McGovern hopes Gaff returns to Eagles nest
Posted on 03/28/19 11:14 AM
Jeremy McGovern hopes the suspended Andrew Gaff plays a role in West Coast’s premiership charge.West Coast are going to miss Andrew Gaff’s 30-odd possessions each week but the Eagles’ Jeremy McGovern hopes the suspended midfielder can still play a role in the club’s premiership charge.
Gaff will miss the rest of the AFL season after copping an eight-week ban for the off-the-ball punch that broke the jaw of Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw.
The 175-game veteran is in Melbourne spending time with family and friends and it’s unclear what role – if any – he’ll play at West Coast for the remainder of the year.
Last week, coach Adam Simpson said it was unlikely Gaff would continue to train with the team.
But McGovern hopes Gaff will be involved in some capacity.
“I think Gaffy is the type that would want to be involved,” the defender said.
“I’d like to think he would have some impact for us, whether it’s helping out the coaches or any of the boys playing.
“I’m sure Gaffy will put his hand up for that.
“We’ve flicked a few texts to him. He seems to be going OK (but) it’s a tough time for him.”
Gaff will be a restricted free agent at season’s end and it remains to be seen whether he’ll stay at the Eagles.
West Coast are in the box seat to secure a top-two finish following last week’s after-the-siren win over Port Adelaide.
The Eagles need only one more win to guarantee a top-two berth and they’re aiming to lock it away in Sunday’s clash with Melbourne at Optus Stadium.
McGovern was the hero against Port after drifting forward late in the match to kick the winning goal after the final siren.
Star forward Josh Kennedy (shin) is only a slight chance to return against the Demons, while the Eagles will need to monitor ruckman Nathan Vardy (knee) and goalsneak Liam Ryan (corked leg).
Vardy didn’t appear at the club’s recovery session on Monday, while Ryan just walked laps.
But ruckman Nic Naitanui, who will miss the next 12 months with a knee injury, made an appearance.
“He’s feeling all right,” McGovern said.
The seventh-placed Demons need one more win to lock away a finals berth and it will be tough given they finish with games against West Coast and GWS.