AFL: West Coast Eagles fresh for “unusual” Thursday clash against Essendon


Josh Kennedy marks in West Coast’s last clash against Essendon during the pre-season challenge. Picture: Getty Images
Josh Kennedy marks in West Coast’s last clash against Essendon during the pre-season challenge. Picture: Getty Images

DURING the footy season, as a player, you get into a weekly routine but this week it has been good to break out of that cycle.

In a normal round, you settle into the rhythm of training a few times a week, with the day and time changing according to the length of the break between games.

With a six-day break, we tend to have a light week on the track while anything longer than that would see the sports science guys increase our work loads.

Having the mid-season bye last weekend changed all of that – and so does playing Essendon on Thursday night.

It takes you out of the normal practices and helps to keep you fresh.

Straight after our round 13 win against Brisbane at the Gabba, we headed home, arrived back in Perth close to midnight and had a few days off.

It meant we could catch up with family and friends and freshen up, which was fantastic.

When we returned in the middle of the week, we reviewed everything that had happened in the first half of the season, analysed what worked and what didn’t, discussed the things we could improve and then started preparing for the Bombers.

Playing on a Thursday night will be unusual, but we are looking forward to playing in this stand-alone game.

After it, we get another decent break before playing North Melbourne on Sunday, July 10.

That will also be welcomed by the playing group because at this stage of the year most guys are sore and it gives us a chance to reduce the load on those sore spots.

While we haven’t played as well as we would have liked to this stage of the year, we always knew it was going to be a challenge backing up from last year’s achievements.

We reckon we have another gear we can find and the second half of the year starts for us against Essendon.

We’re really looking forward to the last eight or nine weeks of qualifying rounds with the aim of finishing as high up the ladder as possible.

It would be great to see a big crowd at Subiaco Oval on a night when the club will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2006 premiership.

I know it will mean a lot to blokes like Dean Cox and Adam Selwood, who are part of the coaching staff, as well as Sam Butler, the last remaining premiership member still playing.

It will also be good to see some of the old boys back around the place.