West Coast coach Adam Simpson is confident Lewis Jetta will still deliver long-term dividends despite the prized recruit’s forgettable start to his Eagles’ career.
Jetta has been axed for Sunday’s AFL clash with St Kilda at Domain Stadium after averaging just 12 possessions a game this season.
The 27-year-old was a big-name pick-up for the Eagles during the off-season, with his arrival touted as the final piece of the puzzle in West Coast’s quest for premiership success.
But Jetta has struggled to adapt to the Eagles’ game plan and his confidence was clearly rattled during last week’s 44-point loss to Geelong.
Jetta will line up for East Perth in Saturday’s clash with Swan Districts but Simpson still predicts a bright future for the former Swan.
“I know it’s a big deal that he’s not playing this week but in the bigger picture we’re still confident,” Simpson said on Friday.
“We stated that we’ve got some patience with Lewis. This is part of trying to induct him into our club and our system.
“I would’ve thought every player at some stage goes through flat patches. When it’s at a new club, there’s a different dynamic there as well.
“We respect that, we understand it. But we need him to play better.”
Simpson said Jetta had handled his axing well and was now determined to win back his spot.
But how many weeks Jetta will spend in the WAFL remains to be seen.
West Coast have been slammed for their poor away form this season.
And although Jetta is the only player to pay on the selection front this week, Simpson said the inconsistency of other players had been noted.
Fit-again defender Sam Butler replaces Jetta.
The Saints recalled Dylan Roberton and Jack Sinclair for Darren Minchington (omitted) and Sam Fisher (soreness).