Eagles told to embrace nerves in AFL GF

Eagles told to embrace nerves in AFL GF

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has urged his players to embrace their nerves as they gear up for Saturday’s grand final against Hawthorn at the MCG.

The Eagles haven’t played in a grand final since 2006, while seven players who will take to the field this week hadn’t even featured in a final before this year.

In contrast, Hawthorn are aiming to snare their third straight premiership.

Eagles players looked calm and relaxed when they trained in front of around 8,000 fans at Domain Stadium on Monday.

Simpson knows the nerves will build up as the week wears on, and he’s told his players not to worry too much about it.

“I’m not sure you can stop it,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.

“You can pretend to just treat it like any other week or game. But we all know reality.

“We’ve just got to embrace what the week is and try to be as relaxed as we can, knowing it’s a massive game.

“As I said to the boys last week, there’s no point playing if you don’t want to play in these games.”

The Eagles hit the training track again on Tuesday for a short skills session in front of about 1,500 fans.

Players looked relaxed as they took part in some kicking games before signing autographs.

The squad assembled for the Brownlow medal count on Monday night, with star midfielder Matt Priddis falling three votes short of eventual winner Nat Fyfe.

Although he missed out on back-to-back Brownlows, Priddis has something far more pressing he wants to achieve.

“From the age of seven, all I’ve ever wanted to do is play in a grand final and win one,” Priddis said.

“So I’ve got the opportunity this Saturday and can’t wait.”

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