THEY had to travel across the country to get here but West Coast coach Adam Simpson is happy to be in Wagga.
The Eagles conducted an open training session in front of a group of loyal fans at Robertson Oval on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s showdown with Greater Western Sydney (GWS) at Narrandera.
West Coast will raise their concerns with the AFL after they were selected to travel a round trip of 7000 kilometres for their opening pre-season fixture.
But Simpson labelled the Eagles’ travel burden as a minor concern upon arrival in Wagga as the club embarked on their first visit to the Riverina in their 30-year history.
“The balance of that is I think it’s really important to play football here, it’s a great football community,” Simpson said.
“Wagga Wagga, in particular, has over 100 years of history and to grow the game in NSW is really important as well.
“The question I ask was does it have to be West Coast, or the Western Australian sides, which I’m still trying to get my head around but the fact that there needs to be football here, I totally understand.”
West Coast will field a young squad against the Giants, but Simpson is excited to see what they uncover.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids, we’ve got six or seven guys that have never played for West Coast so we’re really excited,” he said.
“It’s one of those games that you go in with genuine excitement. The result’s not critical...but there is genuine excitement with a young team.”