A general view of Optus Stadium during the match between Fremantle and Adelaide in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson has criticised the Optus Stadium surface, but says he doesn't hold any grave concerns about player welfare at the venue.

The slippery nature of the turf was thrust into the spotlight following last week's clash between Fremantle and Gold Coast.

Players from both sides struggled to keep their feet throughout the match despite the fine conditions, raising concerns about the quality of the playing surface.


In response, Optus Stadium chief executive Mike McKenna said a new turf-management strategy would be considered for next season.

West Coast faces Hawthorn at the venue on Sunday, and all eyes will be on how the turf is holding up.

Simpson was among many to raise concerns over the hardness of the playing surface at Optus Stadium when the venue opened in 2018, but now it's become too slippery.

"It's not fantastic. It could be better, they've admitted that," Simpson told reporters on Friday.

"But it's OK. It's not terrible. 

"It gets a bit slippery on the bench-side wing, for reasons I don't know. But both teams have got to deal with it.

"We'll back in that they'll get it right sooner or later. I'm not overly concerned by the surface."


Former Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt this week labelled the Optus Stadium turf as "sub par", while Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir also expressed some concerns.

"It's less than ideal," he said.

"It's a slippery surface ... inconsistent where the new grass is laid versus the old grass."

West Coast has stopped holding their main training sessions at Optus Stadium.

Simpson said that decision was partly due to the slippery surface, but mainly because his team are better suited to using the two ovals at their home base of Mineral Resources Park.

West Coast is boosted by the return of Harley Reid (suspension) and Tim Kelly (hip) against the Hawks.

But Elliot Yeo remains in doubt following the death of his father Craig on Monday night.

Simpson says he will give Yeo right up until the first bounce to decide whether he wants to play.

"He's got the flexibility Elliot this week. We've really tried to respect the situation he's going through, which is tragic," Simpson said.

"He popped into the club (on Thursday) for the morning. He's here today, and we'll see how he goes through the captain's run.

"We'll give him up to the last minute before the game.

"If he feels like he's not up for it, then he won't (play)."

Elliot Yeo and Harley Reid during the round 12 match between West Coast and St Kilda at Optus Stadium, June 1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The Eagles suffered a blow at training this week when Jack Petruccelle tweaked his hamstring.

Petruccelle and forward Liam Ryan added some pace and X-factor into the midfield during last week's 30-point loss to Essendon.