Anyone for tennis?
While Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and his assistant Brenton Sanderson are still feeling the financial impact of their doubles match against former international star Alicia Molik, a tennis racquet was still allowed to be used at West Coast training this morning.
The Eagles completed their low key skills session in small groups by enjoying some catching training with tennis balls.
Players whacked the ball high into the air as teammates attempted one-handed catches, much to the merriment of the group.
Star wingman Andrew Gaff led the way with the tennis racquet. A talented junior tennis player, Gaff’s father Paul is also a professional tennis coach in Victoria.
Paul Gaff competed at two Australian Junior Championships, played in the US college system and received tutelage from Harry Hopman and John Newcombe.
It was impossible to miss the irony of the moment given Collingwood are still reeling from what Buckley described as an extremely expensive tennis match.
The magnitude of the $25,000 fine handed to him and Sanderson by the AFL is best summed up by comparing it to the prize money available at the Australian Open each year.
The losing pair in the opening round of the Australian Open only received $21,000 earlier this year. Mixed doubles pairings had to reach the quarter finals to earn $23,000.
Collingwood flew out of Perth yesterday after completing their hub and they have joined the other Victorian clubs in Queensland.
Carlton and Hawthorn will emerge from quarantine later this week to play games against West Coast and Fremantle.
The Eagles were in a good mood at training as they ride high on the back of five wins in a row. They will extend that to six wins if they beat the Blues at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The match will see West Australian Patrick Cripps taking on the Eagles and that battle will see Dom Sheed receiving plenty of reminders from his friends that West Coast could have chosen the Carlton captain instead of him.
West Coast chose Sheed with pick 11 at the 2013 national draft and Cripps became the second West Australian chosen, just two selections later.
“I’ve got one of my mates who sends me Crippas’ stats every weekend and says West Coast could have had him,” Sheed laughed.
“It’s all for a bit of a laugh.”