SHARROD Wellingham has done everything right this pre-season and now the only thing left for him is to deliver, according to the West Coast coach and captain.
Much was expected of Wellingham when he arrived at West Coast from Collingwood at the end of 2012, as 24-year-old premiership players with a clean bill of health are rare commodities.
To snare Wellingham, West Coast paid pick No.18 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, which Collingwood used to draft Brodie Grundy.
But Wellingham's first two seasons at the Eagles have been underwhelming.
Two serious ankle injuries, one self-inflicted on a trampoline, ruined his first season at West Coast.
His second, the first under new coach Adam Simpson, was plagued by poor form that saw him spend time in the WAFL.
Simpson said getting the best out of Wellingham has been his ambition since he became Eagles coach.
Now, after the midfielder had completed a full pre-season, Simpson said Wellingham was edging closer to fulfilling that ambition.
"Sharrod's pre-season has been exceptional," Simpson told AFL.com.au.
"We've been really pleased with his attitude and approach to everything he's done at the ground, at training, (and) away from the club.
"He's in a good space. He's got buy-in from his teammates."
Eagles captain Shannon Hurn echoed his coach's sentiments.
"He's matured more as a player and he understands what he has to do off the field but also on the field to become a better player," Hurn said.
"So I think he's been able to do that. And now it's just about putting the results on the footy field."
Wellingham is in the final season of a three-year deal and his outside run is much-needed.
The Eagles have a Brownlow medallist dominating contested and clearance situations but they need to compliment Matt Priddis' tireless work with outside polish and goals from their other midfielders.
Hurn said Wellingham was one of the men who can do that.
"He is important," Hurn said.
"The way he played at Collingwood was excellent. He plays very well in the midfield and he can go forward and kick goals.
"That's what everyone wants these days and I think that's his strength, so if he can bring that to us he'll be a handy player."
But Simpson also requires him to work harder defensively. The coach said he had seen significant improvement from Wellingham in that area during the pre-season.
"Now it's about producing the goods game day," Simpson said.
"He's given himself every opportunity."