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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Darling 500 goals, a great achievement: Sumich

West Coast legend Peter Sumich says Jack Darling should be celebrated as one of the greats of the club after kicking his 500th goal in blue and gold.

Darling joined Sumich and his former forward partner Josh Kennedy as the only Eagles to pass the milestone with a snap from the pocket in yesterday’s loss to Richmond.

Sumich, who has been critical of Darling at times and was an assistant coach with the club in his early years, told Sports Breakfast the 2018 premiership player had been an excellent servant.

“As we all know, he’s had his moments, but at the end of the day, a very, very good player and a consistent player in the sense of games, he doesn’t miss too many,” Sumich said.

“I was there when we first recruited him to the club and he was a raw talent, but he’s matured as the years have gone on.

“Well done to him, a great achievement.”

Darling’s achievement was marked by the Eagles suffering a 38-point defeat at the hands of the Tigers, with Sumich saying the club needed to be careful to not be too positive about losing results.

“At the end of the day, it was a loss that in my eyes didn’t achieve anything. I didn’t really get much out of the game on the West Coast side of it,” he said.

“The midfield, they got smashed. They were disappointing … there was no real two-way running, it was all one way.

“Richmond should’ve won that game by ten-plus goals. They kicked badly in the first quarter especially, they should have been four, five, six up with the way they were playing.

Both WA sides now occupy places in the AFL’s bottom four after Fremantle suffered a 46-point defeat at the hands of ladder-leaders Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday, with Sumich saying the Dockers would need to do plenty of soul-searching over the summer.

“They got smashed, really,” Sumich said.

“All the Fremantle [supporters], now they’re coming out saying ‘oh, we’re a young side’. I didn’t hear that at the beginning of the year when they were Flagmantle and everyone was saying we’re going to finish in the top four.

“The excuse book just keeps coming out for Fremantle. If I was a supporter, I’d be very, very frustrated with what’s going on. Just put your hand up and say we’ve had a terrible six or seven weeks.”

Fremantle must beat Sydney at Optus Stadium on Saturday night to keep their slim finals hopes alive, while West Coast will take on Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

IMAGE: West Coast Eagles

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