Review 2020 West Coast Eagles Player Review.

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Senior List
Apr 23, 2020
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Richmond and Collingwood.
2020 West Coast Eagles Player Review.

2020 was another wasted season like 2016, 2017 and 2019. We underachieved with the list we have and we were flag favourites heading into 2020. However, failure to adapt and crucial injuries killed our season like when Yeo's OP was worst than expected or allowing Shuey to play with torn hammies. We still are weak in tackles and ground ball gets but probably because we like to chip mark too much.

Apologies in advance if I rated the players too high or too low. I'm making this review based on my memory and statistics. I may change the scores though. So feel free to grill me.

#09 Nic Naitanui: 10/10.

Been our best player all year considering he averages 70% TOG and is coming off doing 2 ACLs. Carried our midfield at centre bounces with tap accuracy and insane leap and gave us first use at stoppages. He's like Cyril Rioli where he doesn't need much touches to be BOG. His performance against the Cats helped us to victory with that tap to JK being one of his bests. He ragdolled Shane Mumford when we versed the Giants and helped us win the game with his clearances that led to goals. Had he played against the Dogs then I can guarantee we win and finish top 4 but resting him was the right call at the time as the following week he dominated Ryder and Marshall and helped carry us to victory when most of our gun players are out. Oh and he dominated Grundy when we smashed the Pies earlier in the year to the point they had to use Darcy Cameron just so they can stop Nic Nat during the elimination final. He also beat fellow AA in Max Gawn in round one playing a third less of the match. Lock him in for the John Worsfold medal.

Been our best player of the year. Should win the John Worsfold medal.

#05 Brad Sheppard: 9.5/10.

Deserves his AA spot, anyone who says otherwise are hacks who have no idea about footy. He shut down the likes of Charlie Cameron, Toby Greene when up forward and other gun small forwards of the comp. Even kicked two goals as a bonus and is clean with ball in hand as he almost never turns it over with ball in hand. Very important to our backline and he makes us feel safe against the competitions gun small forwards as he has the pace and underrated aerial abilities to go with them in the air. Should finish second in the John Worsfold medal. Not sure who was he on against the Tigers when D.Rioli or Castagna were kicking crumbing goals or the Bombers when Tippa kicked four against us, may give a 10 though if he was on someone else.

Shuts down gun small forwards of the comp. Deserves his AA spot for sure and should come second in the John Worsfold medal.

#01 Liam Ryan: 9.5/10.

He's another gun who absolutely deserves AA. He's dramatically improved on the second half of the season when he's gotten a lot better with his ball use and improved with his crumbing ability something we lost when Rioli got suspended. He's a nightmare to match up on as he's too fast for talls and jumps too high for smalls. He's kicked 26 goals for the season, up there with genuine small crumbing forwards like Papley, Buttler and C.Cameron but none of them have the constant aerial threat Ryan does for a small forward as he takes pack marks over key position players and up against two or three opponents.

No other small forward can provide the aerial threat Ryan does.

#03 Andrew Gaff: 9.5/10.

He's been one of our best mids this season with his hard running and insane tank allowing him to play 100% TOG in most games. Has gotten much better with his disposals instead of constantly hack kicking around the corner like last year. Has provided that outside run and link up we need that led to fast break goals and he's dropped back in defense giving us extra numbers down back. Was one of the players that stood up in the Saints game where we lost some of our top players and also stood up in our three straight losses in the hubs being one of our shining lights during that time. Felt he was just short of being in the final AA team though with other players deserving it a bit more.

Gaff has improved his ball using abilities and has played 100% TOG for five games in a row I think.

#17 Josh Kennedy: 9.5/10.

Our leading goalkicker for the season when everyone wanted him to retire after the season lol especially his slow start of the year when he looked "cooked" but it was mainly because we couldn't get the ball constantly to him and if we did, it wasn't to his advantage but now we kicked it to his advantage more and now we're seeing the rewards when we deliver it right to the point he was leading the Coleman at one point. His performance this season meant he deserves another year of playing and a chance for one more flag and retire on a high like Le Cras did. Very dominant against the Pies when he kicked seven goals when the mighty Pies defense with Moore and Roughead had no answers to him and was crucial in our win against a strong Geelong side by kicking four goals against their strong defense, him roving to Nic Nat was his best goal of the season in my opinion. Also kicked four goals against top of the table Port as well to show that he's coming back in form.

For someone that was "cooked", he still came second in the Coleman.

#27 Jack Darling: 9/10.

Had a consistent season with his worst games and best games are pretty close. Did his as our designated pack crasher and took plenty of big grabs. Accurate in front of goal but his miss against the Dogs costed us top 4. Other than that he's usually reliable and is playing the perfect CHF role. Stood up against Richmond when JK went off with concussion and still kicked three goals in a game we lost and was one of our best forwards against the Pies in the elimination final making AA CHB Darcy Moore accountable as he cannot zone off him and still kicked three goals as well.

Jack Darling has provided us a strong marking target on a consistent basis and crashes packs too.

#14 Liam Duggan: 8.5/10.

Been one of our best defenders with his rebounding ability before rotating in the midfield when Yeo and later the likes of Shuey and Redden was injured. Provided that hardness the midfield desperately needs ever since Yeo went down and his kicking has been good and penetrating as well and is pretty good on his right too. Was really good in filling that hardness void against North Melbourne, the Bulldogs, the Saints and the Pies in the EF.

Been a solid rebounder down back and stood up in the midfield when key players are injured.

#13 Luke Shuey: 8.5/10.

Lead from the front and pounced on Nic Nat's tap work in centre bounces. His ball use is elite and he has that Sam Mitchell like ability to us his non preferred equally well which set up some goals or shots at goals inside 50. His pack bursting and elite ball using ability is what helped us dominate centre bounce scores as he can hit someone lace out up forward or kick it to their advantage, also stood up in our losses against Gold Coast and Richmond. Looked underdone against the Pies and was unable to stand up while Kelly got tagged but he'll be hungry and fitter next year with hopefully better fixtures with longer rest times.

His ball using and non preferred foot skills is Sam Mitchell like.

#06 Elliot Yeo: 8/10.

Biggest structural loss of the season as we lost hardness around the contest and extra clearance ability during stoppages. The medical team needs a review on why was Yeo required or allowed to do hard training with a suspect groin which cost us top 4 in my opinion. In the games he's played he's been really good in providing that hurt and mongrel our midfield needed. Stood up when Shuey went down against the Swans and performed well in Shuey's first stint absence against the Crows and Freo. He's our best two way runner, feasts of Nic Nat's tap work and kicks the ball a long way. His tackling breaking power and sticking tackles was sorely missed as teams were able to break our tackles with ease and we just cannot seem to shrug off tackles like Yeo did.

Massive structural loss. We lacked grunt and mongrel without him not to mention his tackling breaking and tackling power.

#11 Tim Kelly: 7.5/10.

Has some BOG games this season such as against the Saints where they failed to stop him which he also kicked a goal, dominated against the Pies in round eight where he played one of his best games as an Eagle and against the Crows where we needed a victory, he also performed well in our losses against Richmond and Gold Coast. However there's some games where he was average at best, but maybe he's still learning our system. Failed to break the hard tag against Greenwood in our elimination final though. I reckon he's played his best games when he's told to be the icing not the cake itself with the exception of the Saints game. He instantly bonded with Nic Nat at centre bounces as he won clearances and he's a good ball user as well being one of our best deliverers inside 50. That inside 50 delivery JK against the Suns is what JK needed and the team done the same thing and JK now finished second in the Coleman.

He's been good this season but he has failed to stand up at times although his best is what wins us games.

#25 Shannon Hurn: 7.5/10.

Bunga has been good down back, still providing us intercepting power and the nous of knowing when to leave his man to provide a contest. He doesn't attack with his kicks these days but he still takes most of the kick ins. However, most of his kick ins go to the right hand boundary line which is pretty predictable but he can mix things up a bit. Injuries and age have slowed him down to the point we can't over rely on him for backline rebounds but he still can set up attacks with his kicks from time to time, just not that often. Played really well against the Bombers and North but has been average at times.

Bunga's leadership and experience down back is crucial for the kids.

#20 Jeremy McGovern: 7.5/10.

Gov showed glimpses of his 2018 form against the Giants and the Crows when he stopped pretty much anything heading their way and was also good against Freo and Essendon as well. But he just looked down on previous years or teams have figured out how to play him. Still good one on one and can still take that intercept mark but it's only a matter of time until every team nullifies him so he'll need to be more accountable in the future if we're gonna have a better chance at going further. Looked more cautious with ball in hand this year whereas in previous years, he took the game on. Has an underrated penetrating kick that's slightly below Hurn and Jetta at their best.

Still an AA calibre player at his best. Injuries have hampered his season.

#04 Dom Sheed: 7/10.

Still kicking clutch goals as always. Been a solid link up player this season and helped our midfield in clearances too. Can go forward and kick that clutch goal when needed such as against Carlton, Geelong, and the Bulldogs when we were barely holding on but lost at the end. Also a decent ball user like Priddis and he's also a good deliverer inside 50 but he's one our biggest offenders in missing tackles so he's pretty much almost Priddis like without the tackling ability. Was BOG against the Blues.

Still kicking clutch goals as always.

#12 Oscar Allen: 7/10.

Looked like JK's successor at full forward at time during the season. Started off decently but went pretty much missing midway through the season but came back strong at the end. Played his best game against the Pies when we first versed them this year and that self created goal was his best goal of the season or even in his career so far in my opinion. Competed well in the ruck to give Nic Nat a spell and even won some hitouts to give our mids first use and uses his mobility in stoppages to give us an extra midfielder like Richmond did with Shaun Grigg but Allen actually competes well against specialist rucks. His accuracy improved late in the season kicking eight straight goals in his last five matches of the season.

Ready to be JK's successor in the future.

#37 Tom Barrass: 7/10.

Been solid down back for us in holding some decent oppo KPF in check such as Hawkins, King but has gotten smashed by Dixon, Lynch and even Mason Cox. One on one he's pretty suspect and his decision making is pretty questionable such as getting caught in two mindsets of whether to mark or spoil and some of his spoils go towards the oppo crumbers that scores from it. Been good this season but got exposed against teams who get it in hot and fast with his one on one bodywork failing to hold up against the beasts of the comp. Usually plays it safe by going backwards or sideways.

Barrass has been solid against decent KPFs but can get exposed one on one.

#30 Jackson Nelson: 7/10.

Looked solid down back and has been good as part of our midfield rotations. Has a good kick to the point he's been trusted with the kick in duties. However, he gets done holding the ball a bit too often as he doesn't have Yeo's tackling breaking power and running too far against the Dogs kick started their momentum. Played very well against Norf being part of the midfield and can provided hardness needed since Yeo's out for the year. Also provided extra rebound down back to reduce the load on Hurn as he's pretty old.

He's been good down back but he does tend to give away more free kicks in our defensive 50.

#35 Josh Rotham: 7/10.

Didn't look AFL standard against Brisbane but he rebounded back well in being a solid third KPD. Also provides extra rebound down back and can take the odd intercept mark. Has freed up McGovern and Barrass by being that third tall KPD. Was really good against Essendon and GWS by helping Barrass and Gov more. Ball use is a bit safe but can give up that turnover at times.

Hopefully he can be Schoey's successor and help free up Gov and Barrass in defense.

#08 Jack Redden: 6.5/10.

Provided us additional mongrel alongside Yeo and handpasses accurately to teammates in better positions. Was a huge structural loss against the Tigers when they beaten us as we lacked mongrel and grunt against them as it was important when Dusty was up forward. Performed well against the Bombers, Freo and the Crows but looked average against other teams. Probably best suited in the middle as he's too slow to play on the outside but he does provide strong marking power at the wing.

He's been pretty average throughout the year. Should play in the guts more.

#02 Jake Waterman: 6.5/10.

There's no coincidence of our turn around in form when he's been in the team. He provides extra marking power around the ground and he works very hard too since he has a strong tank. Kicks well for goal and is mobile too so we can play up to four talls in our forward line without being too top heavy. He's gone missing at times especially late in the season but is still taking link up marks though. That long goal after the quarter time siren gave us the momentum needed and we overrun an injury depleted Swans, it's also one of the best goals of the year in my opinion. Was also great against Freo too.

That goal from Waterman was legendary.

#10 Jarrod Brander: 6/10.

Been alright on the wing. Has a good kick and mobility to turn opponents inside out. A strong marker of the ball being rated elite for marks. However he lacks the hardness to be a genuine contested player which is why he hasn't performed well in some games against more harder oppo mids. Was really good against the Lions and Giants but has gone missing in some games.

Hopefully he can develop that toughness and hardness when he plays midfield but he does have pace and a good kick.

#15 Jamie Cripps: 6/10.

Still an important part of our structure but he looks a bit down on form this year, maybe because of the incoming birth of his child? Played well as the defensive forward and kicked some clutch goals on the run from near the boundary line. He still links up well from in between the midfield and forward and his ball use has been pretty good this year though. But I would've liked him to kick more goals so our forward line can be more threatening.

Hopefully he can kick more goals next year and also stop the oppo from rebounding it.

#28 Tom Cole: 6/10.

Was pretty good during our run in Optus and even kicked his first career goal against the Bombers and his next two matches sneaking up forward. Was pretty good in the midfield rotations when we had key midfielders injured but went missing late in the season and in the EF game against the Pies. I reckon he played his best game against the Tigers.

Ha Ha Tabernar lol.

#23 Lewis Jetta: 5.5/10.

His kicking ability looked off early in the year and must of did something to piss off Simmo in the hubs to cause him to miss out midway of the season. I felt he was decent against Richmond but couldn't convert his shots. I reckon it was a selection error to NOT select him for the elimination final as he had that creativity that Rioli provided and Petch pretty much did nothing before the EF. He was pretty good in his last game against the Dogs but calf injury caused him to miss out last parts of the season.

Should've played against the Pies in the EF.

#32 Bailey Williams: 5/10.

Looked promising to being Nic Nat's successor with his leaping ability. I felt he was decent up forward when it came to competing and he bought the ball to ground. Must persist and develop so he can be a gun in the future. I'm probably being too lenient here.

Could be a gun ruck/forward in the future.

#24 Xavier O'Neill: 5/10.

Has the potential to become a gun mid for us in the future. Performed well in his first three games until he dropped off against the Dogs and Saints in a time when we lost key mids. Even kicked a nice crumbing goal which was nice to see.

The future looks bright for XON and for us.

#31 Will Schofield: 5/10.

Was the glue that held Barrass and Gov together. Very poor against Port but was good in the other games he's played. Should've played against Collingwood in the EF and we win. Kept Hipwood and Membrey quiet.

Should've played against the Pies and got a proper farewell. Happy retirement Schoey :)

#47 Jermaine Jones.

Looks promising as a small forward with that tackling ability and pressure he provided like Venables did. Injury killed his season though and I wish they'd play him more if his fit that is.

He could be that pressure and crumbing forward we need since Venables.

#46 Nic Reid: 4/10.

Only a small sample size but he does show glimpses here and there but will need to be more consistent in future. Not sure how good he can crumb and pressure though. Thanks Darling for giving the young man his first AFL goal.

Shown some glimpses but needs to develop consistency.

#41 Brendon AhChee: 3.5/10.

He has not shown much and he's played nearly every game in the year. He does go for those odd big marks but doesn't provide that aerial threat Ryan does. He's playing a majority of the time up forward but hasn't kicked a lot of goals like he should nor has he gotten as much disposals and he hasn't provided forward pressure thus allowing teams to waltz right out with ease. Goes missing way too often.

He's gone missing too often but gets gifted games???

#34 Mark Hutchings: 3/10.

It seemed like he wasn't tagging anyone in the games he's played but he did went off with a hammy against the Dogs and even then he didn't do much to curb Caleb Daniels influence. When he doesn't tag he's a liability since he's messy with ball in hand and his decision making is poor and he isn't quick either.

Complete liability when tagging.

#33 Braydon Ainsworth: 3/10.

I felt he was ok against Freo and the Crows but didn't look AFL standard against Collingwood, Geelong and Hawthorn as he looked lost with ball in hand but was pretty good as a tagger against Caleb Daniel and Zac Jones but not sure who was he on against North and the Pies. If he's not tagging then he may become a liability like Hutch. I'm very lenient in giving him a three.

Did not look AFL standard this year. Getting pushed easily by Polec says a lot about his physical strength.

#39 Jarrod Cameron: 2.5/10.

To be fair to him, he wasn't at 100% fitness since he's still recovering from his OP injury. But in the time he's played he didn't provide much and went missing for most of the games he's played. He still tackles better than anyone in our side.

He'll be back next year, ready to be that gun tackling pressure forward we desperately need.

#21 Jack Petrucelle 2/10.

He was pretty quiet before he got injured and injury with no WAFL hasn't helped his development. Didn't look AFL standard this year and selecting him ahead of Jetta was a mistake that cost us against the Pies in the EF. Goes missing too often and doesn't pressure despite his speed. Very lucky I gave him a two.

Petch has been trash for the whole year but he did get injured and had no WAFL. He did not look AFL standard when playing.

Not including Brayshaw and Edwards due to the very small sample size and they've only played one game with Edwards only playing half a game.

The coach.

Adam Simpson: 6/10.

He's been alright but the problem about him is that we don't adapt to the conditions right. We play kick mark in slippery conditions and he's too stubborn to have a plan B. Our tackling and ground ball gets have been diabolical and our stoppages barring Nic Nat has been average. If we don't do something drastic that will help the team soon then I don't think we can win another flag under Simmo. The good things Simmo's done is made the club a successful side with a strong family friendly culture, probably why Tim Kelly came to us.

Simmo has failed to adapt this year.


At the end we had players who are underdone and we lost crucial players to our structure. Even if we beat the Pies then we'll have no energy to beat the Cats but at least we would've dished up better than what the Pies did. Even if we miraciously beat the Cats, then how are we beating Brisbane? At the end, Yeo, Rioli, Venables and an under done Shuey would've fell short and made it to the prelim at the very best.

Nic Nat has been our best player this year and there's no coincidence why Nic Nat, Sheppard and Gaff were rated from 9.5-10. We had some decent performing players and we also had some out of form players. I maybe wrong with some of those ratings though so I apologize.

Edit: Yeah, I know my ratings are very lenient but some of you may have stricter ratings.

**Had to delete some images due to the fact 30 images are allowed on a BigFooty post.**
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Carbine Chaos

Blue Tree Project
Apr 1, 2009
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Perth Demons, Everton
In teacher talk 7.5 would be an A and I think only a few players warrant that this year in Naitanui, Ryan and Sheppard.

I wouldn’t be giving As to Gaff, Shuey, McGovern, Kennedy, Darling etc.

Ah Chee below Reid? He’s contributed more than Reid has, albeit not much overall.

Good read though mate, cheers.


BigFooty Forger
Jun 24, 2009
In your dreams
AFL Club
West Coast
Some very generous scores you've given. For me I'd score as follows:
9.0 - Nic Naitanui
8.0 - Liam Ryan
7.5 - Brad Sheppard
7.0 - Andrew Gaff, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling
6.5 - Liam Duggan, Luke Shuey
6.0 - Jeremy McGovern, Tim Kelly, Tom Cole, Shannon Hurn
5.5 - Jackson Nelson, Elliot Yeo, Oscar Allen
5.0 - Jake Waterman, Dom Sheed, Tom Barrass
4.5 - Jack Redden, Jamie Cripps, Josh Rotham
4.0 - Will Schofield, Brendon Ah Chee, Bailey Williams
3.5 - Xavier O'Neill, Brayden Ainsworth, Jermaine Jones, Jarrod Brander
3.0 - Tom Hickey, Nathan Vardy, Mark Hutchings, Lewis Jetta, Jarrod Cameron
2.5 - Jack Petruccele
2.0 - Luke Foley, Hamish Brayshaw, Nic Reid
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Dark Sharks

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2011
Maynard was blocked
AFL Club
West Coast
Boy oh boy not sure what's going on with the rating system if:

Kennedy gets a 9.5 despite having a pretty damn average start to the season? His, Darlings and Hurns form in the first QLD hub was horrendous.

Naitanui getting a 10 means he played a perfect season, dominating everyone. Nelson a 7? Shuey an 8.5? Crikey, he was average. Gov and Kelly 7.5?

Surprised we didn't blitz the competition with players having seasons that good.

9.0 - Nic Naitanui
8.0 - Liam Ryan, Brad Sheppard
7.5 - Andrew Gaff
7.0 - Jack Darling, Liam Duggan
6.5 - Luke Shuey, Josh Kennedy, Oscar Allen
6.0 - Jeremy McGovern, Tim Kelly, Tom Cole, Shannon Hurn, Jake Waterman
5.5 - Jackson Nelson, Elliot Yeo, Dom Sheed
5.0 - Tom Barrass, Lewis Jetta, Jamie Cripps, Jack Redden
4.5 - Josh Rotham, Xavier O'Neill
4.0 - Will Schofield, Brendon Ah Chee, Bailey Williams
3.5 - Brayden Ainsworth, Jermaine Jones, Jarrod Brander
3.0 - Tom Hickey, Nathan Vardy, Mark Hutchings, , Jarrod Cameron
2.5 - Jack Petruccele
2.0 - Luke Foley, Hamish Brayshaw, Nic Reid


Bench Warmer
Oct 9, 2015
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Melbourne Vixens
9.0 - Nic Naitanui
"Naitnaui looking heavy, Naitanui losing his leap and looking slow..." Well colour me shocked 🤦‍♂️

Who'd have thought letting him run around 12-14kg's heavier than both the other ruckman on our list despite coming off multiple lower leg injuries, groin issues and 2 knee reconstructions would be a bad thing.

Can someone tell me why? Anyone? He can still be a monster and run around against other big bodied ruckman if he was 5kg's lighter. It won't kill him.
Imagine if he wasn’t so fat and unfit!

Seriously though, NN definitely benefitted from the shorter quarters.

The Passenger

James Osterberg Jr.
Mar 25, 2003
Rigging votes
AFL Club
West Coast
I think everything the OP wrote about our players is more or less accurate but the numerical ratings are way too skewed to the positive. I would give our season a 7/10, so we probably should max out at about 10 or 11 players with a 7 or higher - there are 17 on that list. Even 10 or 11 might be generous. Only the three AA's and Gaff deserve an 8 or more for mine. Duggan maybe at a stretch but probably a 7.5 realistically.

I think the rankings of each player is roughly right - the only stand out for me is Kennedy being too high. IMO JK was only just inside our top ten players in 2020 - maybe even just outside. He certainly wasn't our fifth best player.

Props to the OP though. I've certainly not got the patience (or time) to take on such a task.

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Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 5, 2010
over here
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
,west perthgolden state warriors
What are the thoughts on Waterman's year?

I watched only half a dozen games but the ones I did get to see, I thought that he had improved nicely from 2019.

Got a feeling he might go OK in 2021.
He became very important for us this hear.kicking goals,linking up from defence and even playing in defence once or twice.

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

Off Tap

Pfft Big 4, we're #1.....
May 13, 2007
Heading home
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Kalgoorlie Roos, Subiaco
He became very important for us this hear.kicking goals,linking up from defence and even playing in defence once or twice.

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
He took some great clutch marks in defence a number of times this year which impressed me.

I'd love to know how much ground he covers in a game and how that compares to similar players in his position.

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