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Gerard Whateley backs West Coast to emerge as competition frontrunners due to change in travel plans

West Coast’s chances of claiming the 2020 AFL premiership grow the longer they stay in the forced Gold Coast hub, commentator Gerard Whateley says.

In an effort to restart the coronavirus affected 2020 season, West Coast will be joined by rivals Fremantle, and SA teams Adelaide and Port Adelaide in a quarantine hub on the Gold Coast, playing in a six-team group.

Once those games are played and depending on WA’s tough border laws, the Eagles could still remain in Queensland to play Melbourne-based clubs.

Speaking on SEN on Saturday, Whateley said the Eagles were well-placed to make a run at the 2020 finals series if they can get some wins on the board while away from home.

“The Eagles were right off the bat… they were keen to get (to the Gold Coast) early,” Whateley said.

“The teams that are going up there two and a half hours from Melbourne will be flying on the same day they’re playing West Coast up there.

“It will advantage West Coast, even though they are in the hub.”

Fellow SEN panellist Kane Cornes agreed and said “it sort of works out ok” for the Eagles.

“All of a sudden they don’t have to fly all over the country,” he said.

“People are coming to play you in a neutral venue. Then you bank four or five home games in the lead up to finals.”

Whateley said the expectation that the Eagles will be handed a string of games in WA to finish the season was key to the club’s success in 2020.

“It could turn out working very much in their favour,” he said.

Just last week former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he saw the hub as an advantage for the clubs involved, describing it as a bonding experience.

“They’re together, they’ll be skylarking together they’ll have all their PS4’s hooked up,” he said.

“But if you’re a Melbourne-based club, you’re training and going home… it’s quite a tight regime.”

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