Eric Mackenzie says it will be a successful year for West Coast if they can beat the Suns at Metricon Stadium this Sunday and squeeze into finals.
The All-Australian contender said he believed Scott Selwood would return from injury to face the Suns in a must-win encounter with eighth spot up for grabs.
Nic Naitanui (Achilles) and Elliot Yeo (hand) are also potential inclusions to bolster West Coast’s midfield, particularly with Mark Hutchings expected to miss with a hamstring strain.
The Eagles have won three of their past four matches to be sitting 10th, knowing victory over Gold Coast could be enough to earn them the sole remaining place in September, so long as other results fall their way.
Mackenzie said taking part in the finals would make 2014 a success for the young squad.
“There’s just been the improvement over the list over the year,” Mackenzie said.
“We’re a pretty young side going into the year. We’ve got a lot of games into the young boys.
“So the improvement over the year has been good (with) the way we’ve finished the second half of the year.”
Mackenzie said he believed the Eagles could have an impact in finals if they reach September.
He said he had no preference out of either the Dockers or the Power as a potential elimination final match-up.
“It’s looking like either Freo or Port Adelaide, so we’re a chance to beat either side I think,” Mackenzie said.
“They’ve both been good all year, but the way we’ve played the second half of the year – probably the last five or six games – has really shown that’s the kind of footy we want to play and I reckon we can do some damage in finals with that.”