Brad Sheppard announces his retirement after ongoing concussion symptoms forced a premature end to his accomplished 216-game career.
"We just heard him speak to the staff and players, and [it was] really emotional. He's had a wonderful career that's been cut short. The way he spoke today was first class. He's going to be missed," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.
West Coast will give veteran defender Brad Sheppard as much time as he needs to weigh up his playing future as he deals with ongoing symptoms of delayed concussion sustained during the Eagles' round 22 loss to Fremantle.
"We're not going to take risks with any of our players' health, but we want to give Bradley as much time as possible to make the call that he believes is right," West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett said.
"He's got a lot of footy left ahead of him if he wants to keep playing but again, it's going to end up a health decision and a decision that only Bradley can make. It's something that we'll just have to give him as much time as we can."
Harry Edwards now measures 200cm in height after a recent growth spurt.
Edwards managed just one senior game in 2020, which was cut short in the second quarter against Geelong when he collided with teammate Brad Sheppard in a marking contest.
"He's still got a lot of developing within himself, but you see the way he reads the game, he's going to be a pretty special player. Any key-position player who is 200cm is a real asset to your footy club," Sheppard said of Edwards.
"He's learning from the best and he's really like a sponge out there. Hopefully, he gets his opportunity again this year. He's still dirty with me after I knocked him out in his debut game."
Luke Shuey has joined elite West Coast company and denied two-time reigning club champion Elliot Yeo's shot at history after being crowned the John Worsfold medallist for a second time.
A superb finish to the season ensured Shuey (258 votes) took the honours, ahead of midfield counterpart Yeo (239) and backman Brad Sheppard (234).
Shuey told a packed room he has never enjoyed his football and family life away from the game more.
"Obviously having a love outside of football has taken my mind off it during the week and come gameday you realise you haven't thought about footy for a few days and you're completely revved up and ready to go," Shuey said.
"Knowing we're a good football club and we've got some amazing people here, I get to rock up to work with 43 of the most amazing teammates I could ever imagine."
Brad Sheppard signs a three-year extension with West Coast to remain at the club until the end of 2022, while also ensuring he will remain an Eagle for life.
"The club's shown a lot of faith in me in the early part of my career and I feel like now I'm an established member of the team," Sheppard said.
"I've got really good mates at the club and have a good relationship with the coaches (and) I'm really happy to be able to play at this great footy club for a further three years to take me into my 13th year."
Brad Sheppard's premiership dream is over for 2018 after scans revealed tendon damage to the dependable West Coast defender's left hamstring.
Sheppard went down near the 20-minute mark of the opening term of the Eagles' qualifying final when he soccered a loose ball off the ground and overextended at full pace after a slight push from Magpie Jordan De Goey.
"I'm a bit devastated with the news I won't be taking any part in the finals series now," Sheppard told TAB Radio.
"I've got to put a brave face on with the boys because I think we've got a real chance this year."
A move to the backlines has resulted in Brad Sheppard playing some of the best footy in his career.
"I think in the last year but especially over the pre-season, Brad's understood what football is about. He has probably matured as a person in general," Eagles teammate Shannon Hurn said about Sheppard.
"It's really pleasing that he's put the performances on the board. Now the challenge going forward is to consistently keep doing it and keep improving."
Drew Petrie has joined a chorus of voices calling on the AFL to overhaul its contentious Match Review Panel after the panel found Shaun McKernan's elbow to Eagle Brad Sheppard to be reckless rather than intentional.
"Shaun McKernan's elbow to the head of West Coast Eagles midfielder Brad Sheppard was appalling," Petrie wrote in an article for the Ballarat Courier.
"More shocking though was the AFL match review panel's finding. Two weeks. That's all the Adelaide Crows' big man was rubbed out for.
"I don't understand how it's been allowed to get this bad and this disappointing. Every week, we are left dumbfounded by its findings and the system is having a direct impact on the careers of players."
West Coast's Andrew Embley, Pat McGinnity, Brad Sheppard and Jacob Brennan have signed contract extensions.
"It's nice to have the contract extended for 12 months. At this stage of my career it makes sense to look at it each year.," Embley said about his new one-year deal.
McGinnity, Sheppard and Brennan have all signed on for two years.
"We see all of those players as integral members of our squad," West Coast list and contracts manager Craig Vozzo said.
"Brad Sheppard is a player we rate very highly and anticipate will play a significant role in the improvement we are looking for in pushing inside the top four and enhancing our premiership aspirations.
"He has many of the traits we need to take that next quantum leap and after recent surgery, we look forward to a strong pre-season from him as part of his planned development.
"Pat McGinnity was one of our most consistent players throughout the year and Jacob Brennan had an outstanding debut season."
Saturday, 8 May 2010
Bradley Sheppard makes his AFL debut for West Coast with 10 disposals (6 kicks and 4 handballs), a mark and 2 tackles in an 8-point win over Hawthorn.
Friday, 27 November 2009
West Coast draft pick Brad Sheppard says he will be pushing early for senior selection.
"I'll see how I go with training and everything, but I wouldn't rule myself out of trying to get a game early on," Sheppard said.
"You're not here to have a little ride along, so you want to push for selection first up and hopefully train well."
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
West Coast is expected to surprise at the national draft when it overlooks wingman Lewis Jetta with its first pick.
The Eagles are believed favour of East Fremantle defender Brad Sheppard instead.