The West Coast Eagles produced a spirited performance against second-placed Adelaide, falling by 26 points at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday afternoon.
Caretaker coach Rohan McHugh said he was happy with their performance, despite being unable to secure the four points.
“Yeah, spirit is a good word, it was, it was a good performance,” McHugh said.
“I think we sort of went in with the ‘why not’ attitude, take the game on, drive your legs, move the ball forward and just have fun and I think we saw that today which was really pleasing.
“I like the word spirit, very happy with the girls, obviously didn’t get the result, we came here to win today and that was something that we discussed.
“But most importantly we wanted to get the process right and I think we did get that right, just without the points.”
The Eagles impressed with their ball movement and how they used it, and McHugh said it made for exciting football to watch for the fans.
“I think the ball movement piece was the biggest piece, I said to the girls after the game, I think that probably would have been the best game to view potentially, since I’ve been here anyway,” McHugh said.
“And that’s what we want, we want people coming to the game and growing the game, on TV and live, and that was super exciting.
“I think the girls really enjoyed playing it and brought their strengths, which has been the focus for the past two weeks, so the stuff we wanted to do we brought, and it increased our ball movement in particular really well.”
Eagles forward Kellie Gibson kicked two goals in her 50th AFLW game, totalling 12 goals in 2023 and has become the first Eagle to kick a double-figure tally in a season, and McHugh praised all the hard work she has put in.
“Herself has made herself an attacking forward and the work that she’s done,” McHugh said.
“The passion that she plays with, she’s been enormous for us this year and she should be really proud of herself.
“Leading goal kicker, the first one to kick that many goals, she kicked two, she probably could have kicked five today, she’s been massive, she was really good today and has been all year for us.”
With some inspiring individual performances around the ground, McHugh celebrated the players finding a method that works best for them.
“I wrote the word ‘method’ up on the board after the game and said we found a method today that works for us as a team,” McHugh said.
“But individually they found a method that works for them individually as well, that was really pleasing, but we’ll have our exit meeting and make sure that they know what their brand of footy does for us, so I think that was the most pleasing thing.
“Some of the individual performance, in the last couple of weeks, like Abbygail Bushby had 21 disposals and kicked a goal today, played midfield and for such a young player, she’s going to be part of our midfield for the next few years, she was massive.
“I could go on and on, Charlie Thomas, Ella Roberts and even ‘Swanny’ (Emma Swanson) as our captain, she played really well, but pleasingly, individuals found their method and the way they need to play.”