West Coast midfielder Greg Clark says he knows what he needs to do to get back into the senior side following another workmanlike performance in the WAFL.
After being dropped following the Eagles’ bye in round 13, the 25-year-old has been an emergency on six out of seven occasions, including twice as the medical sub.
After picking up 23 touches and laying 10 tackles against his old club Subiaco, Clark told The West Australian he was focused on what he had to do to earn a recall.
“The coaches have been really clear as to what I need to work on in training,” he said.
“Whether it’s speed work, craft and contests work, I know what I have to do at training.
“It’s about consistently building form in the WAFL to try to knock the door down through my performances.”
The Lions product is no stranger to hard work in the state league. It took six years from his first full WAFL season to earn his way onto an AFL list.
In six games this year in the reserves, he’s found the football 22.7 times per game, while his tackles sit at 8.2 per outing.
While he’s finding the football less frequently than last WAFL season due a variety of factors (27.1 disposals per game in 2021), his tackling pressure is up with nearly 1.4 more tackles per game.
Despite his short time in blue and gold, Clark said the unity amongst the Eagles’ senior and WAFL affiliate sides was there despite the lack of wins.
“The vibe and everything around the club has been really good,” he said.
“It’s important that we translate that to a four quarter performance.”
West Coast’s reserves side appeared down and out against Subiaco, trailing by 50 points in the early stages of the third term.
However, the Eagles had other ideas, and Clark said the message of unity from coach Rob Wiley got his side back in the contest.
“It was all about staying united and keeping everything positive,” he said.
“We just tried to reset rather than letting things slip away.
“Especially in the midfield, we really tried to get the game back in our hands.”
When Subiaco ruckman Lewis Putt went down with a shoulder injury, the makeshift ruck duo of Josh Rotham and Hugh Dixon were able to give the on-ball brigade first use.
Clark and teammate Isiah Winder (33 disposals) lifted in the second half, with the side reducing the deficit 23 points at the final siren.
The mature-aged recruit had to work hard to shake the tag put on by Lion Liam Hickmott.
He praised his former teammate’s efforts throughout the match, as well as the way Subiaco played.
“It was a really hard slog, he (Hickmott) is a fantastic tagger, and he did a great job of it last year and today,” Clark said.
“Subiaco played a really hard contested brand of football, and that’s exactly what I expect from them.”
While the Eagles sit second last on the AFL ladder with three rounds to go, and their WAFL side last with four games left, Clark hoped both would fight to end their respective seasons on a high.
“It was a good fight back in the second half, we got to see two-to-three good quarters of footy today,” he said.
“Now it’s just making sure in the remaining games, we give a full performance.”