Dalziell dazzles to earn West Coast call
Dalziell dazzles to earn West Coast call

More settled, more efficient and more effective in contested situations. That is East Fremantle coach Steve Malaxos' assessment of Bradd Dalziell in his two matches for East Fremantle this season.

Malaxos' summary of the hard-running midfielder, whose AFL career has almost stalled since shifting from Brisbane to join the Eagles at the end of 2009, gives a good insight into why he leapfrogged a couple of other more fancied contenders to snare a spot in the Eagles team to play the Giants at Blacktown tomorrow.

If punctuality is any indicator, Dalziell clearly can't wait to play his first AFL match in almost 12 months. He was the first Eagle to arrive at the airport yesterday, almost 90 minutes ahead of the team's scheduled departure.

At 25, after a promising start to his career at Brisbane in 2008, Dalziell has played just 24 AFL games and only one last year, in round four against Hawthorn when he gathered only five touches.

He was one of four inclusions to the Eagles team to replace the injured Andrew Embley and the possibly-not-quite-so-injured trio of Darren Glass, Matt Rosa and Matt Priddis for a clash with this year's predicted wooden spooners.

All the inclusions, except for Claremont's Patrick McGinnity, were from East Fremantle, leaving Malaxos with some shuffling to do for his club's clash with Subiaco last night.

He also lost Mitch Brown and Koby Stevens and travelling emergency Jacob Brennan from last week's win against Peel.

But he certainly was not begrudging Dalziell his place in the AFL after a 27-possession, two-goal effort against the Thunder that underlined his improved form.

"First of all, he appears more settled, not as anxious and that is on and off the field," Malaxos said.

"I think that has carried over into his performance.

"His disposal is cleaner and better positioned.

"It is not that he played poorly last year, he actually played pretty well. He has just been more effective."

By addressing a couple of perceived weaknesses, Dalziell has been able to make his strengths more telling.

"He has obviously got really good endurance," Malaxos said.

"He has become more efficient and therefore the hard running and the possessions have become more telling at WAFL level."

The West Australian

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