West Coast coach Michael Prior believes the Eagles can bounce back quickly from a difficult campaign and he isn’t losing sight of the bigger picture following a season-ending defeat to North Melbourne.
The Eagles finished with a solitary victory this season after facing some adversity but could have the chance to respond soon with the next AFLW season touted for a possible August start.
“We’re all in this together, we’ll look to get better pretty quickly,” Prior said.
“We believe we can do it and I think it will drive the players as well, finishing last on the ladder.
“It really hurt them, drive them forward, come back in good shape, really learn.
“I’ll be there, next year, or next season, whenever that is, maybe later this year, so a bit of consistency with the coach is going to help the group as well.
“We can be disappointed in what we’ve done this year, but where we’re going and where we want to get to is a bigger picture of the players.
“They can understand that and really dig in, they can help us get there quicker than people expect, that’s what we’re chasing.
“They’ll get to know me more and what I expect from the players and how we want to play.
“We can only be better off for the year that we’ve had moving forward.”
Prior also said blooding West Coast’s younger contingent of players and getting experience under their belts will pay off down the track, with all five of the Eagles’ 2021 draft class playing together for the first time in Saturday’s clash against the Kangaroos.
With the addition of defender Evie Gooch and crafty forward Aimee Schmidt, Prior said the pieces of the puzzle are already being put together and the main thing lacking for the group is consistency.
“Getting some games into our younger players is a real bonus for us and to be able to do it really quickly in their careers,” Prior said.
“Because where we’re at as a club and where we’re going we need into younger players and I think we were able to do that this year.
“And then we’ve got players in from other clubs, your Gooch and Schmidt who have fitted into our club well and were welcomed with open arms.
“All of them individually have shown some really good signs this year so I think they’re on a path of growth and improvement.
“Hopefully next year they play more regularly together in the same team and we can start to build something around them because we’re really happy about where they’re at and what they’re doing.
“But in saying that, the off-season for these girls, not only our five draftees, our whole squad, is really important how they come back.
“But five (draftees) in the one game is pretty impressive.”