt."

Shuey rated the pressure in finals football as 10 out of 10, and said the noise created from packed venues made the players' jobs even harder.

"Even Saturday night, there were a few times when I know personally I was screaming for the ball 20 metres away from my teammate and they can't hear a thing," Shuey said.

"So it certainly has an impact but, on the other side of it, you've got to be good enough to have the awareness and know what's around you.

"You can't solely blame the crowd."

And with West Coast sitting just one win away from a grand final berth, Shuey said the side wouldn't be satisfied with anything but a victory against the Cats.

"I've heard a lot of talk this week that if we were to get knocked out this week, we shouldn't be too disappointed because we've had a successful year," Shuey said.

"But that's not the way we're looking at it.

"We're certainly backing ourselves in and there's no second prizes in this competition, unfortunately.

"We're going to go out there with a mindset to win and, if we don't, we're going to be extremely disappointed."

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