WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson insists there was "nothing too sinister" in premiership forward Liam Ryan's early exit from a pre-season training camp.
Reports surfaced last week that Ryan walked out on the tough biennial camp at the Stirling Ranges in southern Western Australia.
Speaking as the Eagles' senior players reported back to pre-season training on Monday, Simpson confirmed Ryan struggled with the camp and was allowed to return to Perth.
WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor
Ryan, who hit the headlines when he was involved in a family dispute only weeks after the Grand Final, was back training the next day and the coach had no issue with his conditioning.
"It was a physical camp. He's pretty fit, he ran well today, but he didn't handle it (the camp) too well to the back end so we pulled him out and we took him home," Simpson said.
"Nothing too sinister. From what I heard reported as well was a bit different than what actually happened.
"It's not 1985. We're not here to break these guys. It's to test them physically and he didn’t get through it, but that's OK.
"I'm not too stressed about that."
WHO SMASHED IT? Your club's draft verdict
With flag celebrations dying down, the Eagles are confronted by dual challenges of moving on from their epic Grand Final triumph and handling a shortened summer schedule.
West Coast's players will only train together until December 14 before heading off for a three-week Christmas break.
The Eagles will stage a training camp in Dunsborough next week and then rely on the players to come back in shape in January.
"The camp is just somewhere different to train, so it won't be a gruelling camp or anything like that," Simpson said.
"The process will be the same as last year, it's just they've got to do a lot of work on their own.
"What will become really important for every club is what happens in the three-week period (before) you come back in January, you can't afford to have anyone who's not up to it.
"I'm assuming the mature lists will be able to handle it better than the younger lists because it's so much responsibility on the kids now away from the club.
"Dealing with the satisfaction of a premiership, it's real, so how do we deal with that, how do we learn from other clubs?
"Lots of past players around the club have gone through success and how they've dealt with it, so we've done a bit of work on that, but our players are pretty mature.
"A lot of guys are married with children and a bit more mature with how they handle things, so I'm not going to jump at shadows and we'll see how we go.
"There's always the satisfaction of the success we had this year, but I don't want to wait until round two or three before we start to realise there's another season on."
CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?
Simpson was pleased with time trial results on Monday morning, with ex-Collingwood utility Josh Smith leading star wingman Andrew Gaff home.
But several key Eagles are set to be in rehab until the New Year, including spearhead Josh Kennedy (shoulder) and gun midfielder Elliot Yeo, who has had toe surgery.
Chris Masten and Tom Barrass are also on modified programs, while star ruckman Nic Naitanui is ahead of schedule in his comeback from a second knee reconstruction.
"He's not too far away from (getting) on the track and running around," Simpson said.
"I think it's been hard to determine a schedule, so I don't want to jump the gun … (but) he is definitely in front of the last knee that he did."