WILLIE Rioli's rare skill was on display in his return to West Coast training on Monday, with the premiership star welcomed back "with open arms" by his teammates.
Rioli joined teammates for a light session at Mineral Resources Park, jogging laps and completing some kicking drills before finishing with some goalkicking, which his is where his tricks were on show.
The 26-year-old, who appeared in reasonable condition, slotted set shots from the pocket and snapped goal after goal in the one-hour session before leaving the track with the last of his teammates.
He spun in the air to mark the ball behind his back during the relaxed session and was smiling throughout in his first official training run since his two-year ban for tampering with anti-doping tests started in September, 2019.
Captain Luke Shuey said the Eagles had welcomed Rioli back and put the forward's recent transgressions behind him, saying there was no apprehension from the players about his return.
"The boys are happy to have him back. He’s a little 'Energizer bunny' for us. For a lot of us he’s a premiership teammate. We’re excited to have him back," Shuey said.
"He's remorseful. He regrets what's happened, but that's OK, and we've welcomed him back with open arms.
"What's important is what he does from here on in.
"We've been able to move on, have open discussions but now park it and get on with business."
Rioli was expected to undergo medical assessments on Monday before joining his teammates to launch what will be a nine-week block of training before he is available for selection from August 20.
Shuey suggested the skilful forward was not the type of player who would need much of a tune up at WAFL level before pushing for senior selection if his training block goes well.
"You remember what he was like as a player - no one can do the stuff he does. If we can get him back, it’s a huge bonus for us," the skipper said.
"Not a lot of teams have a player like Willie, and the teams that do, they tend to be the teams up the top of the ladder, because they’re special players and they can win games for you off their own boot.
"He’s got natural talent, so I don’t think he needs a massive block of training or three or four practice matches to get going."
Shuey said Rioli had been training hard during his suspension and most recent period back in Perth.
He said the decision for Rioli to return to the club after being caught with cannabis at Darwin Airport earlier this year had been taken out of the players' hands.
"The ultimate decision wasn’t left with the players at all, which is what we wanted," he said.
"We’re here to support the club, and whatever the decision the club made we were going to support.
"I think we’re pretty happy with giving Willie a chance to come back and have another crack at doing what he loves."