Vickery may cop wrath from Eagles AFL fans

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has encouraged fans give Ty Vickery some stick when the Richmond ruckman returns to the scene of the crime in Friday night’s AFL clash at Domain Stadium.

Vickery copped a four-match ban in 2014 for his crude strike on Eagles ruckman Dean Cox while they competed at a throw-in.

Cox was unconscious before he even hit the turf, with the incident outraging Eagles fans – and even Simpson himself.

Friday’s match will mark the first occasion Vickery has fronted up against West Coast in Perth since that incident.

Although Cox won’t be out on the field in the re-match, he’s now the ruck coach at West Coast.

When asked whether he thought Vickery would get an angry reception from the crowd on Friday night, Simpson replied with a half smile: “Why not. Get into him.

“(Cox’s) nose is still a little bit out of whack, so I’m sure he thinks about it most days.”

Vickery will have an important job supporting Shaun Hampson in the ruck in their duel against Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has opted against rushing back Ivan Maric this week, preferring to give the star ruckman another week to build his match fitness in the VFL.

Brett Deledio (quad) is also unavailable for selection, but could be available for next week’s clash with Melbourne.

Simpson is confident defender Eric Mackenzie (toe) and Jamie Cripps (knee) will be fit to take on the Tigers.

And defender Sharrod Wellingham is set to play in the WAFL this weekend after finally recovering from knee bruising.

Richmond enter the match under intense pressure following their 1-2 start to the season.

Simpson was surprised at how much criticism the Tigers have copped this year.

“They’re doing a lot of things right,” Simpson said.

“There seems to be a bit more attention put on clubs who have one or two losses, but the reality is everyone’s one or two wins off being where they want to be.

“Everything’s built up with maximum consequences at the moment.

“I would have thought Richmond will be on a mission to come over here and do some damage. We’re aware of it and need to match it.”

The Tigers have won their past three matches in Perth, but will start as clear underdogs against a West Coast outfit expected to vie for the premiership this year.

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