Eagles dare to dream of AFL grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles dare to dream of AFL grand final

Justin Chadwick 22/09/2011 03:29:46 PM Comments (0)

West Coast veteran Andrew Embley thought his chances of appearing in another AFL grand final were all but over after last year's wooden spoon campaign.

But just 12 months on, Embley and his Eagles teammates are daring to dream about securing a spot in the 2011 decider.

Regardless of whether they win or lose against Geelong at the MCG on Saturday, West Coast's season will still be safely regarded as a runaway success.

But the Eagles remain hungry for more glory, with Embley urging his teammates to make the most of the opportunity that awaits them.

"Obviously it'd be fair to say we've exceeded a lot of people's expectations," Embley said.

"But our mentality at the moment is that the job's still not done.

"We're rapt to give ourselves a chance to play in a preliminary final.

"I've been playing footy for a long time and this is only my third preliminary final, so you don't get these chances all the time and, when you are there, you've just got to make the most of it.

"I must admit (I thought) my chances of playing in another grand final were quite slim (after what happened last year).

"In saying that, I was pretty optimistic and pretty confident that we were going to improve, but maybe not as quickly as we have."

Geelong will be keen to keep a tight check on Embley after the 230-game veteran tallied 32 possessions and one goal in the Eagles' eight-point victory over the Cats in July.

Embley said West Coast would take great confidence from that victory even though Geelong enter the re-match as raging favourites.

"I thought our ball movement that night was really good and we learnt a lot from how we played," Embley said.

"So I think at the moment, the guys are certainly very confident and we understand it's going to be a real tough match.

"But we feel like we're in pretty good condition, we're well prepared for it and we'll have a fair dinkum crack, that's for sure."

West Coast skipper Darren Glass said he and fellow tall defenders Eric Mackenzie and Will Schofield would have to be on their game to quell Geelong spearheads Tom Hawkins, James Podsiadly and ruckman Brad Ottens.

"I watched the Hawthorn game. Their talls had a big influence over the game so myself and Eric Mackenzie and Schoey are going to work at it pretty hard," Glass told Perth radio station 6PR.

"I'll imagine I'll end up on all three at different stages."

Glass earned his third All-Australian jersey earlier this week, adding to the ones he snared in 2006 and '07.

"My three-year form slump's over," Glass joked.

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