Round one win ‘exactly what we need’: Sheed
West Coast Eagles premiership star Dom Sheed says a win over Gold Coast is the club’s expectation in round one, despite a lengthy injury list that could leave them with as few as 25 players to pick from on Sunday.
Sheed, who suffered a severe syndesmosis injury in the Eagles opening pre-season clash with Fremantle told Sports Breakfast the playing group’s expectation is still to triumph over the Suns at Optus Stadium despite key players missing.
“It will be exactly what we need. We’re going to have a fairly young group running out on the weekend, all be it we’ve still got a lot of senior players out there,” the 26 year old said.
“We expect to win every week and that’s what we want to do. But most of all we just want to play our brand of footy to start off the season.
“We know it’s a long year but we’re at our home ground, we have got our fans back which we have missed a lot. It’s exciting and hopefully we can play well.”
Having missed finals in 2021 after a poor second half of the season the Eagles have endured a torrid off-season, headlined by star forward Jack Darling’s vaccination hesitancy and injuries to key players including captain Luke Shuey, star midfielder Elliot Yeo and young key forward Oscar Allen.
Midfielder Tim Kelly and forward Liam Ryan are also unlikely to feature in the 2022 season opener due to the AFL’s covid health and safety protocols, leaving Adam Simpson’s side light on at the selection table heading in to Sunday’s clash with the Suns.
2021 draftee Brady Hough has already been confirmed to debut, having impressed across half back in the pre-season.
“He’s had a great pre-season. I know we have a lot of injuries but he’s thoroughly deserved his spot in the team,” Sheed said.
“He’s a first-year player but he’s probably playing more like a third or fourth year player at the moment. His game smarts and understanding of the game is through the roof.
“He’s a smart footballer and looking forward to seeing how we will go this weekend.”
Sheed, who has played 141 games since debuting in 2014 said he was aiming for a mid-season return with his ankle injury.
“It’s footy and it happens. I’ve had my surgery and it’s one of those injuries like most they take time to heal. It’s all going well so far.”
The Eagles host Gold Coast on Sunday at Optus Stadium with bouncedown at 4:10 PM.