He’s been touted as a future midfielder, but West Coast premiership defender Liam Duggan wants to stay down back in 2020.
The 22-year-old revealed he was eager to spend some of the pre-season rubbing shoulders with the Eagles’ star onballers, including recently appointed skipper Luke Shuey and boom recruit Tim Kelly.
But Duggan said it was unlikely he’d make a permanent switch to the centre of the ground next season.
“I think home base will still be at the half back flank,” Duggan said during his first stop of the club’s AFL Community Camp at Bunbury’s Carey Park Primary School.
“Versatility is probably a part of my game which I need to keep developing, so I’m sure midfield (work) will get a sniff in pre-season.
“But I think we’ll keep home base down back, which is good. I’m excited about that because that’s where I love playing.”
The now fifth-year Eagle is champing at the bit for the upcoming campaign to get underway after enduring a trying 2019 season.
Duggan missed the pointy end of West Coast’s premiership defence after suffering a syndesmosis ankle injury during the club’s round 16 triumph over Fremantle at Optus Stadium.
He managed to get back on the paddock for the club’s disappointing round 23 loss to Hawthorn, but was overlooked for the Eagles’ two finals fixtures.
Now that he has a clean bill of health, Duggan is determined to make next year’s campaign a more productive one.
“It’s given me some fire, for sure,” he said.
“The year didn’t go as well as I would have liked personally, so it’s another big year for me.
“I’ve been around long enough now that I’ve got to be pulling my weight, which I think I’ve done, but we’ll need another big step this year I suppose for me just to be happy.
“Without putting too much pressure on myself, hopefully it will be another good season coming up.”
Duggan said this week’s AFL Community Camp was the perfect way for the Eagles to start their build towards 2020.
He said the group was in good spirits and was looking forward to connecting with the club’s South West fans.
“We get plenty of support from down this way and further south as well,” Duggan said.
“Big regional centres like Bunbury, where there’s plenty of support, it’s important to come down and show them some support too and give back to them.
“We’ll finish off our pre-Christmas block down in Dunsborough with our training camp.
“The boys have been looking forward to this for a few weeks now and it’s a good way to get to know the new boys and I suppose bond back up, because a lot of us haven’t seen each other in a couple of months.
“It’s exciting and we’re ready to go again.”
The club is hosting an open training session at Dunsborough Playing Fields today from 3pm, which will be followed by a West Coast Eagles Superclinic at 4pm.
Another open training session will be held at the same venue tomorrow starting at 9am.