Eagles forwards to hold middle ground
Jack Darling. Pic: Getty Images

Eagles coach Adam Simpson says he wants to develop his forwards so they have the ability to pinch-hit far more in the midfield next season.

Jack Darling has spent short stints on ball this year, where his size and muscle around stoppages have looked a real weapon without yet damaging opposition sides.

Mark LeCras, who returns against Melbourne tomorrow night at Patersons Stadium after a fortnight out with a calf injury, has also been increasingly rotated through the midfield in recent seasons.

Simpson said the team’s lack of flexibility had hurt it at times, particularly in last weekend’s narrow loss to Essendon.

“We’ve been working on that,” he said.

“It’s something that I want to get our forwards to have the ability to pinch hit in the midfield.

“There’s been a few players we’ve tested throughout the year, but there’s probably another pre-season in that before we’re really comfortable with throwing LeCras and Darling and those guys through the midfield.

“We’ve experimented a little bit, but probably not as much as I would have liked.

“We’ll keep pushing it. We’ve looked at it in stages, but probably not in the last month to be honest.”

LeCras is the one change to the side defeated by the Bombers, with the forward returning at the expense of Simon Tunbridge.
Simpson said the 2010 All-Australian’s inclusion helped the team’s balance.

“We’ve been light on numbers of guys being available,” he said.

“This is the first time for a few weeks we’ve had a guy who’s come back into the side. That’s exciting we’ve got an A-grader coming back in.”

The West Australian

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