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Vardy looks forward to secure selection

Rhys Dickinson  May 15, 2017 1:45 PM

Vardy press conference 15.05.17 West Coast Eagles ruckman Nathan Vardy speaks to the media following the Eagles' win over the Bulldogs
AFL 2017 Round 08 - West Coast v Western Bulldogs

Nathan Vardy might need to push forward of the centre square more in the coming rounds

Nathan Vardy says he must continue to hone his attacking skills to hold down a position in West Coast’s starting side.

A candid Vardy told Perth media the imminent return of fellow ruckmen Drew Petrie and Scott Lycett, plus the emergence of athletic tall Fraser McInnes, meant he needed to prove his versatility to the match committee going forward.

Petrie is set to return to senior football after spending eight weeks on the sidelines nursing a broken hand, while Lycett is approximately three weeks away from taking to the playing fields following a shoulder operation in March.

Meanwhile, McInnes has likely cemented his spot in the team for now after amassing 15 hit outs, 11 disposals and five effective tackles against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

“There has been a few injuries, which has probably opened the door for myself to play some footy,” Vardy said this afternoon.

“Those guys are going to come back and (there will be) competition for spots all throughout the team.

“The faith has been put in me to keep playing, but I’ve got to repay that faith.

“I suppose with a couple of guys coming back I’ve got to probably start showing that I can play forward. I’ve got to be able to show there’s another ticket into the team, which is playing forward.

"I’ve obviously got to keep playing on my ruck craft as well, because I’ve sort of come from a long way back with that being such a new role to me, but as long as I can keep working on those things I think it’s going to hold me in good stead.”

Vardy has been doing everything possible to bed down his spot in the Eagles’ line-up, including playing through pain.

The former Cat is still receiving treatment for an elbow injury he suffered during the club’s Carlton Draught Derby win over Fremantle, but he hoped the ailment would be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.

“It gets strapped up just to stop it from going into full extension, but the injury that it was wasn’t bad enough to go ‘You can’t play’,” he said.

“It was sort of described as a ‘happy dislocation’, which means it hasn’t harmed any of the major tendons or ligaments, so the risk of anything happening to it if I keep playing is low.

“The specialist I went and saw said that it will come good. I’ll probably see him tomorrow and get a couple more exercises to start strengthening that.”