Another week, another retiring Brownlow Medallist from the West Coast Eagles!
The West Coast Eagles come into round 20 off a huge 68-point win over the Brisbane Lions last weekend on home turf. Josh Kennedy kicked an impressive six goals, while Jack Darling, Dom Sheed and Mark LeCras kicked two goals each. The win came after the unpredicted announcement last week that Brownlow Medallist Matt Priddis would be hanging up the boots at the end of the 2017 season.
This week, Sam Mitchell, also a Brownlow Medallist, has announced his retirement, with this season being his last. Sam Mitchell played 99% of his AFL career with Hawthorn and has well and truly made a name for himself as a legend of the game. He is a 4 x Premiership player, a Brownlow Medallist (2012), a 3 x All Australian representative, 5 x Hawthorn Best and Fairest winner, and was the 2003 Rising Star! What a list of achievements that is! Congratulations to Sam on an incredible career.
The West Coast Eagles have made just one change to their line-up to face the Saints this week at Etihad Stadium. Chris Masten comes back into the side for Tom Barrass, who is out with a groin injury. Matt Priddis has been named as a ‘travelling emergency’ this week, after missing last week with quad soreness.
St Kilda has had a retirement announcement of their own, with Nick Riewoldt announcing his retirement at the start of the week. Riewoldt was a number 1 draft pick, the Rising Star in 2002, 6 x St Kilda Best and Fairest winner, 4 x St Kilda leading goal kicker, 5 x All Australian representative and has won an AFLPA MVP. Another legend of the game hanging up the boots at the end of 2017!
Riewoldt is back into the Saints’ line-up this week, along with Tom Hickey, Koby Stevens and Nathan Wright, while Jack Lonie has been omitted. They come into this round off a 2-point loss to Port Adelaide last week and MUST win this game if they want to play finals.
West Coast’s Josh Kennedy has retained his impressive goal kicking form since returning from a calf injury, kicking a huge 15 goals in his last three games! St Kilda will need to find an answer for Kennedy if they want to remain in the finals race.