Eagles won’t use gimmicks for AFL derby

West Coast coach Adam Simpson insists he won’t need any gimmicks to motivate his team for Saturday night’s western derby against Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

West Coast’s AFL premiership credentials were dealt a psychological blow last week when they copped a 46-point hammering from Hawthorn in the grand final re-match at the MCG.

But the Dockers enter the derby under even more pressure after opening their season with losses to the Bulldogs and Suns.

Simpson is now in his third season as coach of West Coast, and will enter his fifth derby confident of snaring victory.

“I probably overplayed it in the first season,” said Simpson, who lost his first three derbies before finally tasting success against Fremantle in round 20 last year.

“First year as a coach, you probably try to motivate the players every week in a different way.

“I’ve just matured a little bit in that sense – that there’s no need for gimmicks or to over-motivate.”

Lyon has become a master of derby preparations.

In fact, to him it’s not even a derby – it’s merely round three.

“I think that’s just typical of my manner – just boring,” Lyon said with a smile.

Fremantle’s new attacking game-plan has come under heavy criticism following their dismal start to the season.

The Dockers conceded an average of just 72 points per game last season.

But over the opening two rounds, they’ve conceded scores of 103 and 126 – a worrying trend that has left them second last on the ladder with a percentage of 60.3.

Lyon considered overhauling his team’s new tactics at centre-square stoppages after conceding 6.1 against the Suns last week.

But the 10th year coach says he won’t stray away from the new set-up just yet.

“Fundamentally we’ll stick with what we’re doing,” Lyon said.

“Maybe there has been overplays and misunderstanding of what we need to do.

“We’ve enjoyed some of the outcomes. Obviously some other things went south, but they’re fixable.”

Both teams have made just one change this week.

West Coast dropped Jamie Bennell to make way for fit-again midfielder Chris Masten, while Dockers utility Matt de Boer replaces Clancee Pearce (hamstring).

Masten’s return sets up an intriguing battle with Nick Suban after the Eagle copped a two-match ban in the last derby for biting his opponent.

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