WAFL Eagles fortunes will turn
Peter Sumich has launched a defence of the West Coast WAFL side, who plumbed new depths on Saturday with a 169 point loss to West Perth.
The Eagles' reserves lineup featured just six AFL-listed players with a combined 14 games of experience at the top level, with the club’s injury crisis at AFL level compounded by the unavailability of key WAFL players including Sumich’s son Zane and reigning best and fairest winner Harry Creasey.
Sumich told Sports Breakfast he was confident their fortunes would eventually turn.
“I think people have got very short memories, [look] what was going at the Peel Thunder for a very long time and where they were at … getting beaten by a hundred plus points many times, but we stuck with it,” Sumich said.
“I just think we’re all jumping the gun here, and saying ‘oh yeah, let’s get rid of it, it’s not working’, and I’m hearing people say that, but give us a solution.
“Don’t just say it’s not working and that’s it and then send all the players back to other clubs which didn’t work anyway.”
West Coast’s AFL side lost by 47 points to reigning premiers Geelong yesterday, mounting something of a comeback after trailing by as much as 77 points.
Sumich said there were some positives in the game but big question marks still hung over the club.
“I think Geelong after half time really didn’t rock up, they got to 70 points and then just cruised along in the second half,” he said.
“There’s probably three or four players we’ve got to wait and see are they good enough to be on the list or not, and that’s up to the club to let them have a crack at it and then you can make decisions going forward. I think there’s still a bit of pain to come, which is unfortunate, but it’s just facts at the moment.
“Some of their better players aren’t playing that well either, let’s be honest. Darling and Gaff, for mine, are in very, very ordinary form, so they’ve got to take a bit of the brunt and hopefully pick up their form to help young players.”
Fremantle got their season back on track with a 10 point win over the Gold Coast on Friday afternoon, with Sumich saying he was impressed by their comeback.
“I thought they were done. If Anderson had’ve kicked that goal halfway through the third quarter directly in front 25 metres out, the Gold Coast would’ve went 28 points out, and I don’t know whether Fremantle would’ve got back from that,” he said.
“They persisted … and then Gold Coast folded and Fremantle ran over the top, so well done to them.
“They need to keep in contact with the eight by winning on Friday night.”
The Dockers’ clash with the Western Bulldogs kicks off at 6:10 pm on Friday night at Optus Stadium, while the Eagles head back to Adelaide to take on Port Adelaide at 11:45 am on Saturday.
IMAGE: West Coast Eagles