SCOTT Lycett is a vital part of the Eagles’ future despite being rested for Saturday’s clash with Fremantle, coach Adam Simpson insists.
The former second-round pick comes out of contract at season’s end.
"He's a very important player to us," Simpson said.
"We've got big plans for him and we want him as part of our club and he understands and hopefully I've explained it well enough.
"No one wants to sit aside. But he has played every week and his body needs to be managed just as much as the others.
"He's 21, so hopefully it's just a part of his apprenticeship."
The Eagles are experiencing a logjam in their ruck stocks with Simpson revealing he is managing the playing opportunities of Nic Naitanui, Dean Cox, Scott Lycett and Callum Sinclair.
Cox has been named to take on the Dockers after being rested the past two weeks.
Lycett's performances over those two matches, where he averaged 14 touches, 17.5 hit-outs, and kicked three goals, raised questions over whether there was more value in West Coast playing the 21-year-old instead of the veteran.
But Simpson said while Lycett is a valued commodity at West Coast it was his turn to take a break as they tried to manage their ruck stocks.
"It's a management issue," he said
"Cox has had two weeks break. His body is ready go. Scott's played every week, not every game in the AFL, so had Cox two weeks ago and so has Nic.
"So we need to manage the three of them. We want to give opportunity to Cal Sinclair as well at some stage.
"So we feel the best for this week is that it's Scott's turn. And it's going to be Nic's turn soon and it's going to be Coxy's turn again at some stage.
"As long their form warrants selection we'll manage them that way for the rest of the year."
Simpson last played three ruckmen in the Western Derby in round seven where Lycett was subbed out of the game.
Simpson said playing three ruckmen was not an option as Jeremy McGovern's form meant the Eagles were a relatively tall team.
Jamie Cripps has been left out on form after kicking just one goal in his past three matches. The small forward has kicked 17 in his previous 11 this season.
Patrick McGinnity comes into the line-up after performing well in the WAFL.