West Coast coach Adam Simpson will consider handing Lewis Jetta an AFL recall this week despite the former Swan’s woeful display in his last outing.
Simpson has promised to wield the axe in the wake of his team’s final-quarter flop against Adelaide last week, saying the clock’s ticking in West Coast’s bid to establish themselves as a premiership threat.
The third-year coach revealed Mark LeCras would be given another chance to prove his worth despite a series of inconsistent displays.
But the likes of Jamie Cripps, Jack Redden and Liam Duggan face a nervous wait on the selection front ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba.
Jetta has struggled since arriving at West Coast as a high-profile recruit at the end of last season.
The 27-year-old has been dropped twice already this year.
And the spotlight intensified on him when he managed just eight disposals and two tackles a fortnight ago for WAFL side East Perth. Last week’s state game meant Jetta didn’t have a chance to atone for that poor display.
But Simpson is heavily considering handing the 134-game veteran an AFL recall this week as part of a wider group of changes.
“He was disappointing a couple of weeks ago, but he’s doing some really good things on the track and during the week,” Simpson said on Wednesday.
“He’s definitely one who’s in the mix.
“Our ball use, I thought, was one of the main factors on the weekend that fell down – our inability to connect – and he’s one guy who can do that.
“He’s also a player who’s played 150-odd games. I know it (good form) is in there. I know we got him for a reason.”
LeCras was scoreless from 12 disposals against the Crows, but Simpson will back him in for at least one more week.
“There’s no doubt he’s not playing at his best at the moment. But he’s got some credits,” Simpson said.
“He’s been a good player for long period of time and you’ve got to work your way through these things.”
AFL great Jonathan Brown accused the Eagles’ under-performing midfield of being brittle when brutalised by opponents.
Simpson knows his team need to cop criticism like that on the chin until they prove they are an elite side in the competition.
West Coast have a soft draw over the next eight weeks.
And it’s just as well considering star ruckman Nic Naitanui could miss all of those games after undergoing surgery to address his achilles tendon soreness.