VETERAN recruits Sam Mitchell and Drew Petrie won’t be held back on limited game time in their West Coast debuts, despite the sweltering heat forecast in Geraldton for Saturday’s pre-season Western Derby, according to Eagles coach Adam Simpson.
The Eagles have named their strongest available squad for the JLT Community Series clash with arch rivals Fremantle at Wonthella Oval, which will be played in temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s.
Simpson expected the AFL’s heat policy to be applied and, after resting West Coast’s biggest stars for last weekend’s trip to regional NSW, the coach is keen for his recruits to start building chemistry with their new teammates.
“They’ll play a fair bit, along with (Nathan) Vardy as well, we need to get the chemistry going as quick as we can,” Simpson said.
“We did contemplate playing them last week but being in their mid-30s for a couple of those blokes, we looked after them with their travel.
“We need to get full games into all of those guys.
“I think the heat policy will come into play which will mean 22 minutes flat with eight-minute (breaks between) quarters.
“It probably means we need to play less players because we won’t get the minutes in (to our best players before round one).”
After carrying the…