Australia

West Coast Unthinkable Wooden Spoon

West Coast coach Adam Simpson is trying to find new ways to motivate his group after Josh Kennedy’s retirement, so he won’t be distracted by the wooden spoon story.

Kennedy scored eight goals in his 293rd and final AFL game on Sunday, but his stunning goals weren’t enough to carry the Eagles to victory over Adelaide.

A 16-point loss left West Coast (2-18) ahead of bottom-placed North Melbourne (2-18) by just 5.3 points.

The Eagles close out the year facing tough games against flag fantasies Fremantle and Geelong (away). North Melbourne, on the other hand, have games to beat against Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

The West Coast has only finished last in 35 seasons in the VFL/AFL, but Simpson doesn’t make avoiding the wooden spoon a focus for his players.

“We just want to improve. That[avoiding wooden spoons]isn’t necessarily a goal or purpose,” Simpson said.

“We want to play as much as we can with what we have and continue to grow and learn.”

Eagles players rode the wave of emotion from Kennedy’s farewell game.

“It’s going to be a challenge. I’ve already spoken to leaders about it,” Simpson said.

“Obviously Fremantle is a top 4/top 6 team, so in JK’s honor we’ll have some quiet stuff in the room and move on to next week.

“Then there’s Geelong in Geelong. It grows hair on your chest.”

Kennedy was sent off after scoring a club-record 723 goals in 293 appearances.

This year marks the second straight season the West Coast has failed to reach the finals, with some experts predicting another three to five years in the wilderness.

Kennedy is confident the club can defy fate and bleak predictions.

“This football club has been through the football cycle for the past 36 years and has managed to come out of the bottom, play the final and grand final and win four flags.

“Simmo’s energy from Daydot ignited a lot of player development towards the end of the year, and I have no doubt they’ll be incorporating a lot of positives into the preseason.

“I have no doubt that the boys will be back in the finals in the next few years.”

West Coast Unthinkable Wooden Spoon

Source link West Coast Unthinkable Wooden Spoon

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