The West

Forgotten West Coast utility player Patrick McGinnity is eyeing a tagging role as his ticket back into the AFL as Scott Selwood recovers from ankle surgery.

McGinnity has played just over a quarter in Eagles colours this season under new coach Adam Simpson after coming in as the substitute in the round-four loss to Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

He was named as an emergency for yesterday's 33-point win over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium and showed why he was on the cusp of AFL selection with a quality display for East Perth in their win over Claremont on Saturday.

McGinnity revelled in the wet conditions, gathering 30 possessions and five inside 50s in the Royals' victory.

McGinnity admitted it was a strange feeling coming up against his old WAFL side but believed the alignment would help his chances of breaking back into West Coast's line-up.

"I think I was pretty close (to getting a game with West Coast this week)," he said.

"I am happy to be plugging away down here at East Perth and hopefully we can keep playing well and keep getting wins.

"In the past I have played forward or back at West Coast, so this year I'm playing in the midfield at East Perth.

"I just want to get my hands on it a bit and enjoy my footy and just practise my disposal and things like that. That's a bit of a focus."

The 25-year-old admitted there were times when he doubted whether he would get many opportunities to add to his 72 games since making his Eagles debut in 2009.

"It's tough not to question it every now and then, but it's just what's best for the team and the players that are getting picked are all good players so there is no hostility and I have got to just keep plugging away," McGinnity said.

But McGinnity knows there is a genuine opportunity to earn a call-up given Selwood is unlikely to play again this season.

Sharrod Wellingham took over the run-with role in the narrow win over Gold Coast, but has also been dropped twice this season.

"There is a spot there," McGinnity said.

"There are a couple of spots that could be up for grabs over the next few weeks, so I have just got to keep playing well down here and see what happens.

"If I get selected I would probably just be coming through the middle, maybe negating an opponent, maybe going forward and being a bit defensive down there as well.

"It would be nice to play the derby. I haven't played one for a fair while."

The West Australian

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