WEST Coast may be set to field one of its most inexperienced midfields in club history against Collingwood on Saturday, but coach Adam Simpson says his side is "going over to win".

The 0-3 Eagles have been hit hard by injuries and players entering the AFL's health and safety protocols this season, having already been forced to use 37 players across three rounds.

West Coast has welcomed back Tom Barrass, Liam Duggan and Willie Rioli from protocols this week, but have lost All-Australian Andrew Gaff to an ankle injury while captain Luke Shuey wasn’t cleared in time after his week in protocols.


Gaff and Shuey's absences add to the midfield woes, with first-choice onballers Tim Kelly (hamstring), Elliot Yeo (calf) and Dom Sheed (ankle) already sidelined, meaning it’s the one area of the park there’s been no relief.

Jack Redden (244 games) is the Eagles' most experienced onballer this round, named alongside Luke Edwards and Connor West, with Patrick Naish and Zac Langdon on the wings. Xavier O'Neill will be part of the midfield rotations working with ruckman Nic Naitanui and back-up Hugh Dixon.

A pumped-up Zac Langdon celebrates a goal in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Edwards, West, Naish, Langdon and O'Neill have played a combined 90 AFL games, with Langdon (who'll play his 50th on Saturday) the only one with more than 15 senior appearances.

West Coast's shortage of midfielders was reiterated by the club naming top-up on-ball pair Luke Meadows and Logan Young out of the WAFL among their emergencies. Despite that, Simpson was adamant the Eagles can beat the 2-1 Magpies at Marvel Stadium

"We're going over to win. We haven’t taken our eye off the ball on that," Simpson said.

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"We haven't given up at all. We see it as an opportunity to grow. Every week I'd like to think we're having a go. We're going over there to win."

Simpson added: "We've still got a few mids missing, but we've got an opportunity to grow some of the younger players and see where they're at.

"As much as it's not ideal, they'll come back. At the moment we're not quite settled. That's reality and we've got to be up for the fight."

The young Eagles look dejected after losing in round three, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Eagles coach likened round four opponent Collingwood's style under new coach Craig McRae to the Richmond side that won three premierships in four years from 2017 to 2020.

"It looks similar to a Richmond brand over the last few years, where it's high octane, chaotic, pressure, front-half type of football, that embraces the contest," he said.

"They've been really exciting to watch. It's clicked pretty quickly for them. It's going to be a real challenge for us."

Simpson revealed Gaff, who missed round two with a foot injury, would likely miss one to two weeks with an ankle problem he battled in pre-season and was re-aggravated after being trodden on during last weekend's Derby loss.

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Sam Petrevski-Seton also picked up a minor calf strain against Fremantle but is expected to be available in round five at home to Sydney on Good Friday, along with Shuey who has had a raft of soft-tissue injuries in recent times.

"He got out (of protocols) this morning," Simpson said about Shuey. "Speaking to him yesterday… he's not right to travel and play the day after coming out of the restrictions and we've got a six-day break next week as well, the risk was too high.

He added: "Absolutely, he'll be fine (for round five)."

Simpson indicated West Coast could get back up to six players for the Sydney game, led by Shuey and Kelly.