The West

Eagles standing by Newman, says Woosha
Murray Newman at court this morning. Pic: Lee Griffith/WA News

West Coast coach John Worsfold said Murray Newman had the backing of the club as the young forward appeared in court this morning.

Newman, who has been charged with grievous bodily harm following an incident at a Perth nightclub, also hit the headlines last week after he put in a below-par performance during the club’s 2km time trials.

Speaking at Eagles pre-season training at McGillivray Oval this morning, Worsfold said Newman was working hard on his fitness.

“He’s got a lot of support around him but it is a tough time, he has got a lot to deal with,” he said.

“But he’s not out there on his own, we all supporting him and making sure we can help him through it all.”

Worsfold said Newman had shown improvement since last Monday’s time trial effort.

“He has been really pushing himself, he’s got a long way to go with his fitness but we are rapt with his attitude and how he’s going about it.”

Worsfold admitted the outcome of the court case would have a huge impact on the 19-year-old.

“Obviously the future of his life hinges on the outcome of this case and football is just a small part of that," he said.

An upbeat Worsfold said he was really pleased with the way the squad had returned for pre-season training.

“We think that the group is in better shape than even this time last year,” he said.

Many of the senior players, training in a remote program away from the main group, had beaten their target running times.

Worsfold said the club did not regret leaving Nic Naitanui's groin surgery until last week - rather than him having the operation at the end of the 2012 season - even though it will delay his pre-season.

He said they had not set down a return date for the star ruckman’s return.

West Coast are delighted with the progress of new recruits Sharrod Wellingham, Cale Morton and Jamie Cripps.

“We think the really increase the strength of our squad,” Worsfold said.

The coach said Brant Colledge would not join training with the main group with fellow draftees Mark Hutchings and Adam Carter on Monday after having hip surgery on an existing injury today.

Mark LeCras and Mark Nicoski are also tracking well as they continue their returns from long-term injuries.

The West Australian

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