JOSH Kennedy's ability to stand up in the big moments is the trait West Coast coach Adam Simpson will miss most as the champion forward prepares to play his final game against Adelaide on Sunday. 

Kennedy announced his retirement on Tuesday and will depart the game as the Eagles' all-time leading goalkicker, with his 715 goals currently ranking him at No.24 in VFL/AFL history. 

There was one goal that stuck in Simpson's mind, however, with the coach recalling the 34-year-old's opening effort in the 2015 preliminary final against North Melbourne at Subiaco Oval. 

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Crunched by Kangaroos defender Scott Thompson while running with the flight, Kennedy settled the Eagles after a goalless opening quarter and set them on their path to a Grand Final appearance. 

"[That's] the biggest moment for me, and there's been a lot of them," Simpson said. 

08:19 Mins
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Finals Highlights: West Coast v North Melbourne, PF 2015

The Eagles take on the Kangaroos in the preliminary final at Subiaco Oval

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"We were [22-4] down against North and the ball transitioned up the ground. 

"He took a hanger at the top of the 50, played on and slotted it, and everyone calmed down a little bit and we got back into the game. 

"We're going to miss that more than anything, really, the ability to stand up in big games."

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Simpson also paid tribute to Kennedy's ability to play through injury, having battled an elbow issue through that 2015 season. He has also pushed through his final season with a knee complaint after several surgeries through his career. 

"That body of his has put up with so much, probably more than anybody I've seen with the injuries he's played with … he's put his body on the line for the club," Simpson said.  

Josh Kennedy celebrates a goal during the R19 clash between West Coast and St Kilda at Optus Stadium on July 24, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"In the front half [of his career] he was probably the fittest full forward in the competition. He'd blow the GPS up … and he did some real damage with his workrate. 

"The body part was in the last 100 games, but the first 180 were just absolute workhorse and then his craft and his ability to execute in the big moments."

Simpson said the Eagles would want to be at their best for Kennedy on what will be a special day for the club. 

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The emotion of the key forward's exit has been managed, however, given many of his teammates were aware the end was coming this season, with a win against Adelaide now the focus. 

"As much as it's JK's last game and he's one of the greatest players to play for our footy club, we've still got purpose in how we want to finish off the year and what we want to execute," Simpson said. 

"If all you concentrate on is the milestone and the achievement, you forget what is important about the game. 

"After five minutes the game settles and it becomes your style versus theirs, your talent versus theirs, and the way you work. That will all take place."

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Kennedy hits it to perfection in true Kennedy style

Josh Kennedy nails a beautiful set shot on a tight angle to give the Eagles a much-needed major

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Simpson said the Eagles were holding off putting a line through premiership star Elliot Yeo's season just yet after another calf injury.

The club was working through its plan for Nic Naitanui in the final three weeks, with the star ruckman "not 100 per cent" but not a risk of injury if he remains in the team. 

Nic Naitanui and Jarrod Witts battle in the ruck during the R20 clash between West Coast and Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on July 31, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

After chairman Russell Gibbs backed in-form defender Shannon Hurn to play on next season, Simpson said he was yet to speak with the premiership captain about continuing in 2023. 

"It's all pointing in the right direction. I just haven't sat down with him and asked the question. We said let's just wait until the end of the year," Simpson said. 

"It's looking pretty good at the moment. He doesn't look like he's slowing down. He looks probably better than he did a couple of years ago."

Simpson is also confident Willie Rioli will stay with the club, which has reportedly put a multi-year contract offer to the small forward who will play his 50th game this week against Adelaide.