West Coast defender Shannon Hurn says the Eagles are trying to focus their energy on preparing for games instead of speculating how the upcoming season might unfold.
The 2018 premiership captain told 6PR’s Sportsday WA program that it was almost impossible not to contemplate what might take place for the remainder of the year, but he said the squad was doing their best to stay on task following the resumption of formal training this week.
The team hit the training track for the first time in almost two months on Monday.
Hurn said it was nice to be back at Mineral Resources Park, even if training looked a little different than usual.
Players were not allowed to make contact with one another and had to get their work done in groups of eight, as per AFL COVID-19 guidelines.
The 32-year-old said the Eagles were keen to resume contact-based training next week, but suggested they would ease in to the more physical work rather than go hell for leather from the outset.
“As of next Monday we can get back into tackling, contested marking and all of that stuff,” Hurn said.
“I think it will just be that fine balance between doing a heap early, but also not doing too much. It will probably be that 75 per cent effort with the marking, ground balls and tackling, and then I think it will ramp up pretty quickly.
“It will probably be a bit of a refresher the first time and then I think we’ll be into it.”
It's good to be back.— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) May 18, 2020
Hurn said he was delighted to see a number of previously injured Eagles flying around the club’s Lathlain-based headquarters this week.
When the Eagles commenced their remote training programs following the club’s round one win over Melbourne, it had five players on its injury list, including premiership backman Tom Cole and emerging Eagles Oscar Allen, Jarrod Cameron, Luke Foley and Bailey Williams.
But so far this week they have all trained in some capacity.
“I don’t think there are too many blokes in rehab,” Hurn said.
“Cammo (Cameron) is just coming back from a little injury, Mark Hutchings is managing (his body) a little bit, but most blokes in general are back to being able to full train.
“Ben Johnson had a shoulder op right at the start of the shutdown, so now he’s back to full training. Most blokes are ready to go.”
As the club’s move to the Gold Coast draws nearer, Hurn hoped the Eagles would only have to uproot their lives for a month.
However, the pragmatic defender said the players and staff accepted that might not be the case.
“I think you go in planning that it would be for a four-week period, but you’ve still got to be open to playing one or two more games there,” he said.
“That’ll be discussed through the club, AFL and AFLPA, but I think from a player point of view we can’t get too caught up in we need this, we want that and we’re only going to go for this amount of time.
“We’ve just got to make sure we prepare to play, but obviously we would like it to be for as short a timeframe as possible.”