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Eagles Coach Adam Simpson Speaks On Jack Darling Vaccine Saga

Ryan Rosendale

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| Last updated 

Eagles Coach Adam Simpson Speaks On Jack Darling Vaccine Saga

Featured Image Credit: West Coast Eagles

West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson has broken his silence on unvaccinated star Jack Darling.

Darling, who has chosen not to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for personal reasons, has been forced to train away from the club due to the AFL's health and safety protocols.

Darling's current stance leaves Simpson and the Eagles in limbo just weeks out from the start of the AFL season, when they face Gold Coast on March 20.

Adam Simpson. Credit: AFL
Adam Simpson. Credit: AFL

Speaking on AFL.com.au, the 2018 premiership coach admitted the situation was a 'disappointing one'.

"They're out of the box (situations). Who would have thought two years ago we would be saying these issues would be happening, particularly with Jack," Simpson said.

"As much as we love him and want him back at the club, I've got no control on the next phase."

While Simpson acknowledged it was a challenge, he made a strong point that the Eagles also needed to be patient and let the situation play out.

"It's a balance, isn't it? You always care and have empathy for your players, regardless of the situation they're in. That hasn't changed," the former North Melbourne midfielder said.

Jack Darling. Credit: AFL
Jack Darling. Credit: AFL

"Jack's inability to be at the club has been a challenge. He's working through his situation the best he can. We can only be patient and have understanding."

The 2022 season shapes to be an important one for the Eagles and especially Simpson as coach.

They made a strong start to the 2021 season before losing seven of their last nine matches to miss the finals for the first time since their 2018 premiership win over Collingwood.

Darling has become a key figure inside 50 for the Eagles since his debut in 2011, playing 236 games and kicking 450 goals along with winning the Eagles leading goal-kicker award in 2012, 2018, 2019 and 2021 and making the All-Australian team in 2019.

Darling is now the only AFL player who remains unvaccinated after North Melbourne's Jed Anderson returned to the club following a standoff over receiving his second dose but is now eligible for selection.

Topics: afl, Australia

Ryan Rosendale
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