Eagles axe Sheed for returning Shuey

Justin Chadwick
Dom Sheed (pic) has been dropped by West Coast to make way for the returning Luke Shuey

West Coast coach Adam Simpson insists Dom Sheed's surprise axing isn't a form of punishment, saying the midfielder is simply unlucky to be squeezed out of the side.

Sheed was dropped for Saturday night's AFL clash with St Kilda to accommodate the return of Luke Shuey, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Simpson says Sheed hasn't done a lot wrong, but had been a bit scratchy of late and will benefit from a game in the WAFL.

Sheed, who has averaged 22 possessions and five clearances per game this season, will now line up for East Perth in the WAFL on Monday.

"Luke Shuey's an A-grade talent, so when he comes back into the side, someone has to go out," Simpson said.

"Dom's been back for a couple of weeks and he's been a little bit scratchy in some areas, without going into specifics.

"It's not a punishment, he just got squeezed out.

"It's not the end of the world. We think he's right in there in our best side, but at the moment he's not.

"It's a real role-drive environment, and the guys know that, and they understand it."

West Coast sit one game clear on top of the ladder following their nine-match winning run.

They will start as heavy favourites at home against St Kilda, who haven't tasted victory since round one.

But Simpson isn't worried about the prospect of his players getting complacent.

"Complacency? I don't think we've achieved anything that gives us the right to be complacent," Simpson said.

"We've had a good run, we've won some games, which is great for our goal but we haven't accomplished anything yet.

"I think the maturity of the players - win, lose or draw - they'll play with the right attitude.

"(St Kilda) touched us up last year towards the back end of the season and beat us by 30 in contested ball in the last quarter. We just got outhunted and outworked.

"We know what their best looks like."

The Saints will be without star defender Jake Carlisle (suspended) and Luke Dunston (shoulder).

Rowan Marshall and Maverick Weller come into the side.

West Coast recalled Shuey and Jackson Nelson in place of Sheed and Chris Masten (hamstring).

Simpson says livewire goalsneak Liam Ryan is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a serious ankle injury.

Ryan hasn't played since suffering the injury in round three, but he could return via WAFL or AFL ranks in two weeks' time.