How Eagles injury crisis hurt West Perth forward Tyler Keitel’s chances at West Coast

Headshot of Catherine Healey
Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
VideoWest Coast will lose Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo and Campbell Chesser to injury while Tyler Keitel has departed for Fremantle.

WAFL forward Tyler Keitel arrived at West Coast hoping to nab one of three vacant spots on their list for the 2022 season.

But he now departs for Fremantle, after spending three weeks at the Eagles and managing only 16 minutes in their pre-season match against the Dockers last Friday night.

West Coast footy boss Gavin Bell confirmed the club was impressed by the West Perth forward, but revealed the club’s injury crisis hindered Keitel’s chance to shine.

“We had Tyler down for three weeks – we initially had him coming for two weeks and then we extended him for another week,” Bell said on 6PR.

“We had initially planned to play Fremantle (in the practice match) for five to six quarters.

“We wanted to give Tyler some extended time with us and hoped to give him a little more game time… unfortunately the state of our list meant we had to go back to Fremantle and renegotiate the game time we could play.”

Tyler Keitel’s stint at West Coast is over.
Camera IconTyler Keitel’s stint at West Coast is over. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

The injury-hit Eagles were decimated early in the contest against the Dockers with Dom Sheed, Campbell Chesser and Elliot Yeo all going down before half time.

Bell said he hoped the 26-year-old Keitel, who kicked 70 goals in 19 games last WAFL season, could find his way into the AFL.

“We wish him all the best down at Fremantle,” Bell said.

“His time was up, he’s got an opportunity down there now with them and I’m hoping for his sake he gets that opportunity — whether it’s at Fremantle or another club in the future.”

Admitting West Coast were “starting to struggle for numbers”, Bell refused to be drawn on predictions the club would finish bottom four.

“Right now our focus is what we can control right now,” he said.

“We’ve set no clear expectations.

“People are obviously entitled to their opinions and we respect that. This is not the first time we’ve had a heavy loss in the pre-season. Fremantle have probably beaten us heavily three out of the last four years to be honest.

“It’s a difficult one because there’s no one to blame, nothing to blame; it’s just some bad luck unfortunately.”

West Coast still have three spots on their list, while Fremantle have just one following the retirement of Luke Valente.

Clubs have until March 9 to add any players through the Supplementary Selection Period.

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