Coach – Adam Simpson
Points For – 5th
Points Against – 5th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Luke Shuey
- Josh Kennedy
- Andrew Gaff
- Matt Priddis
- Shannon Hurn
2016 Rising Star Noms
Tom Barass (Rnd 23)
Ins – Nathan Vardy, Sam Mitchell, Daniel Venables, Josh Rotham, Willie Rioli, Jake Waterman, Thomas Gorter, Drew Petrie,
Outs – Xavier Ellis, Damien Cavka, Patick McGinnity, Kane Lucas, Jamie Bennell, Brant College, Alex Waterman, Corey Adamson, Mitch Brown
A lot of peoples pick before last season to be a real challenger. They had just lost the grand final in a year where they were ravaged by injury. Looked to be good things. Looking at the list this year which hasn't had a serious overhaul, it's not hard to remember why I was so bullish the year before.
The backline bats deep. They uncovered another KP player last year in Barrass but still have McGovern, Schofield and MacKenzie. Running defenders were disappointing last year and somewhere the game plan didnt work. Yeo, Wellingham, Hurn and Sheppard are all good users though and should be doing a better job. I would back them to improve this year.
The midfield bats deep as well and is strong if not a little predictable. Last year I rated the West Coast midfield really highly. This year I am not sure why. They have qualityu with Shuey, Priddis and Gaff, they have added in Sam Mitchell who has a couple of good years left. Masten had a dog of a year last year and Redden hasnt had anything like the impact he was expected to have. They don't bat deep enough and they lack leg speed, something the recruitment of Jetta was supposed to solve but he was shocking. They need a big improvement this year from this area if they are going to improve.
The rucks are diabolical with Natanui and Lycett injured. Giles will be competing with Vardy and Petrie for the number one spot.
The forward line is full of talent. Kennedy is reliable and gives them 3 or 4 goals a game consistently. Darling provides a good foil for Kennedy and they have flagged LeCras spending more time close to goal. I thought Hill was good last year and actually surprised me as he gave them another option. I imagine Willie Rioli will actually play a few games next year and will round out a good forward line. If they can get the supply, then I think they will get the job done.
So I still don't know what to expect from the Eagles for next year. Their midfield doesnt look good enough or deep enough for them to compete. Their season could hinge on the healing of Natanui or Lycett. I dont think they will miss the eight but they certainly dont look like a top 4 team to me. I think 6-7 is going to be about the mark again.