Eagles just happy to have Naitanui up and running
Nic Naitanui. Pic: WA News

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says there are no expectations being placed on Nic Naitanui as he prepares for his first competitive hit-out in eight months against Fremantle tomorrow night.

Naitanui has been named to play against the Dockers in the scratch match at Patersons Stadium, the final official pre-season fixture for both clubs.

Simpson said the 2012 All Australian ruckman was scheduled to play around half the game, but the Eagles aren’t worried about how he performs, only that he gets some valuable minutes in his legs.

“The expectation for us is really low,” he said.

“We're not looking at an exceptional performance from Nic. We just want to get his numbers up.

“It's been a long time since he's played so we'll be really conservative with our approach.

“If we get out of the game with 50 or so minutes with no injuries and he just has a good run around we'll be really happy.”

Simpson said he was pleased with the squad’s ability to adapt to a new game style during the NAB Challenge and was looking forward to seeing how they handle it on the wide expanses of Patersons Stadium.

“At the moment we're ticking a few boxes in terms of our style of play,” he said.

“A lot of it is based around work rate and we're pleased with that.

“It will be a bit different playing on the ground. First time under my coaching that we're playing on this oval.

“It's a different sized ground, in comparison to the two grounds we've played at, so I'll be interested to see how we go.”

The West Australian

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