Partying off agenda for AFL’s sore Eagles

West Coast AFL coach Adam Simpson insists his players won’t be out partying this weekend as they rest their bruised and battered bodies ahead of next week’s preliminary final.

The Eagles earned a well-deserved week off after beating Hawthorn by 32 points in Friday’s qualifying final in Perth.

When Simpson was playing at North Melbourne during their heyday in the late 1990s, time off equated to a few fun nights out on the town.

But that was a generation ago, and Simpson said his charges would not be following in his footsteps.

“We were part of a pretty special group in the 90s,” Simpson said on Wednesday.

“We did enjoy our time away from playing when we got an opportunity after a Friday night game or a weekend off.

“But the times have changed.

“Our leaders will control what our players do (this week). I don’t think you’ll see us out at nightclubs or anything like that.

“We’ve got some guys who are pretty sore. They’ll appreciate the weekend off.”

Simpson is confident star midfielders Matt Priddis and Chris Masten will be fit for the preliminary final against Sydney or North Melbourne in Perth.

Priddis (thigh) and Masten (hamstring) missed the win over Hawthorn, but the pair were back running on Wednesday and looking good for a return next week.

And defender Jeremy McGovern will also play despite battling an ongoing shoulder issue.

McGovern first injured the AC joint in his left shoulder against Adelaide in round 22, and he was clearly hampered last week against the Hawks.

“He’s ok. He’ll be carrying that for the rest of the season,” Simpson said.

“We’ll manage him as best as we can.

“A lot of people play with ACs, so it’s no different. It’s just trying to manage the pain throughout the game.”

With both Priddis and Masten set to return, Simpson will face two tough calls on the selection front.

Patrick McGinnity is almost certain to be one of the players to make way.

And vice-captain Scott Selwood, who has struggled to recapture any semblance of his top form this year while battling an ongoing foot injury, could be the other unlucky player to miss out.

West Coast want Selwood and McGinnity to play for WAFL affiliate East Perth this Saturday – but they face an uphill battle to get approval.

Under revamped qualification rules this year, Dockers and Eagles players must have appeared in at least five WAFL games to be eligible to play finals on any weekend that their AFL club isn’t playing.

The Eagles have sought special permission for McGinnity and Selwood to play.

“That’s disappointing if that’s the case (that they can’t play),” Simpson said.

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