I m not cracking yet: Glass

Every season about this time, we ask Darren Glass about his playing future and he tells us he is unsure, that he will make a decision later in the season and he might not have a say in whether he goes on anyway.

In other words, that the club may tell him it is time to go.

When it comes to playing straight bats, the Eagles skipper is as good as Geoff Boycott ever was.

But if Glass expects to be going anywhere other than back on to the field for another season in 2015, he is going to have to stop playing well. And as yet, we haven't seen any sign that he is about to.

The Eagles skipper finished sixth in the club's best and fairest last year despite missing two matches. He was sixth in 2012 as well as All-Australian captain. He was club champion in 2011.

He might be closing in on his 33rd birthday but Glass continues to close in on and close down opposition forwards in pretty much the same way he has been for a decade.

He reckons he has handed over the responsibility of playing on the opposition's monster forwards to Eric Mackenzie, which is true, but Glass doesn't get outmarked when he is one out with the big blokes anyway.

And he reckons that he isn't getting any quicker but the smaller blokes don't give him the run-around too often either.

The Eagles captain hints that the glass might be half empty. But his performances suggest that it remains well over half full.

"I won't make a decision until well into the season and that will be in conjunction with the football club. It is not totally in my hands," Glass said.

Barring injury, Glass will end the season with only Dean Cox ahead of him on West Coast's games-played list.

He will play his 263rd AFL game against the Western Bulldogs tomorrow. He is 11 adrift of Cox and will be 13 behind record holder Glen Jakovich.

Glass had to be "managed" a little last year but, as even he was happy to point out this week, everybody is these days.

"Everyone is monitored closely," he said. "I would imagine at some stage I would get a rest."

In the meantime, he says everyone is simply looking for improvement and that he will be expected to be at least as flexible in the opponents he can match up on as he was last year, perhaps more so.

"You have just got to continue to work and improve. I am not getting any quicker," Glass said.

"It is a real mix and you end up on pretty much everyone at some stage.

"They swing mids forward and all sorts of stuff. It is not like when I first started when you would lock down on someone and that was it.

"You tend to match up on them all through the game. Most back lines have to be pretty flexible these days.

"From day one when Simmo arrived he spoke about adding some more versatility to our team and I think you will see that as the season goes on and you have already seen a glimpse of it in the pre-season.

"We will work pretty hard to make sure it happens."

The Eagles are refreshed, have embraced Adam Simpson's game plan, have been working on it since last year and have been pleased to see the results they have got implementing it against teams in the pre- season.

"We know this week is a little different," Glass said.

"It is always hard to read too much into pre-season form.

"This week there are four points up for grabs. We know anything can happen. We expect a good, strong outfit from the Bulldogs.

"Hopefully it (the season) is better than last year, that is the aim. In terms of expectations it is really hard going into a year when you don't know what is going to happen but we are expecting consistent effort week in and week out.

"We are expecting some big improvement. We will quickly find out where we are at."

It is not like when I first started when you would lock down on someone and that was it. "Darren Glass

The West Australian

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