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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

"They put themselves in this hole." Sumich on Eagles priority picks

Former Premiership Eagle Peter Sumich believes West Coast does not deserve a priority draft pick despite an alarming start to the season. 


The weekend’s 76-point loss to the Bulldogs puts the Eagles at three losses with an average losing margin of 64 points. Currently sitting in 18th, West Coast are faced with the prospect of taking its third wooden spoon. 


Should West Coast continue to struggle and secure its second consecutive wooden spoon, the AFL may consider handing them draft picks used at the national draft to or be traded for players, to assist in the rebuild. 


Sumich told SportFM the onus is on West Coast to dig themselves out of this situation. 


“If it's the club's fault, which it is in my opinion, they don't deserve one,” he said. 


“If it wasn’t the club's fault and you can see that everything they put in place was right and everything they were trying, it's not happening for them, but they're giving it their all. I'd seriously look at it, but right now, they don't deserve one.


“West Coast might be in a bit of pain. I don't know if that's going to make a big difference anyway, but I don't think they deserve it, because they put themselves in this hole over two or three years.” 


In 2019, West Coast gave up picks 14, 24 and 33 and a future first-rounder to land Tim Kelly from Geelong.  


Kelly has been a solid contributor for West Coast, winning club Best and Fairest last season, but Sumich believes the trade has a part to play in West Coast’s current state.  


“Unfortunately, they gave everything up for Kelly a fair few years ago and people have forgotten about this,” he said.


“They got Kelly with the recruiting to try and win another Premiership, that was in 2020. Now no one's talked about that, that's just been a rabble and that cost them draft picks for two years. 


“It cost them a lot to get Kelly in to win a Premiership. They didn't win this Premiership alright, so then who's to blame?”


On the weekend, West Coast beat the Bulldogs in clearances and matched their opponents in inside-50s, however, the forward line failed to convert these opportunities, scoring just three goals. 


West Coast kicked two of the first three goals, but the Bulldogs piled on 12 unanswered goals, leaving West Coast goalless for over half the game. The third goal came during the final quarter.


Sumich believes there were missed opportunities to try to stifle the rampaging Bulldogs, and is ‘dumbfounded’ at where the club is at. 


“There was an opportunity to swing a Barrass or a McGovern forward, swing Darling back during the game when the game was getting out of hand, there was an opportunity to do things like that," he said.


“The club will have to make some decisions going forward, probably sooner than we all thought. 


“If it keeps going down the same path, it's a long way back. I'm really dumbfounded where the club is at.


“The winning record, the losing record. It's adding up and I don't know really where it's all going to stop. That's the problem.”


IMAGE: Sydney Morning Herald

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