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West Coast Eagles

WAFL return on the cards

Jack Darling of the West Coast Eagles kicks on goal during the 2014 AFL round 05 match between the West Coast Eagles and Port Adelaide Power at Patersons Stadium, Perth on April 19, 2014. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Jack Darling will be looking to make himself available for selection in as little as four weeks

Forwards coach Justin Longmuir has flagged the possibility of Jack Darling returning to football through the WAFL.

The key forward is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot and could return to full training in as little as two weeks, aiming to make himself available for selection a fortnight later.

Although Darling was unable to train during this year’s pre-season, Longmuir said there was also a chance the 22-yaer-old could come in as a substitute player while the coaches manage his workload.

“He’s played a lot of footy and he’s naturally a really fit player, but we don’t want to throw him into the deep end,” Longmuir told SportFM on Wednesday morning.

“We might have to see how we’re going as a team and how many soldiers we have left and he could come on as a sub player.

“He’s that type of player who can have an impact as a sub because he’s got high speed obviously do some damage in short periods of time.”

With the focus shifting quickly from Friday night’s win over Carlton to this weekend’s clash with the Dockers, Longmuir said West Coast would be concentrating on Fremantle’s “scary” midfield.

“They’re just an outstanding side across the board,” Longmuir said.

“If you just look at the raw numbers, it’s quite scary. The two teams they’ve beaten this year have been touted for top four as well, and they made pretty light work of Geelong on the weekend.

“I think the game will be won and lost in the midfield and I thought our midfield after quarter-time on the weekend really clicked.

“I think our barometer is Nic [Naitanui], and Scotty Lycett really put in a good performance on the weekend after not being so great the week before that.

“More than likely, it’ll come down to the ruck battle, so hopefully [ruck coach Dean] Coxy can put his head into the computer and come up with a strategy against [Aaron] Sandilands.”

Click below to listen to Longmuir's full interview with SportFM.

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