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Ah Chee hedging his bets

Rhys Dickinson  February 23, 2018 11:30 AM

Ah Chee press conference 23.02.18 Brendon Ah Chee speaks to the media ahead of his clash against his old side Port Adelaide in the JLT Series

Brendon Ah Chee feels like he has got a point to prove this year.

Speaking to the media ahead of West Coast’s first JLT Community Series match against his former club Port Adelaide, the 24-year-old declared 2018 a make or break year for his career.

After spending six years at the Power, where he registered 27 senior games, Ah Chee requested a trade to the Eagles in a bid to play more games at the highest level.

Unlike most players who seek long term contracts to guarantee some sort of security, Ah Chee tactically penned a one-year deal with his new club as a means of motivating himself for the upcoming campaign.

Expanding on his decision to knock back a two-year offer, Ah Chee said: “It’s basically to just try and back myself in to have a really good year and set myself up for the rest of my AFL life. It’s either like, I can do it this year or I can’t, and if I can’t then I’m happy to live with that. But I really want to have a genuine crack and set myself up.”

Ah Chee has done nothing but impress since arriving at the Eagles.

Senior coach Adam Simpson said yesterday that his aerial prowess, in particular, could add another dimension to the club’s on-ball division.

“We’ve been really happy with his progression. He’s done a full pre-season and he’s going to complement our midfield,” Simpson said.

“His main strength is probably his marking ability. Outside of maybe an Elliot Yeo, we probably haven’t got that much strength in the air. He’s a big-bodied mid that wants to throw his weight around.”

Ah Chee has been working closely with his new senior coach to identify ways to maximise his performance and he agreed that going for his marks through the guts of the ground could help West Coast play more attacking football.

“I’ve had a chat with Simmo over the last couple of weeks about what I can bring to the team and I think it’s that marking mid like Yeoy does,” he said.

“It’s a pretty good point of difference; we can both be pretty powerful at the contest and then have the ability to either help out the rucks with contested marks in the midfield or we can both go forward and take marks there. It’s definitely something I want to work on and take forward this season.”

A versatile player, Ah Chee revealed that he is likely to split his time between the midfield and forward line at Leederville Oval on Sunday.

He said the entire squad was looking forward to putting all their hard work into practice against the Power.

“I think the JLT signals the end of pre-season. The boys have done the hard yards and the training and done all this game plan stuff and finally you get to let it all out. We’re just all competitive and want to play and this is the first real crack we get, so everyone is really up and about and buzzing.”