Travel blues give AFL Eagles a headache

It’s the stat that has shocked West Coast coach Adam Simpson, and it’s one he’s desperate to fix.

Since late in 2012, West Coast have recorded just one win from 14 attempts away from home against a finals-bound side.

And assuming Sydney and Hawthorn make the AFL finals this year, the stat reads one in 16.

“Wow, I didn’t know that stat,” a stunned Simpson said after hearing about the record.

“It’s hard to win interstate. The teams who come here (to Perth) have the same problems.

“We’re exploring different things, without trying to reinvent the wheel. Essentially we just want to play our brand, and play our way.”

West Coast’s shaky road record has left some critics questioning their premiership credentials.

This year, the Eagles have recorded big wins at home against Brisbane, Fremantle, Richmond, and Collingwood.

But they were no match for Hawthorn (46 points) and Sydney (39) on the road.

West Coast will get the chance to prove their doubters wrong when they take on Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

The Eagles haven’t won at the ‘Cattery’ since 2010, losing their past four matches there by an average of 64 points.

But Simpson is adamant history won’t dictate how his charges fare this time around.

And he knows his team still have plenty more to give on the road.

“What’s happened the last three or four times (we played away from home), we walked away from the game thinking we could have played better,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.

“If you can go away thinking you’ve had a good crack and you go down – well that’s footy.

“But to not show up sometimes – that’s the big thing for us. We want to have a really good crack this week.”

West Coast are set to be bolstered by the return of midfielder Elliot Yeo (tonsillitis), while defender Xavier Ellis is also a chance to play after making a successful comeback from an Achilles tendon injury via the WAFL.

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