Adam Simpson makes brutal Andrew Gaff call amid record-low AFL round one performance

The West Coast great has been dropped after a stinker in round one.

West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson has revealed club legend Andrew Gaff has been dropped for this weekend's clash against the GWS Giants. Gaff was subbed off shortly after half-time as the Eagles' midfield was overrun by Port Adelaide, with West Coast going on to lose the match 120-70.

The midfielder ended the game with a record-low four disposals - the least in his illustrious 276-game career. The 31-year-old is one of the highest-paid players at the Eagles - on around $750,000 a season as he enters the final year of his contract - and while he was one of the best midfielders in the AFL for much of his career, his output has dwindled in recent years. Gaff's round one performance left a lot to be desired and on Monday, Simpson decided that he had to be dropped for the clash with the Giants.

Pictured left Adam Simpson and right Andrew Gaff
West Coast coach Adam Simpson has confirmed club legend Andrew Gaff will be dropped for this weekend's match against the GWS Giants. Image: Getty

"He didn’t have a good day. Obviously got subbed out just after half-time. He’s probably going to need to find some form at WAFL level this week," Simpson told 7NEWS Perth. "It’s all part of the game, isn’t it. Sometimes you’re out of form and best way to get it back is at WAFL level.

"Fortunately, we’ve got some selection opportunities for other players as well. We’ll support Gaffy as much as we can, but getting some touch in the WAFL is the next step for him."

In more concerning news for the midfielder, the Eagles coach said he couldn't guarantee Gaff a place back in the side even if he was to return to form in the WAFL, stating the side has some top young talent he has to compete with. "Especially with some availability now, we can make some decisions that are best for the club," he said. "Unfortunately, for any of our players who aren’t in form or don’t perform at the level we think they should, there’s opportunity for others. He’s aware of that and it’s just part of the game."

Adam Simpson full of praise for teenager Harley Reid after AFL debut

One player who won't be dropped is Harley Reid after the 18-year-old impressed in his AFL debut. Reid is a highly talented youngster who was selected as the No.1 draft pick last season.

In round one Reid finished the game with 16 disposals, five clearances and four inside-50s in limited minutes and his performance caught the eye of Simpson. "It's a lot of attention on Harley throughout pre-season. He's probably used to it but I think he's at home when he's on the ground and playing footy," Eagles coach Simpson said.

"He's a good kid. He's pretty resilient and I thought he was pretty good today. It looks like he picked up the pace of the game pretty well."

Despite the strong performance, Simpson says Reid is nowhere near the finished product and urged fans to be patient with the youngster. "They (AFL debutants) are all not the finished product as well so as long as we just temper our expectations and know if they contribute and do enough to hold their spot, then we're pretty happy," he said.


"It looks like he picked up the pace of the game pretty well. He's physically fine so he'll just pick up his endurance as he goes."

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