Eagles sweat on star AFL duo for Cats game

Star West Coast duo Jeremy McGovern and Jack Darling are in doubt for Saturday’s AFL clash with Geelong at Simonds Stadium, while prized recruit Lewis Jetta is expected to escape the selection axe despite indifferent form.

McGovern is yet to train this week after injuring his ankle in last week’s win over Collingwood.

Darling also faces a fitness test after hyper-extending his back in the same game.

“He’s a bit sore,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said of Darling.

“It was a pretty big jar in his back. We’ve got a six-day break. It’s quite hard to get everyone up after a six-day break. We’ll see how they pull up today.”

Jetta’s spot is coming under increasing pressure following his lean start to the year.

The former Swan has averaged just 11 possessions per game, while his goal tally of three is also below expectations.

Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy said Jetta should be dropped to the WAFL for four weeks to regain some form.

But Simpson is leaning towards giving the 27-year-old a few more chances to show his worth.

“We know we need to be patient with Jetts,” Simpson said.

“I think we’ve had some good performances from Lewis this year.

“It’s just adapting to a new club, a new system, and having a bit of patience is important.

“We got him here for a reason, so we need to keep working with him, just like we did with Jack Redden and Elliot Yeo and Xavier Ellis.

“It takes a bit of time to adapt to a new club.”

The Eagles are set to be boosted by the return of Yeo (tonsillitis) for the Cats game, while Xavier Ellis is also available after overcoming an achilles tendon injury.

West Coast’s poor recent record on the road has become a big talking point this season.

And their wobbly goalkicking is also a concern.

Spearhead Josh Kennedy booted 3.6 against the Magpies last week, with Mark LeCras also struggling in front of goal this season.

But Simpson is confident his players are practising enough to improve their accuracy.

“We do goalkicking every session – so two or three times a week for 10-plus minutes,” Simpson said.

“It’s probably the biggest thing we do as a club.

“It’s not about the volume. It’s about confidence, technique – all those things that make it count when you’re out on the track.

“We’ve got some players who are missing some goals at the moment.

“But they’re our experienced goalkickers; do-it-for-a-job type of guys. So I’m pretty sure they’ll work through it.”

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