WEST Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff remains motivated by the prospect of a premiership late in his career and is confident the Eagles can complete a rapid rebuild while he is still playing.

Gaff will play his 250th game on Sunday when the Eagles take on Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium, reaching the milestone having missed only 20 games in 12 durable seasons since making his debut in 2011.

Sidelined through suspension for the 2018 Grand Final, the dual All Australian believes time is still on his side if the Eagles bounce back from a disappointing 2022 and develop their young players quickly. 

THE LONG GAME Young Eagle determined to bounce back from injury

"I came in at the end of 2010 and we were down the bottom of the ladder, and 12 months later we were playing in a prelim against Geelong who ended up winning the whole thing," Gaff said on Tuesday ahead of his milestone game. 

West Coast's Scott Lycett (l) and Shannon Hurn (r) console Andrew Gaff after the 2018 Grand Final win. Picture: AFL Photos

"I don't subscribe to the theory that you have to be down there for several years to slowly make your way up. Things can turn.

"I still think we've got that really good blend of senior guys who have a lot of good footy left in them and then guys you've seen the last six or seven weeks who have made their debuts.

"They're learning things when they're 18 or 19 that they might not have otherwise got exposure to until they were 21 or 22. I think the future is very bright in a number of ways."

Gaff has been the target of Victorian clubs at stages through his career, most notably in 2018 when North Melbourne was in the race to secure the star wingman's signature as a free agent.

The 2015 club champion remained with the club that drafted him with pick No.4 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft, however, and is now in a position to push towards being the club's second 300-game player alongside premiership captain Shannon Hurn. 

00:21 Mins
Published on

Gaff snap gives Eagles quick start to second term

Andrew Gaff produced his snapping finish to give his side a goal inside the opening minute of the second quarter

Published on

With two years remaining on his contract with the Eagles, Gaff said he was "absolutely" hoping to finish his career as a one-club player.

"I've loved every second at this footy club and it would mean a lot to me to play my whole career at West Coast," he said.

"Back at the end of 2018 there was quite a bit going on in a few different ways, and it was a tough decision.

"But I think it's such an amazing footy club this one, and I have always prided myself on wanting to be a one-club player and that means a lot to me.

"It's not always going to be good times. I reckon that's the great thing about AFL football and professional sport. It's so unpredictable.

Andrew Gaff leads the West Coast players off after losing to St Kilda in R19, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"The highs are very good, and the lows can be tough as well."

 Missing out on the 2018 premiership was not something Gaff spent time reflecting on, instead focusing on the emerging group of players at the Eagles who hoped to play in a flag of their own.

"There's plenty of guys keen for their first shot at premiership glory. I'm definitely one of those, and I still feel like with the group we have we're not too far away," he said.

"Guys are forging their own careers both individually and as a team, and I'm definitely keen to be a part of that."