Eagles preparing for interstate move: Allen
West Coast Eagles young gun Oscar Allen is anticipating a move interstate with his team mates when the AFL season resumes, as the state government holds firm on it’s tight border restrictions.
The 21 year old, who has played 23 games since his debut in 2018 said he would be willing to do what it takes to resume the season, but understood if his more experienced team mates weren’t willing to do so.
“Personally from my perspective I am (willing to move) for sure,” Allen told Sports Drive on Thursday.
“I just want to play footy. It’s been a really tough year for a number of people throughout the whole community, so I think bringing footy back and giving people something to do will be a positive.”
“I’m sure all the players are in the same boat as me. Everyone has got a different set of circumstances and I am sure it will be a really individual topic. Every player will have to have a hard think about it themselves. The main thing is we are just looking forward to hopefully getting back together and proceeding with the season.”
Allen spent the seven weeks of self-isolation completely removed from friends and club teammates, with a family member in the high risk category for COVID-19 exposure. As a result he trained on his own and left the house once a day.
He has recently moved out of home and is now training with teammate Jarrod Brander ahead of a likely return to club training in the coming weeks.
Allen was hopeful that the Eagles would be able to play games at Optus Stadium at some stage in 2020 when the state government deems it safe to do so.
“It is a little bit disappointing, but the situation is always changing. Hopefully, there will be some scope in the future to review it,” he said.
“We just want the season to come back, and if that’s what has to happen I suppose we will get on with it.”
The West Perth product didn’t play the opening game of the 2020 season against Melbourne due to a hernia operation that delayed his pre-season, having also had knee surgery following the 2019 season.
Allen said he was fit and firing for whenever football returned.
“I’m feeling terrific. I had a really interrupted pre-season, but I got myself back to a stage where I was there and abouts for the second or third game of the year. I’ll be ready to go whatever happens from here.”
Allen kicked 20 goals in 21 games in 2019, spending most of his time up forward with occasional stints and the ruck and down back.
He said he would embrace whatever role was thrown his way by coach Adam Simpson.
“From my perspective for a young player, being versatile is incredibly important,” Allen said.
“I might not be able to lock down a certain position in the side yet, but if I can play as many of the positions on the ground as possible it will be harder for Simmo to get me out of the side.”
Allen came mighty close to playing in the Eagles 2018 premiership side as a teenager in his first AFL season, with Jeremy McGovern in grave doubt for the match due to a rib injury.
While history shows the four time All-Australian recovered to play a starring role in one of the club’s iconic moments, Allen was ready to go on the day should the call have come his way.
“At 10:30AM on Grand Final Day Gov said he was going to be alright, up until that time it was very much a 50-50 call. It would have been my 3rd game playing on Grand Final day,” he said.
“I was obviously really happy with the result, but it was definitely something I’ll look back on as a good experience for how I prepared for the day even though I didn’t get out there.”
Despite only entering his third season, Allen has been already touted as a future captain of the club.
He said he would be open to a leadership position down the track should the opportunity arise.
“It’s a goal that I think a lot of guys have growing up wanting to captain a football side,” Allen said.
“I just want to help the team, and if that’s in a leadership position I’d really relish that.”
The AFL will announce it's return to play plan on Monday.
IMAGE: The Inverell Times.