Eagles dare to dream
Eagles dare to dream

West Coast will dare to dream about an unlikely finals appearance if they beat Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, according to star defender Eric Mackenzie.

Mackenzie, who expects to stand Jake Carlisle, said a light week on the track would have them primed for the showdown with the Bombers.

"You never know, we're still a fighting chance," Mackenzie said.

"The ball's in our court now. It's going to be a tough challenge, especially them over there. They are fighting for a finals spot.

"I think there's about four teams now going for one or two spots so every game is going to be hot from now on.

"If we beat Essendon then you do have to start thinking about finals.

"I think everyone had written us off, but internally we still knew there was a lot to be achieved from the year."

Mackenzie said the Eagles' emphatic wins over Adelaide and Collingwood in the past two rounds were their best performances of the season.

"Our ball movement has just been great the past few weeks," he said.

"We are taking a few more risks. We went a bit more conservative halfway through the year, went into our shells.

"We have nothing to lose from taking the game on."

Mackenzie was on track to keep Travis Cloke goalless on Sunday until the Magpies spearhead took advantage of his absence due to the blood rule late in the final term and kicked a running goal.

The 26-year-old, who captained the side against Collingwood, believed he was playing the best football of his career. He has had his colours lowered just once this year, when Jarryd Roughead booted eight goals in Tasmania in round 12.

Mackenzie has been widely tipped to win his first All-Australian jumper this season, but is more focused on September.

"I'm not really too fussed about that and I'd swap it all for some finals action," he said.

"It's probably the most consistent footy of my career. Early, I was a little bit hot and cold, could go in and out of games."

Mark LeCras, a late withdrawal from the win over Collingwood with a tight calf, ran freely during a light session at Patersons Stadium yesterday.

Mackenzie and key forward Josh Kennedy were both absent, while all three ruckmen were on the track as coach Adam Simpson weighs up whether to play Scott Lycett, Nic Naitanui and the retiring Dean Cox in the same team for the second consecutive week.

Code hopper Corey Adamson was given a warm welcome by his new teammates as he completed some running and skills work.

The former baseballer is due to have his 2015 rookie listing confirmed this week once the AFL approves the paperwork.

The West Australian

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