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West Coast Eagles

Kennedy: Young Eagles stepping up

Kennedy press conference 27.05.19 Josh Kennedy chats with the media before open training on Monday

West Coast’s up-and-coming Eagles are equally responsible for driving standards as their senior colleagues, according to Josh Kennedy.

Speaking to the media today, the dual Coleman medallist said the entire group was striving for consistency even after mounting an incredible comeback against Adelaide away from home.

“We’re always trying to drive for consistency and that’s whether you’re a senior player or you are just learning the ropes,” Kennedy said.

“That’s something we’ve been driving at our club for the last few years.

“It’s probably been one thing we’ve lacked this year.

“We’ve been focusing on it the last month … and it’s helped us this last month in playing games.”

Experienced campaigners like John Worsfold medallists Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo helped turned the game at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, as did joint 2018 Player of the Finals Jack Redden.

Shuey amassed a team high 33 disposals, effected 10 clearances and stuck 10 tackles against the Crows, while Yeo and Redden both got the ball in their hands 27 times and laid 15 tackles.

However, Kennedy said he was just as impressed by the club’s fledglings, who showed real leadership when the game was on the line.

“You’re seeing a lot of the group really (use their) voice in those times that we do need voice and communication,” he commented.

“That’s not only the senior blokes, it’s the younger blokes as well, guys like Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan.

“These guys are really ‘voicing’ out there in times when we do need it to get set up. That’s been something that I’ve quite enjoyed seeing over there last couple of years.”

West Coast has an opportunity to jump into the top four with a win against the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Luke Beveridge’s men currently own 13th spot on the AFL ladder after recording four wins from the first 10 games of the year.

Kennedy said West Coast would not be taking the 2016 premiers lightly at the weekend.

“I suppose they’ve been a bit inconsistent like us as well, but when they win the footy and they are able to use their handball and shape, it is something that can really open you up,” Kennedy said.

“We know it’s going to be a massive challenge for us this weekend. Luckily enough we’re able to get it at home, so I’m really looking forward to it.”