West Coast coach John Worsfold wants his charges to become more unpredictable in a bid to match it with the AFL’s big boys.
Worsfold successfully experimented with a host of positional changes in Saturday’s 126-point trouncing of Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium.
Chris Masten and Andrew Gaff were given more time on the ball and racked up big numbers, clearance machine Daniel Kerr thrived in his role as an outside player on the wing, while midfielder Luke Shuey booted three goals from 32 possessions after being shifted closer to goal.
Worsfold said it was important for his players to be able to excel in different roles.
“Options, it just gives you options,” Worsfold said after the 25.16 (166) to 5.10 (40) win, which lifted West Coast back into third spot on the table.
“It certainly will make it harder for the opposition to plan.
“Our view is that we need to keep developing that to become an even better team than where we currently are.
“For us, I think we’ve got some really good talent that can play across multiple positions.
“It’s a bit like (Dean) Cox and (Nic) Naitanui.
“At different times we’ll give Naitanui more time on-ball and Cox more time forward, and we’ll reverse that at times, depending on what we think the game calls for.”
Worsfold said using Kerr further away from the clearances would force teams to second guess whether they should tag the 29-year-old.
“It raises different questions and it gives us different strategies we can go to depending which player teams want to run with,” Worsfold said.
“We believe we’ve got more players that can go through the middle now without having to rely on Daniel in there all of the time.
“Today was about giving Gaff and Masto more time in the middle as on-ballers. It was a good opportunity for them to get a good run at what we expect them to do more of in the future.”
Worsfold said defenders Will Schofield (hamstring) and Adam Selwood (infected arm) were likely to be available for selection for Saturday’s clash with North Melbourne in Tasmania, while backman Eric Mackenzie is expected to shake off a rolled ankle.
The win over Gold Coast lifted West Coast’s percentage from 131.65 to 143.12, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul second-placed Sydney, whose 94-point win over GWS boosted their percentage to 144.2.
Gold Coast barely put up a fight in the second half against the Eagles, and coach Guy McKenna was struggling to come up with any positives after watching his team slump to their 20th straight loss.
McKenna denied suggestions from commentator Dermott Brereton his team’s fitness levels weren’t up to scratch, but conceded the Suns were feeling the pinch without a host of their injured stars.
“It’s clear to everyone what went wrong in the second half and early in the first quarter – we just didn’t get our hands on the ball and roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty,” McKenna said.
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