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Eagles optimistic despite covid and injury obstacles

West Coast Eagles premiership player Dom Sheed says the club remains optimistic about season 2022 despite a spate of injuries and players suffering from coronavirus, leaving the club facing an uphill battle with a 0-3 start.

Speaking to Sports Breakfast on Thursday, Sheed said it wasn’t all doom and gloom despite a tough start to the year.

“At our footy club we’re very optimistic at the moment. We’re seeing glimpses of good play and the way we want to play but we’re just not doing it for long enough,” he said.

“Give it three weeks and we’ll have nearly a full strength team ready to go. It’s one thing getting players back but then it’s another thing actually being match fit and being able to run out four quarters.”

West Coast became the first club to call up covid contingency players in round two for their clash with North Melbourne, WAFL players Aaron Black, Declan Mountford, Stefan Giro, Angus Dewar and Brayden Ainsworth all required to play due to several players being placed in health and safety protocols.

With 14 changes in round two and 12 in round three the winless Eagles are in need of continuity heading in to round four and a clash with Collingwood at Docklands, Luke Shuey, Liam Duggan and Willie Rioli among the likely inclusions.

Sheed said some players are still learning to navigate their returns after suffering from the virus.

“Everyone comes back differently from covid. We had a handful of players play on the weekend and a lot of them reckon they were cooked by half time and their lungs were blowing up,” he said.

“Some blokes are fine and some blokes really struggled. That’s something going forward now that the coaches will look at to make sure that when you have had covid that you’re actually able to run out a full game.

“A few of the guys really struggled on the weekend.”

Sheed remains sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in a pre-season clash with Fremantle, likely for a mid-season return.

Ahead of the Collingwood clash, Sheed reflected on his Grand Final winning goal against the Pies in 2018.

“It was an amazing day, that passage of play will probably never happen again. I was very fortunate to be a part of that situation and play a part in winning a flag. It was a very special day,” he said.

“It still gets brought up a little bit. I love hearing the stories of where people were when they watched the game, seeing videos of people in pubs all over Australia and over the world. I had lots of family overseas and they videoed it.

“I love hearing those stories of where people were and who they were watching it with. That’s pretty cool to me.”

Dom Sheed joins Sports Breakfast weekly with Jacob Landsmeer and Wayne Clark thanks to station sponsors SKG Radiology and Telstra Business Technology Centre Perth South.

IMAGE: The Australian.


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