Main content

Simpson says star Eagles '50-50' for Hawks clash

Simpson: Leaders are 'driving the car' Adam Simpson believes his senior players are steering the club more than himself at times having been together for so long

STAR West Coast midfielders Elliot Yeo and Luke Shuey could only be 50-50 chances to face Hawthorn this Sunday, while Jeremy McGovern is no certainty as he awaits the birth of his first son.

Yeo wore a compression bandage on his right knee at Eagles training on Monday, 24 hours after an outstanding performance in his side’s demolition of Richmond.

The reigning club champion limped off late in the opening term but returned early in the second quarter and amassed 29 disposals and nine clearances in the 47-point victory.

EAGLES FLYING HIGH Full match coverage and stats

Shuey took part in skills work at Subiaco Oval and is pushing to return for the AFL leaders after missing the past two matches with a hamstring strain.

If he gets through training this week the damaging onballer will be in contention to take on the Hawks.

"We didn't do too much today at training, it was the day after a game, so we won't know on Elliot until tomorrow," coach Adam Simpson told Channel Seven.

"I can't give you too much, but I think Luke might be 50-50 and the same with Elliot."

WATCH: Yeo's early worry
 

McGovern is anxiously awaiting his child's birth and the star intercept defender could dash back to Perth if his partner goes into labour over the weekend.

Jack Darling faced a similar situation last year when he was caught on the Gold Coast preparing to face the Suns when his son Max arrived prematurely.

The Eagles fly to Melbourne on Friday afternoon and are crossing their fingers McGovern doesn't miss the match, or the birth.

"Family first, as long as she has it early in the week," Simpson joked.

"Unfortunately, Jack missed the birth of his child last year. If it (the birth) happens, it happens, but hopefully it gets a bit more organised."

The Eagles head east searching for a ninth straight victory but their first over fierce rivals Hawthorn in Melbourne since 2006.

West Coast has been smashed by the Hawks on the wide dimensions of the MCG in the past three encounters, losing by 50, 46 and 46 points, but Sunday's meeting is a rare Hawthorn home game at Etihad Stadium.

The Eagles have a stronger recent track record at Etihad, winning three of their past six – with two single-figure losses - compared to two victories from seven at the home of football.

While hype surrounding Simpson's rebooted side is building after they belted the Tigers, the coach isn't losing sight of the club's ambition to lock up a finals berth before aiming for loftier goals. 

"Our aim at the start of the season, and it is every year, is just to qualify for finals and you need 12 or 13 wins for that, so we're on that mission at the moment," Simpson said.

"Once we qualify, and if we qualify, then we can get on with top-four and all that talk.

"Last year we made the finals with a minute-and-a-half to go in the season, so it would be great if we can do that a bit earlier this year."