West Coast AFL coach Adam Simpson insists it wasn’t a difficult decision to drop Scott Lycett last week, and says he’ll speak to the out-of-favour ruckman in the next few days to map out a plan going forward.
Lycett was dropped from last week’s win over Brisbane because of disciplinary reasons, with a late-night drinking session costing the 23-year-old dearly.
The misdemeanour came at a bad time for the Eagles, who were already without star ruckman Nic Naitanui (achilles tendon surgery).
Journeyman Jonathan Giles and Fraser McInnes were well beaten in the ruck by Brisbane’s Stef Martin last week, but Simpson is yet to confirm whether Lycett will return for the June 30 clash with Essendon in Perth.
Naitanui isn’t due back until later this season, but Simpson doesn’t have any regrets about his decision to drop Lycett.
“It wasn’t too difficult in the end,” Simpson told Perth radio station NOVA 93.7.
“It was disappointing. I haven’t had a good chance to catch up with him yet, because we travelled the next day, and then they’ve been on a break.
“I’ll catch up with him in the next few days.”
Lycett tallied 26 disposals and 27 hit-outs last Saturday in the WAFL for East Perth.
But for Simpson, the key to Lycett winning back the team’s trust is all about discipline.
“I knew he would play well in the WAFL,” Simpson said.
“But it wasn’t really about performance. It was more about meeting some standards that we’ve been setting for a long time. I’m sure he regrets last weekend.”
The seventh-placed Eagles (8-5) have struggled for consistency this season, with last year’s grand finalists yet to beat a top-eight side.
West Coast sit two wins adrift of fourth spot.
But they have an excellent chance to push up the table over the next six games, with North Melbourne their only top-eight opponent during that stretch.
Simpson concedes his team need to get better against the competition’s best sides, and says his side will have no choice but to cop criticism until they can prove themselves in big games.