As both WA clubs gear up to relocate to their new ‘Gold Coast’ home base ahead of round two commencing on June 11, we take a look at who’s likely to board the flight.
The AFL has permitted each club to take a 25-player squad across to the Sunshine State, meaning selection discussions will need to be finalised much further ahead of usual interstate matches.
On today’s episode of the Duff & Quarters podcast, our chief football writers discussed who the Eagles and Dockers would consider taking to the hub.
“No (Alex) Pearce, no (Joel) Hamling,” Mark Duffield said, due to injuries.
“The question marks I reckon will be Stephen Hill, who didn’t train yesterday, he had the quad just before the start of the season.
“My understanding is that Stephen Hill is okay but they clearly weren’t ready to put him out there and do full contact training yesterday.
“Jesse Hogan did two running sessions with the main group last week and wasn’t put through the full rigmarole yesterday, in fact he wasn’t out there. I think he was in the gym training.
“But the comment from Simon Garlich about Jesse Hogan basically said he couldn’t look in better knick.”
Sunday Times sport editor Glen Quartermaine reiterated whether Hogan travels or not, it’s a huge improvement to hear he’s in a better place after an indefinite mental health break.
“What great news Duff,” Quarters said.
“If he’s in that right headspace, that’s all we care about.”
Duffield continued: “So I think what we’ll see is Nathan Wilson, who didn’t play round one, will play.
“David Mundy, who didn’t play in round one, will play. Blake Acres, who didn’t play in round one will play and I think there’s got to be a reasonable chance that Stephen Hill will play as well.
“Sturt was managed and Switkowski is in the rehab group. Switkowski suffered a significant hamstring injury just before the start of the year, I would expect he is a no (for round two), I’d expect Sturt to be okay for round two.”
Meanwhile for the 2018 premiers, who are of course without Willie Rioli and Daniel Venables from their grand final-winning 22, it’s another small forward who may come up just short on the injury front.
“I saw Jarrod Cameron running laps last week, he was getting across the ground okay but started to back off towards the end of the session,” Duffield said.
“I think because it’s a stress reaction in his pelvis they’re going to be pretty careful with Jarrod.
“So as soon as he suffers any soreness or inflammation in that area he will be backed off again. Don’t expect him to be there round two.
“Obviously Venables is out for the rest of the season. Schofield is weighing it up – (it’s a) difficult situation for him.
“His wife has a full-time business, he has some business interests here, he also has some expanding media interests here.”
However the decision is further complicated for Schofield as he finds himself on the outskirts of West Coast’s best 22.
Duffield outlined if he were to travel, it would mostly be in an off-field mentor capacity.
“My understanding is: If Schoey went, he would only be playing for match payments,” he said.
“He’s not at this stage in their best 22. So in other words, he’s basically going for nothing.
“I think they wanted him to be a mentor, he’s probably only 2-3 injuries away from sneaking back into their best 22 but at this stage you would think, if you look at their tall defenders, he probably needs injuries to other players before he comes back into it.”
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