Eagle LeCras urged to knuckle down in AFL

Sep 17, 2017 - 5:50 AM West Coast skipper Shannon Hurn predicts Mark LeCras can play on for another two years if the AFL veteran knuckles down and commits to the cause.

LeCras is no certainty to earn a new deal after enduring a topsy-turvy year.

Four West Coast veterans have already retired - Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie, and Sam Butler.

LeCras is keen to play on, and the Eagles may opt to give the 31-year-old a one-year contract to ensure they don't lose too much experience in the one hit.

Hurn said the 196-game veteran still had a lot to offer.

"I know he's keen to play, so it just comes down to that commitment," Hurn said.

"If you want to work hard, and you want to get better and come and do the hard yards, I certainly think Lecca can play for another two years, no problem.

"He's a very smart forward, understands the game and generally finishes off quite well.

"I'd love to see him play on and I think he will, but there's still a bit going on."

LeCras went through a four-game goal drought earlier this season while he battled a nagging hip injury. It was leanest run of his 12-year career.

But he made some strong contributions in the tail-end of the season, and booted two goals from 16 disposals in Saturday's 67-point semi-final loss to GWS.

The retirements of Priddis and Mitchell will leave a massive hole in West Coast's midfield, while Petrie's versatility will also be sorely missed.

But West Coast have no plans of bottoming out next season, especially with ruckman Nic Naitanui set to return from a knee reconstruction.

If Naitanui can recapture his best form, he will solve a lot of the team's midfield problems that surfaced this season.

And Scott Lycett's return from a shoulder injury will bolster the club's ruck depth.

Goalsneak Willie Rioli failed to play an AFL game this season because of serious hamstring issues, but big things are expected of the first-year forward.

And West Coast also have high hopes on first-year midfielder Daniel Venables, who would have made his AFL debut by now if not for a lingering foot issue.

Hurn knows the clock is ticking on West Coast's premiership window, and he said it was important for the club's younger players to step up.

Source: AAP

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