Kennedy to stick with new technique
Josh Kennedy. Pic: Getty Images

Coleman Medal contender Josh Kennedy says he is committed to sticking with his new goal-kicking routine despite suffering from the worst conversion rate of his 126-game AFL career.

The Eagles spearhead has made a conscious decision to eliminate his trademark stuttering run-up while kicking at goal from set shots over the past fortnight.

And the club's leading goal kicker said he had no intention of returning to the old habit for now despite managing just 4.7 during a spell where the team's poor conversion up forward has cost them with three consecutive defeats.

West Coast are in seventh spot heading into Sunday's western derby at Patersons Stadium on the back of kicking a combined total of 23.39 during the barren run.

The one major plus is the possible return of Shannon Hurn from a knee injury.

He needs to pass a fitness test to be cleared for the derby.

The Eagles have ruled out Xavier Ellis (calf) for the second straight week.

Kennedy, 26, has booted 12.11 so far this year at a conversion rate of 52.2 per cent.

It is a far cry from last season when he kicked a career-best 60.23 to finish fourth in the Coleman Medal race at a time when the stutter was more pronounced than ever.

Only Fremantle forward Chris Mayne and Hawthorn's grand final hero Jack Gunston bettered Kennedy's 72.3 per cent conversion rate out of the league's top 20 goal kickers in 2013.

However, Kennedy said he was committed to keeping his altered technique.

"I'm just looking to smooth it out," he said.

"It was starting to put a bit of a risk on my balance on the footy.

"It's probably evolved into something that was good at the time, but at this current stage I don't feel like it's the best for me."

Inaccuracy also cost West Coast dearly in the early part of last season, with the club ruing their conversion in losses to Port Adelaide and Carlton across rounds four and five.

Kennedy conceded inaccuracy could cost the side a place in the finals if it was not fixed.

"If our skill level's down and we're not using the ball well and we're not kicking goals, then obviously you won't be winning games," he said.

The West Australian

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