Surprise selections emerge to replace injured Eagles veteran

Luke Foley could add to his one game to the Eagles in place of the injured Shannon Hurn. Photo: West Coast Eagles WAFL

Former Eagles skipper Shannon Hurn is bound for the sidelines after suffering a calf injury in the loss to the Saints.

The incident occurred early in the game, with Hurn sitting three quarters out with ice strapped to his calf.

The injury occurs in the wake of skipper Luke Shuey going down last week with a hamstring injury, while Elliot Yeo is still an indefinite out with a groin issue.

It was immediately clear that his experience down back was lacking for the remaining game time.

The Eagles would concede nine inside 50s straight to begin the third quarter, and didn’t kick a goal past the 16-minute mark of the third.

“Leadership’s always important, especially when you’re conceding multiple goals in a row,” coach Adam Simpson said post-game.

“Being predictable is probably more important, with the contest and the ball, so stoppage work was poor, and theirs was good.

“The run and spread off that complimented their contest win. All credit to the Saints, and disappointment for us.”

Simpson faces a selection headache for next week’s must-win game at Optus Stadium against Collingwood.

A couple of surprise options for Hurn’s replacement are already in the mix.

“There’ll be a few guys,” Simpson said.

“Alex Witherden’s an option for us, Luke Foley’s another one who’s progressing really well. We’ll have to work through that in the next couple of days.”

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Witherden hasn’t added to his 59 games played yet since being traded from the Lions.

He played in the Eagles’ WAFL clash on Saturday morning, going down to West Perth by 13 goals.

Witherden gathered 26 disposals, six marks, four tackles and two inside 50s.

Foley is even less experienced, having played just one game in 2020.

The now defender was drafted as a pacey midfielder in 2018, and with extra speed to his game, could create a different look to the Eagles backline.

Witherden on the other hand, is more of a like-for-like replacement.

With the Eagles sitting two wins and two losses after round four, the match against the Pies could shape their season to come.

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