Simpson challenge as he hands Hill start
Josh Hill. Pic: Lincoln Baker/WA News

West Coast coach Adam Simpson is set to throw enigmatic forward Josh Hill the challenge of becoming more consistent in his off-the-ball pressure game as he attempts to nail down a spot in West Coast's best 22 against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.

Hill will play in place of the suspended Mark LeCras against the Magpies, Simpson confirmed at his weekly press conference today.

"It makes sense, doesn't it. We will bring him in and that will possibly be the only selection we make," he said. "Availability has been a bit of an issue throughout the year, so to have one change, maybe two, is good for consistency and where we are at in developing."

Hill has played just twice for West Coast this season, albeit in difficult circumstances, away to Geelong in an undermanned team and against Port Adelaide at home in a narrow loss to a premiership contender.

Simpson acknowledged those circumstances today but said consistency was the key to Hill creating more chances for himself.

"He is obviously a senior player and he has been squeezed out on a few occasions with personnel and different structure. He has been performing really well at East Perth so we are really comfortable with him," he said. "His opportunities have been limited and he hasn't performed the times we have played him albeit they have been one off games and I think one game was against Geelong and the other against Port.

"I know what he can bring. It is just how consistently he can bring it."

Simpson remains confident that there is room for both Hill and LeCras in his team if both are at their best.

"There is room for two of them. I suppose his position and the role he plays, it is quite hard to be consistent," he said.

"There are things away from just marks and goals that we need consistency from. It is the work off the ball and those kind of things, if he can control them that is what we want."

Simpson said pressure was potentially one of Hill's strengths.

"That is the basis of a good game from him. The other stuff will come. Perhaps he has been a victim of circumstances as well but at the same time consistency is what we are looking for.

The West Australian

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