West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff is adamant the club’s premiership window isn’t closed, believing the team has a good mix of experience and youth to stay in the flag hunt for the foreseeable future.
The Eagles are locked in a fierce battle just to make the finals this season – their recent three-game losing streak raising huge questions about whether it marked the end of an era.
Last week’s 42-point win over the Crows in Adelaide has breathed new life into West Coast’s campaign and the Eagles are aiming to make it two wins on the trot when they face fellow finals aspirants St Kilda in Perth on Saturday.
Gaff missed out on West Coast’s 2018 premiership due to suspension, with Nic Naitanui (knee) and Brad Sheppard (hamstring) also watching the big day from the sidelines.
The trio are desperate to taste the ultimate success before their careers finish and Gaff still sees an opportunity to get there.
“There’s no talk of the premiership window closing,” Gaff said.
“We’ve got quality guys who have been quality for a long period of time.
“Fans saw on the weekend we’ve got quite a few young guys that are keen for their first premiership as well. I’ve been here 11 years and we’ve played finals most years.
“We have high expectations on ourselves and I’m sure the guys who have already won one are keen for a second one as well.
“The main thing is we’ve got a good blend of young and experienced guys who are still playing good footy.”
The Eagles are hopeful of regaining star forward Josh Kennedy (calf) this week, but skipper Luke Shuey appears likely to miss with his own calf complaint.
The Saints were dealt a huge blow when ruckman Rowan Marshall became the latest AFL player forced into quarantine after attending a COVID-19 exposure site.
Marshall’s absence will leave Paddy Ryder to shoulder the ruck load against West Coast star Nic Naitanui.
The Eagles sit in seventh spot, but 11th-placed St Kilda are only one win behind them.