A number of young players pushed for an early opportunity when the West Coast Eagles held an extended match simulation session at Mineral Resources Park last night.
Playing in the cool of the evening – if you could call it that, with the mercury still nudging 30 degrees – the senior squad, with a number of WAFL-listed players also included, went through a searching exercise.
While some players were on managed time in the session, building towards the first Marsh Series match against Essendon on February 27, several young players made the most of the opportunity.
Young Tasmanian Mitch O’Neill gathered plenty of ball through the midfield, half-back Francis Watson also had no trouble finding possessions with Jake Waterman, especially early, and Brendan Ah Chee also under notice.
At the same time, experienced players like skipper Luke Shuey, wingman Andrew Gaff, key forward Josh Kennedy, Elliot Yeo, Shannon Hurn and Lewis Jetta played within themselves, but were effective.
Perhaps most importantly, experienced big men Tom Hickey and Nathan Vardy did what was required of them while Bailey Williams also wielded some influence.
The entire squad, after a summer of preparation, appears ready for the challenge of a hit-out against another club.