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Barrass says Eagles will bounce back

Rhys Dickinson  March 12, 2018 2:00 PM

Barrass press conference 12.03.18 Eagles defender Tom Barrass speaks to the media prior to training.

Budding West Coast defender Tom Barrass reckons yesterday’s loss to Fremantle was nothing more than a minor hiccup as the team prepares for a round one stoush with Sydney at Optus Stadium.

The Eagles were outclassed in their final official hit-out of the 2018 pre-season, going down by 62 points to their crosstown rivals at Joondalup’s HBF Arena.

Barrass hoped the heavy defeat would inspire the team to buckle down and attack the next fortnight’s training sessions with vigour.

“It’s not panic stations (sic). We didn’t lose any points,” he said.

“I think it was a mindset issue and rolling up not quite expecting ... to play in a real dress rehearsal or real battle with Freo and we got found out.

“It’s probably the first time that group had played together. There’s a few young boys in the side and a few different changes here and there.

“A few blokes have gone missing from the side through retirement and injury, so it was a dress rehearsal and it was lucky it was that.”

Senior coach Adam Simpson noted in his post-match press conference that several seasoned Eagles struggled to wield any influence over the game, but he backed them to bounce back against the Swans in two weeks’ time.

Barrass echoed Simpson’s sentiments, saying he expected the club’s leaders to drive training standards in the lead up to the first AFL contest at Optus Stadium.

“They’ll drive the training standards this week and drive the intent with which we will train,” he said.

“We have full trust in our leaders. We have a real sturdy leadership group and a great culture at our club.”

Touching on his own preparations for the season proper, Barrass felt he was beginning to hit his straps following a stop-start summer.

The 22-year-old revealed he battled a bout of osteitis pubis following the 2017 campaign.

But with that interruption now behind him, Barrass said he was ready to launch into the upcoming season.

“I had a bit of OP and I was just managing that throughout the off-season and, obviously, gradually building up your training minutes throughout the pre-season to make sure you don’t plummet back down,” he said.

“It’s something that we’ll have to manage, but it’s something I feel I’m on top of now and I’m coming back towards my peak physical fitness.”