Frustration. It is the only way to sum up the skipper’s year.
After returning to pre-season training earlier than required to join in with the younger Eagles and prime himself for 2021, Shuey almost immediately starting hitting hurdles.
He was hampered by calf and hamstring setbacks in pre-season, before suffering a significant hamstring tendon injury in the dying minutes of his first game - the round three win over Port Adelaide.
The 31-year-old returned via the WAFL and then managed four AFL matches before a minor calf niggle slowed him down yet again.
Shuey was back for the final two games and impressed with 25 and 34 disposals – not to mention a combined 18 clearances – against Fremantle and Brisbane to register a positive finish to a trying campaign.
In the end, he tallied just seven appearances, his fewest since his debut season in 2010, but when he was fit and firing Shuey showed just how much the Eagles missed his dynamic midfield work and leadership.
Standout performance: He’s still got it
Despite the defeat ending West Coast’s slim finals hopes, there were several silver linings to the round 23 loss to Brisbane, including the skipper’s electrifying performance that had all the hallmarks of a classic Shuey game.
Undoubtedly the highlight was a running ‘barrel’ on the run through the centre square which sizzled onto Jack Darling’s chest inside 50 late in the third quarter.
But there were plenty of trademark team-lifting moments around the contest, when the noted big-game player rose to the occasion and tried to inspire his side to one last push.
Finishing with 34 touches, 12 clearances and 16 contested possessions was a highly-encouraging sign for Shuey heading towards his 13th AFL season.
Disposals – 22.9
Metres Gained – 342.7
Total Clearances – 6.1
Tackles – 4.3
Centre Clearances – 3
2021 AFL statistical rankings:
8th: Centre Clearances (3)