Matthew Knights to take the helm at COVID-ravaged Eagles
West Coast have been plunged into further crisis after COVID-19 forced coach Adam Simpson into isolation and reduced their playing stocks to just 22 available listed players ahead of their trip to the Gabba to face Brisbane on Saturday night.
It will force the team Richmond thrashed by 109 points last Friday to once again call on top-up players, with former Essendon coach and Geelong assistant Matthew Knights (above) to take the helm as senior coach against the Lions.
Eight members of West Coast’s football program – including Simpson, and four players including Greg Clark, who made his debut last week – have entered the AFL’s health and safety protocols. Skipper Luke Shuey and small forward Willie Rioli will also miss with hamstring injuries.
The Eagles also postponed their WAFL match and called on WAFL-listed players to travel to Brisbane instead, with Knights conceding he had never experienced anything like what has occurred in recent days.
The club has been given until Friday afternoon to name their team as cross-town rivals Fremantle face their own COVID-induced battles for Friday’s night home clash against the Kangaroos, with six players already ruled out with the virus.
Meanwhile, former Magpie and long-time assistant Scott Burns will be Adelaide’s senior coach against Carlton this weekend after Matthew Nicks was forced into isolation, while the Saints will be without assistant coach Brendon Lade.
Eagles great Glen Jakovich discussed his former club’s latest plight with Steve Mills on Millsy at Midday.
“This is probably the bottom of the bottom that I’ve seen the club,” Jakovich said in response to the latest outbreak.
Press PLAY below to hear more from Jako on West Coast’s current situation