West Coast coach Adam Simpson says the club’s annual request for more time between games continues to amount to nothing.
But he won’t let his players use it as an excuse heading into a season-defining clash with Greater Western Sydney.
The Eagles will play the Giants at Spotless Stadium in Sydney on Saturday just six days after beating Fremantle in Perth.
West Coast will then have six days to prepare for next week’s crunch clash with AFL heavyweights Hawthorn at Domain Stadium.
All up, West Coast have eight six-day breaks this year.
Three of those are away games.
Simpson, who notched 306 games for North Melbourne during a glittering playing career, says his role as West Coast coach has given him more appreciation for the heavy travel burden interstate clubs carry.
And he hopes the AFL will come to the party by giving the Eagles less six-day breaks in the future.
“This is my third year, and the 28 years (chief executive Trevor Nisbett) has been here, he’s put it in (a request for less six-day breaks) every year,” Simpson said on Thursday.
“I reckon we’ve had more six-day breaks than any team in the last 10 years.
“It’s a tough gig doing that with the travel.
“That’s not a complaint. That’s just a reality. It falls on deaf ears.
“We’re not complaining. We train at night during the weeks in a six-day break and the boys get up for it. We definitely won’t use that as an excuse.”
West Coast (13-6) sit in sixth spot on the ladder.
But with games against the Giants, Hawthorn, and Adelaide (away) to round out their season, the Eagles are in danger of slipping out of the top six.
That scenario would see West Coast miss out on a crucial home final.
The fourth-placed Giants (14-5) are one of the form teams of the competition and will be aiming to boost their top-two hopes with a win over West Coast.
Simpson said the ruck battle between Nic Naitanui and GWS big man Shane Mumford would be crucial in deciding Saturday’s result.
“I think both ruckmen aren’t intimidated about playing against each other, put it that way,” Simpson said.
“There’ll be a lot of weight around that contest for sure.
“It’s becoming a real fierce battle every week in the ruck. Anyone who suggests that ruckmen aren’t important these days just have a look at the top teams and how important they are.”
The Giants’ elite running game has blown rival teams off the park, but Simpson said the GWS’ supremacy at contested ball was their main strength.