He might feel fit as a fiddle following an extended block of training, but midfield bull Elliot Yeo still isn’t sure how his body will respond to big hits when the season recommences next week.
The two-time John Worsfold medallist told media today that he could not wait to start playing footy following the league's 10-week recess.
However, the 26-year-old admitted gauging how players might handle getting bumped, tackled and tossed about was the biggest unknown heading into round two.
“Physically I feel great. My body feels fine; no issues,” Yeo said via video link from Eagles HQ.
“The only thing I might query is the contact side of things, but you won’t know until you go up there and play games of football.
“Ideally pre-seasons we usually have three or fours months of proper pre-season (training) under the belt and then maybe one or two (months) of full contact. We’ll probably only have three weeks, so it will be interesting to see how that might have an impact.
“I think a couple of weeks ago we were only going to get one week of contact and then play games, but we were fortunate enough that some regulations were eased a little bit and we were able to get three weeks under the belt. That definitely helps; it gives you a little more confidence.
“I guess we’re going into the unknown; we haven’t done this before.
“It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds.”
Yeo might not have to worry about bracing for as many hits if the league’s round one trend continues.
A recent analysis of the season opening fixtures revealed that substantially less tackles were laid compared to years' past.
Some commentators suggested that was due to the absence of crowds.
Yeo gave the experts’ views some credence, but he reckoned it was impossible verify the assertion with such little data.
“Not having a crowd definitely has an effect on how different players react to different things,” Yeo offered.
“The adrenaline is obviously a lot higher (with crowds present). After round one in terms of averages players were down in terms of total distance, total sprints and everything like that.
“Shorter quarters also probably had an effect on that. It’s hard to say, it could just be an anomaly because it’s only one round.”
For now Yeo is focused on getting as much out of his remaining training sessions on Western Australian soil before the team ventures to the Gold Coast, where they will set up shop for the next four weeks.
He felt confident the Eagles were in a good position to get back to playing their attractive, free-flowing style of footy in spite of spending such little time together as a group.
“I think a lot of teams will be rusty first up, but I feel that we’re confident going in that our style of game we’ll be able to pick it up straight away,” he said.
“There will be things that you probably need to tighten up and tinker here and there, but I have full confidence going in that we’re going to play our way. I feel confident that we’ll be able to execute it.
“I feel that we’ve got a fair bit of experience in the team (and) that we should be able to fulfil that.”