Venables gives Eagles AFL hub boost

Ed Jackson
Australian Associated Press
He may not be able to play, but Daniel Venables has given West Coast a lift at their AFL hub
He may not be able to play, but Daniel Venables has given West Coast a lift at their AFL hub

His return to the footy field remains a long way off but Daniel Venables has provided a timely boost for West Coast during their Queensland AFL hub stay.

The premiership forward remains sidelined after suffering a heavy head knock in round nine last year.

His ongoing concussion symptoms did not prevent him joining his Eagles teammates at training on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, running water and bringing a desperately needed morale-lift to a team that has suffered back-to-back defeats to Gold Coast and Brisbane.

With unbeaten Port Adelaide ahead on Saturday, Venables' presence has also given the Eagles some much-needed perspective on their situation.

"Guys like that really make the footy club," ruckman Nic Naitanui said.

"To see him smiling and happy to be around the boys, it just lifts everyone's spirits - especially when you're losing and you're away from home.

"He's been working with his old man, doing an everyday job. Sometimes as footballers we get caught in this bubble and we get pretty isolated and pretty detached from the real world.

"He's there filling up water bottles, helping us out, and would kill to be in our shoes.

"At times you whinge about certain things in the hub - your steak's not cooked properly or this isn't washed properly.

"We whinge about not being able to tackle in training ... guys like Venners aren't able to play football, I think perspective is the biggest thing."

Defender Jeremy McGovern, who missed Saturday's 30-point loss to the Lions due to suspension, only undertook light training on Wednesday after rolling his ankle in a scratch match last weekend.

Despite the caution, Naitanui said he expected McGovern to be clear to face the ladder-leading Power at Metricon Stadium.

What to read next