Home / World News / West Coast coach Adam Simpson says captain Luke Shuey will face Collingwood after missing western derby win

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says captain Luke Shuey will face Collingwood after missing western derby win

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has declared captain Luke Shuey a certain starter for Sunday’s clash with Collingwood after the Eagles surged into the eight off the back of a 30-point derby win.

Simpson described the next three weeks as season-defining for the Eagles who face the Magpies, Geelong and then either Carlton or Hawthorn.

Luke Shuey was put through his paces before being ruled out of the derby.
Camera IconLuke Shuey was put through his paces before being ruled out of the derby. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

“Whether we are back on track and in a space that is going to compete with teams like Collingwood and Geelong, we will find out,” he said.

“The next two or three weeks is really going to define everyone’s season and we are probably going to have to step up another level to knock off the Pies next week.”

Simpson claimed Shuey was “really close” to playing in the derby win, after he trained with the reserves on Saturday morning, but confirmed the Eagles had all but ruled him out the night before the game, with one eye on the increasing number of soft tissue injuries around the AFL.

“He put his hand up to play,” Simpson said.

“We gave him a really good fitness test yesterday but overnight we decided to take precautions and give him an extra week to recover. We pretty much signed off. He will play next week for sure.”

He said the Eagles were “proud” of the record 10 consecutive derby wins but did not want that achievement to define their season.

“When I got to the club we lost three in a row on top of three or four in a row before I got here,” he said.

“It is a good achievement by the club. A lot of our senior players have seen the hard days. It is a special achievement but I don’t think it is going to define us this year.

“I think across the board our side looks like we are establishing a good brand and identity who we are and how we play.

Josh Kennedy celebrates one of his four goals.
Camera IconJosh Kennedy celebrates one of his four goals. Credit: Paul Kane/AFL Photos

“I think injecting a couple more kids into the side a couple of weeks ago gave us a bit more spirit and energy for the game. That is where we are at.”

But if kids had added energy, Simpson said maturity had won them the derby after the Dockers sat them on their heels briefly in the opening quarter.

“The leaders played pretty well, Josh in his 250th kicked 4.4. He stood up along with our mids and Gov (Jeremy McGovern) did his bit down back. Our ability to sustain pressure all day probably shone through,” he said.

“Probably what came across was a little bit more maturity. In the long run I thought we stood up when we needed to and that maturity got us over the line.”

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