Main content

West Coast Eagles

Best Eagle afield: Jack Darling

Game Breaker: Darling's dominant display Jack Darling put on another fantastic performance for the Optus crowd, this time it was against the Crows

Perhaps it is a mere coincidence that Jack Darling recently announced he signed a new five-year deal, but he is probably enjoying his most consistent season at elite level.

In the early part of last year he was arguably the best forward in the competition before sustaining an ankle injury mid-season. This year he has built on that base and has been a pillar in the Eagles' forward half.

His strong overhead marking was again a feature as he produced a dynamic performance, finishing with three goals that takes him to a 50-goal qualifying round season for the first time in his career.

Not only did he kick three goals himself against the Crows, but also created others and was a profound influence on the result.

Darling took nine marks and had 16 possessions in a standout performance that must surely have him short-listed for all-Australian honours.

His chemistry with long-time teammate Josh Kennedy is important and the two key forwards – along with Jamie Cripps – have been central to the development of tyros Oscar Allen, Jake Waterman, Willie Rioli, Jack Petruccelle and Jarrod Cameron.