McGovern willing to take turn on Tippett
Latest West Coast Eagles signing Jeremy McGovern with Narrogin boys Mitchell Shalders (4) and Ryan Fleay (14)as they get in some practice at the Country Week Sports Carnival. Pic: Steve Ferrier/WA News

Jeremy McGovern concedes he must improve his fitness and conditioning to take the next step in his career as he predicted a future as West Coast's new swingman.

The 22-year-old delivered the modest assessment of his own standing at the Eagles after agreeing to a two-year contract extension.

And the five-gamer had little hesitation volunteering to be pitted against giant Sydney forward Kurt Tippett in Sunday's clash at Patersons Stadium.

McGovern said he had no qualms about being swung into defence to fill in for an injured Mitch Brown, who may play again this season after scans revealed he had only bone damage in his right knee rather than a torn anterior cruciate ligament as feared.

Brown will still miss up to six weeks after he landed awkwardly during the third term of West Coast's western derby loss on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who also hurt his right ankle, was carried off the ground on a stretcher.

McGovern made his debut in defence in round six, but has kicked 10 goals as a forward in the past four matches.

He said he prided himself on being a versatile player.

"I'll put my hand up and play down back if I need to," he said.

"They (Sydney) have probably got the biggest forward line in the comp. It's a big challenge, but I'll go man up on Tippett for sure."

McGovern's rapid rise has been all the more profound given Simpson's decision to initially banish him from the main group after the youngster arrived for pre-season out of shape.

"I am grateful that it happened, but I probably wish it didn't," McGovern said. "I'm just glad I'm back playing footy.

"It definitely did scare me - it scared me a fair bit, obviously in a good way.

"It motivated me more than anything to push harder and to realise what it's like to be an AFL footballer.

"I've obviously come a long way from where I was, but I can always improve.

"It's probably just aerobic ability. Obviously I can get a bit stronger and I think that'll come, but also just playing games and to get that match fitness in."

The Albany product said he had grown up admiring Eagles premiership player Adam Hunter, who excelled at both ends of the ground.

"I'd love to be that sort of player and hopefully further down the track, if I do get thrown down back at some stage, I can put my hand up and play well," he said.

West Coast will consider resting Nic Naitanui against Sydney. The ruckman's form has waned in the past fortnight.

"They (Sydney) have probably got the biggest forward line in the comp. It's a big challenge …""West Coast forward *Jeremy McGovern *

The West Australian

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