West Coast WAFL captain Hamish Brayshaw says the introduction of the injury sub, as well as injuries at the AFL level, have impacted his team’s performance.
The Eagles reserves are cemented at the bottom of the WAFL ladder, winless and with a percentage of just 44.93 after losing their sixth game at the weekend, a 57-point defeat to East Perth despite featuring 12 AFL-listed players.
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Brayshaw said while it was great to welcome the likes of Elliot Yeo, Mark Hutchings and Nathan Vardy into the team, the revolving door of players made it difficult to get results.
“It’s great to have those guys come back and I mean, watching Yeoy on the weekend, he was only out there for 60 odd minutes, but when he’s out there you can really notice he’s a premiership quality player,” Brayshaw told SEN WA.
“The same with the other two — Hutch and Vards. It’s so ever changing. You get guys who get injured at AFL level and (the Eagles) will take one of our blokes to go up and play.
“Now with the medical sub, you lose another one. And then with the travelling emergency. We’ve been unlucky in the sense we’ve (the AFL team) either played Saturday or Sunday. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, we’ve got a Thursday night game against Richmond, that we should have our travellers back for.
“All the boys that sign up for our WAFL side know that’s what they sign up for but it’s hurt us a little bit to the start of the year.”
Brayshaw fired back at some of the criticism directed at the team’s performances, calling it “naive” and “unfair at times”.
“In a sense that they don’t understand the restrictions and the rules that have been put on us,” he said.
“We’ve been poor. We haven’t played anywhere near what we thought we should be playing. You have to deal with the criticism, it’s there.
“I still think we’ve got a ways to go in our level of performance, the way we go with our ammo boys connecting with our WAFL boys, connecting with the AFL boys.
“There is duly noted criticism, but I think we’ll get past that.”
Brayshaw said he felt his team was getting better each week.
“We’re building towards a four-quarter game. We might not win, but we want to get to a point where we’re competitive for four quarters and we want to show a brand of footy that can hold up over four quarters. Win, lose or draw,” he said.