Eagles back Josh Kennedy to hit form soon

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Josh Kennedy of the Eagles sets for a shot on goal during the 2019 AFL round 14 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on June 20, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Josh Kennedy of the Eagles sets for a shot on goal during the 2019 AFL round 14 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on June 20, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

WEST Coast skipper Shannon Hurn predicts it’s just a matter of time before Josh Kennedy breaks out of his goal-scoring funk.

For the first time since 2013, Kennedy has gone two consecutive AFL games without kicking a goal.

Kennedy managed just 0.1 from seven disposals in the round 15 win over Hawthorn.

He missed the round 16 derby win through illness and was then held scoreless from just five disposals in the one-point loss to Collingwood last week.

The drought has been a rare aberration from Kennedy, who had booted at least a goal in 68 consecutive matches before that.

Kennedy will be aiming to bounce back with a bang in Sunday’s clash with Melbourne in Alice Springs.

Josh Kennedy is tipped to return to form. Picture: Ryan Pierse/AFL Media/Getty Images

Hurn has no doubt the two-time Coleman medallist will turn things around soon.

He said it was up to West Coast to give him some cleaner supply.

“Forwards rely on the ball movement,” Hurn said.

“And probably the last couple of games he played, against Hawthorn and Collingwood, they were big contested games, big packs.

“JK can still take those marks, but he probably more relies on a more free-flowing game.

“At least he provides a contest up forward.

“And he still gets one of the best defenders so that allows Jack Darling to get into the game.”

West Coast coach Adam Simpson. Picture: Getty

West Coast coach Adam Simpson couldn’t help but feel miffed that some people think Kennedy should retire at the end of this year.

“Quick to jump off,” Simpson said.

“Yeah, he’s getting to the twilight of his career but I think it’s a bit early to make judgements on that.

“He’s a pro. He’ll keep working and playing as best as he can.

“He’s not just about kicking goals. That’s a bit old school just to rate his game on what he does with the score.

“He’s not going to be No.1 forever but I think he’s still got some good footy left in him.

“He’s one of the best leaders in the competition.”

West Coast have their fingers crossed that Nic Naitanui will be able to make it back in time for the finals.

In the meantime, Tom Hickey will shoulder the bulk of the ruck load, starting with a daunting showdown against Melbourne’s All-Australian Max Gawn on Sunday.

 

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