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Fans' season previews: West Coast

On your marks ... will Nic Nat be fit enough to fulfill Eagles fans' hopes? - AFL,West Coast Eagles,Season previews,Your say
On your marks ... will Nic Nat be fit enough to fulfill Eagles fans' hopes?

EVEN Eagles fans aren't sure what to expect from their team this season.

Giving their take on their side in AFL.com.au's pre-season survey, fans tip West Coast to finish anywhere from fourth to 13th.

That represents a wider range of predictions than any other team.

The success of star ruckman Nic Naitanui's return from a knee reconstruction represents one of the biggest unknowns.

Naitanui is looking increasingly unlikely to be match-ready for the Eagles' opener against Sydney, while Nathan Vardy's weekend injury deepens the ruck concerns.

Another unknown is how West Coast's new-look midfield will function in the absence of retired Brownlow Medallists Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell.

Yet-to-debut youngster Daniel Venables is highly rated by fans, while the likes of Dom Sheed and Liam Duggan are also expected to step up. 

Here are the survey results, plus a selection of West Coast fans' responses.

 
 

What's the Eagles' weakest spot on the park?

The midfield. The loss of two Brownlow medallists, plus it being the weak spot in 2017 is concerning. On the flip side, Nic Nat is back.
- Sean Drew, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA

The midfield has lacked pace and dynamism. Hopeful this will improve with the addition of Ah Chee and additional responsibility given to Sheed, Duggan and Redden.
- Elli Waller, West Melbourne Vic

The forwards rely too heavily on Josh Kennedy, and Jack Darling is hot and cold. But with the inclusions of Ryan and Rioli, this could change.
- Joseph Gerard Neale, Busselton WA

It'll be a great year if ...

... Naitanui plays at least 15 games and has an impact. Rioli, Ryan and Venables live up to their massive potential. The Eagles play finals. Darling, Jetta and Redden step up. Optus stadium becomes a fortress like Subi was.
- Steven Phillip Lentz, Mundaring WA

... the young mids can take the game on and the classy ruck duo of Naitanui and Lycett can dominate the hit outs. The West Coast fans and AFL public in general will be treated with the Liam Ryan / Willie Rioli show. These guys will bring excitement back into the game.
- Chris Paddick, Eaton WA

... Daniel Venables proves an A-grade midfielder and our forward line can play with the defensive intensity that got us through to the 2015 Grand Final.
- Chris Whitehill, Palmyra WA

 

What's your dream headline in 2018?

'Naitanui carries eagles to flag'
- Craig Mainwaring, Kalgoorlie WA

'Shuey storms home to take Brownlow Medal'
- Toby Johnson, Perth WA

'McGovern going nowhere: signs long-term deal with Eagles'
- Darren Caudell, Berwick Vic

What's the headline you secretly dread?

'McGovern to test free agency'
- Andrew Thornhill, Perth WA

'Worst year for the Eagles since …'
- Jason Catchpole, Wagin WA

'Eagles freefall to wooden spoon'
- Denholm Burford, Bibra Lake WA

Read more fans' season previews

Adelaide: Bryce is nice, but backline the worry

Brisbane: 50 goals for Eric and no spoon, please

Carlton: In Cripps we trust

Collingwood: From 13th to a premiership?

• Essendon: Are the bolstered Bombers the complete Package?

Fremantle: Forward line, forward line, forward line

Geelong: Grand designs for Gaz's return

Gold Coast: Key Sun is also fans' biggest dread

GWS: Time for one Giant leap

Hawthorn: The beast is back

Melbourne: Just make the finals. And beat North

North Melbourne: Hope for improvement, fear the worst

Port Adelaide: One sure way to avoid elimination final heartbreak

Richmond: The No.1 threat to a Tiger repeat

St Kilda: If there's no KO for Paddy, we'll be OK

• Sydney: Slow start could be a recurring nightmare