Covid has taken an ‘unprecedented’ toll on West Coast, with coach Adam Simpson pressured to overlook Saturday’s conflict with Brisbane after testing optimistic for the virus and solely 22 gamers out there to the membership.
On Thursday the Eagles confirmed eight workers and gamers are in well being and security protocols, with an unbelievable 21 footballers dominated out as a result of damage or Covid-19-related absences.
Simpson’s assistant, Matthew Knights, will take over as head coach for the sport in opposition to the Lions.
West Coast coach Adam Simpson (proper, chatting with gamers within the spherical seven loss to Richmond) has examined optimistic to Covid in one other large blow to the struggling crew
Luke Shuey (left) is one in every of an unbelievable 21 gamers unavailable to the Eagles as a result of both damage or Covid – with the issue so dangerous the membership’s WAFL aspect needed to postpone its subsequent recreation
‘Because it stands we now have 22 out there AFL-listed gamers with the rest both injured or in AFL Well being and Security Protocols,’ Eagles Soccer supervisor Gavin Bell mentioned.
‘With Adam additionally being unable to teach this weekend, it’s clearly unprecedented occasions.
‘We’ve been working laborious with the gamers on Covid Contingency Checklist and it’s doubtless a number of of them will likely be part of the travelling social gathering.’
The information follows one other physique blow on Wednesday, when West Coast introduced its WAFL aspect’s recreation in opposition to Fremantle on Saturday has been postponed as a result of the membership can’t present the minimal three AFL-listed gamers.
The Eagles have solely received as soon as this season, in opposition to Collingwood in spherical 4 (pictured)
The Eagles are actually with out Greg Clark, Nic Naitanui, Willie Rioli, Luke Shuey, Alex Witherden, Jackson Nelson, Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo, Oscar Allen, Luke Strnadica and Tom Cole, amongst others.
West Coast have already used a league-high 24 gamers this yr and have been pressured to play their spherical two match in opposition to North Melbourne regardless of shedding 12 gamers to Covid protocols.
They fought bravely however misplaced 74-59 after fielding a aspect that includes top-up gamers who weren’t solely making their AFL debut, however had by no means even educated with the membership.
The crew needed to entry its 20-player contingency checklist to discipline an AFL aspect on the time, and can now want to take action once more for the Lions recreation.
There have been fears for the reason that preseason that Western Australian sides would wrestle with Covid this season as a result of the state lacks the herd immunity discovered elsewhere within the nation after its borders have been shut through the pandemic.