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West Coast coach calls for Eagles reserves team in WAFL

[quote]Worsfold wants Eagles not selected for senior AFL duty each week to play in one team, rather than be spread through the local competition.

In an early pointer to Worsfold winning a new West Coast coaching contract when his current deal expires at the end of this season, his push has approval from senior club management.

Worsfold has already discussed the plan with WA Football Commission chairman Neale Fong.

The 2006 premiership coach now wants to make a formal presentation to all commissioners and the nine WAFL clubs.

"I want to look at everything I possibly can for the West Coast Eagles to make us the absolute best team in the AFL competition," Worsfold said. "One of the key things is to quickly develop our players coming through our system.

"Our players need to be able to step straight into our team when they are called up and the best way is to have them playing full-time in systems under our own guidance, which means playing for a West Coast Eagles reserves team.

"We need them in another competition and the WAFL competition is the best for a team like that to be a part of."

Worsfold will also inform Fremantle officials of his innovative plan, but Dockers chief executive Steve Rosich said the club would not support it.

"We're very satisfied with WAFL clubs hosting our players and we are constantly working to improve all those relationships to suit the WAFL clubs and ourselves, so we would not be seeking a reserves team in the WAFL competition," Rosich said.

Worsfold first made his reserves team pitch last November during a three-day future planning forum with Eagles' management in Broome.

He believes the gap between West Coast and Victorian-based clubs is widening with those organisations all fielding reserves teams in the VFL.

Sydney and Brisbane also have reserves teams in local competitions, while Adelaide and Port Adelaide spread players through the SANFL.

"I accept that there might be a feeling out there that we won three premiership inside our first 20 years and that's pretty good," Worsfold said.

"But we might have won say five premierships if we had a better system of developing our players and game styles.

"We've had two really powerful squads in our first 20 years to win us premierships, but maybe we could have been better if we'd had a (reserves) system in place."

An Eagles reserves team would not play in WAFL finals, under Worsfold's scheme, and every match in the qualifying season would be an away fixture at the home ground of their opponent.

All gate, corporate and bar profits from games against the Eagles WAFL team would go to the home club.

"We want to maintain the absolute integrity of the WAFL as a competition and traditions," Worsfold said.

"At the end of the home-and-away season, the best possible established WAFL clubs compete in the finals. There is an issue with something like Sandover Medal voting, but I'm keen to work through that."

Any shortfall of player numbers for his reserves, depending on injury tolls and possible suspensions will be filled with special invitations to top amateur players or even retention of some immediate past senior Eagles players as they end their careers.

The team would be coached by specialist development coaches.

A push from an Eagles reserves team is not new.

Current chief executive Trevor Nisbett, when he was football manager and dual premiership coach Mick Malthouse called for a team in the WAFL.

They even considered putting a seconds side into the VFL back in the mid-1990s, after winning historic premierships in 1992 and '94.

Their concept was rejected.[/quote]