AFL Eagles looking to get fitter for 2018

Tom Barrass knows he needs to become a leader at West Coast in 2018.

Tom Barrass knows he needs to become a leader at West Coast in 2018.

Getting better and fitter are the goals for a West Coast Eagles side looking to improve after a rollercoaster AFL season and the retirement of four accomplished veterans.

The Eagles up and down campaign came to a grinding halt with Saturday's 67-point semi-final away loss to the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

It was their lowest score of a season in which they never won or lost more than three successive games.

They alternated wins and losses for ten straight rounds following their mid-season bye, scraping into eighth spot on percentage and winning an extra-time elimination finals game before being crushed by GWS.

Asked if coach Adam Simpson had a message for the players going into the off-season, defender Tom Barrass told AAP "Yes, we've got to get better.

"We recover and it starts again in the off-season, about coming back in good condition and that's what we aim to do.

"We need to get fitter as a group and come back next year as a fresh list."

The Eagles will go forward into 2018 having lost over 1000 games of experience, with Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie and Sam Butler all retiring.

Barrass, 21, played 19 games in 2017 and is ready to take on more responsibility as one of the generation of emerging Eagles who have benefited from playing alongside the retiring quartet.

"Yeah absolutely, I feel like I'm ready for extra responsibility," Barrass said.

"This year has been a big learning curve for me, probably about the way I prepare for games and the way you get up mentally for games.

"Humans aren't built to be speculated on by thousands of people, so it's something that takes getting used to.

"It's something that I've learnt this year and hopefully those three or four veterans can really give me the tools I use to help others going forward.

"It's been an absolute honour and a pleasure to play alongside them.

"I've learnt a lot about leadership and the way to carry yourself on and off the field from all of those players."

feedback