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Sheppard and Townsend Retire

Sheppard Tackled

In early December West Coast running defender Brad Sheppard and Suns defender Jacob Townsend announced their retirements just a few days apart. Sheppard, 30, was forced to retire due to ongoing concussion issues. He suffered several head knocks late in the season, the last coming in round 22. The Eagles believed he could still play but gave him time to decide. He sought medical advice over concerns about his future health and opted to retire.

Sheppard was drafted in 2009 and played 216 games. He was named All-Australian in 2015 and won the best clubman award in 2020. He was also a key member of the 2018 premiership side. Coach Adam Simpson said, "His career speaks for itself, over 200 games, it's just really sad that it finishes this way. He still had plenty of good footy left. He retires as a man with universal respect at every level of the football club ... ".

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Ruthless Eagles Rout Dockers

Naitanui vs. Sandilands

In Western Derby Number 50, the West Coast Eagles annihilated the inaccurate Fremantle Dockers to move to second on the AFL ladder and place a huge question mark over the Fremantle Dockers' finals hopes. After a slow start to the season the Eagles have hit their straps in their quest for back-to-back Premierships, with perhaps Geelong as the only team that can stand in their way.

The first quarter had the hallmarks of a tough ‘Derby’. It was a tight struggle, with defenses on top and forwards under pressure and missing "gettable" goals. It took eight minutes for the first goal to be scored. Jamie Cripps slotted a major (goal worth 6 points) for West Coast after marking (catching) a centering kick from Liam Ryan. It took another eight minutes for the next goal, which was a skudding 30-meter soccered goal by the Eagles' forward, Willie Rioli. The warning signs were there for the Dockers in the second half of the quarter.

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Eagles Outlast Desperate Dockers

Hurn intercepts

In a game that lacked highlights but offered plenty of interest, the West Coast Eagles withstood a determined Fremantle Dockers to win by 13 points. The depleted Dockers threw everything they had at the reigning premiers, but in the end were defeated by their own inaccuracy in front of goal.

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Close Shave for Eagles

Eagles fans delighted

It took until the dying minutes of the game for the West Coast Eagles to overcome a spirited Collingwood Magpies in the 2nd Qualifying Final. It was the second trip to Perth for the Pies in as many weeks, and they proved that they are not overawed at the prospect of playing in front of nearly 60,000 hostile fans in the cauldron of Optus Stadium. There were a dozen lead changes over the course of the game and it could have gone either way as time ticked down. Both sides were spent, but it was Lewis Jetta who danced on a dime to put the Eagles in front when it mattered – five minutes out from the final siren.

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Nic Nat Steals Show

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Nic Naitanui’s towering mark and goal after the siren gave the West Coast Eagles an unlikely come from behind win against North Melbourne in their Round 8 Friday night clash at Patersons Stadium. The Eagles kicked the last three goals to pinch the win after a dour struggle. In a free flowing game that looked over for them with minutes to play, Naitanui's miracle pack mark saved the day for West Coast and robbed the deserving Kangaroos of a win on the road.

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Swans Retain Top Spot

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

At the end of the last round, Sydney Swans found themselves on top of the AFL Ladder by what looked like a feat of legerdemain. Throughout the season the Swans have quietly crept up the table under the radar of their opponents and must now be seen as serious Grand Final contenders. The West Coast Eagles were below them in second position prior to the round but needed to win this important match up to stay in touch for the all-important double chance in the Finals.

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Eagles Outlast Saints

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Critics of the West Coast Eagles have been silenced after a hard fought win over St Kilda. Commentators had declared the Eagles soft, saying their successful season start was because they had only played teams outside the Top Eight. In Round 8, with a forward line decimated through injury, the Eagles stood up and regained their position on top of the table. Not that it was easy, with the Saints mounting a solid challenge interstate.

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Eagles Dominate Western Derby

Round 8 marked the thirty-third Western Derby between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles. This game is the showpiece for Western Australian football fans with Fremantle having won the last seven meetings between the two teams. West Coast dominated in the early years winning the first nine games. A near capacity crowd of 40,567 had great expectations of a home team (Eagles) win, but before the ball had been bounced they were in for some disappointing news.

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Crows Fly Higher

Four weeks ago the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles were both near the bottom of the table looking at the Wooden Spoon. What a difference a month makes. Since then Adelaide had won their last three games and climbed slowly up the ladder while the Eagles had slipped to last place. On a wintry Perth day Adelaide had the chance to win four on the trot and virtually cement the Eagles in bottom position.

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