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Van Berlo eager to start work with Eagles

Rhys Dickinson  November 2, 2017 10:00 AM

AFL 2015 Rd 22 - Adelaide v West Coast

Nathan van Berlo cannot wait to start working with West Coast's midfield group

Nathan van Berlo says his move to the West Coast Eagles all started with a cold call from his West Australian under-18s coach.

The former Adelaide Crows captain said his mind started to wander when Eagles head of development Gavin Bell's name flashed up on his mobile about a fortnight ago.

“Out of the blue I got a phone call just over two weeks ago from my old under 18s coach who is now the head of development at West Coast and we’ve just kept in touch over the years,” van Berlo revealed.

“He said he wanted to catch up and have a discussion about a potential role at West Coast. I’ve always been open to having discussions and seeing what opportunities might be out there.

“One thing led to another and in the end we decided to go down the path of moving over back to Perth and taking up a role at West Coast.”

Van Berlo considered staying in Adelaide to continue his role as a development coach with the Crows, but it he said West Coast’s offer was too good to pass up.

The 205-game campaigner will work alongside Sam Mitchell as an assistant in charge of guiding the club’s midfield unit. He will be specifically entrusted with devising West Coast’s stoppage structures and strategies.

“I’ll be in charge of the stoppages for the group and working alongside Sam Mitchell, who is also a midfield line coach,” van Berlo said.

“It’ll be a great experience for me to work alongside one of the greats of the game in Sam and there’s obviously a lot of other coaches at West Coast that I’m looking forward to working with.”

Van Berlo said he was looking forward to working with the club’s tall timber, particularly Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

He felt West Coast’s engine room could go to another level once its premier hitout exponents returned to the frame 2018.

“We all know what Nic Naitanui is capable of and he certainly would help out around stoppages with the mids and a few set plays we might be able to come up with,” van Berlo said.

“They didn’t have the luxury of having him available last year and even Scott Lycett, another South Australian, he had an injury interrupted year. I’m looking forward to having a few of our bigger guys available to use next year.”