Time for Eagles to swoop: Selwood

Scott Selwood in action for West Coast last week.
Scott Selwood in action for West Coast last week.

WHEN your only wins for the season are against four of the bottom five teams on the ladder, it is an understatement to say you need a big scalp.

West Coast stopper Scott Selwood is confident that scalp will come tomorrow against Hawthorn at Launceston's Aurora Stadium, as the Eagles look to keep in touch with the top eight.

Despite their lack of wins against quality opponents, the 11th-placed Eagles were more than competitive in losses against Port Adelaide, Fremantle and Collingwood.

"No doubt this will be a very important game for us as they (Hawthorn) are a really quality side," the 24-year-old told The Examiner.

"We have a lot of respect for them and the way they play, but we need to start getting some scalps.

"We think we have the ability to beat the better teams, which is the next step for us."

Selwood believes the Eagles' work with the contested ball would be key to taking that step against the reigning premier.

"You need to bring your intensity with you when you play the Hawks, as they are such a skilful side and you need to be able to deny them their options.

"But like any game, if you win the contested ball and give your forwards first chance, that can go a long way towards winning the game, and we'll be focusing on our intensity around the footy."

Selwood, who has played 120 games for the Eagles, is likely to get a defensive role on an Isaac Smith, Shaun Burgoyne or Bradley Hill.

He said his primary focus as a tagger was as simple as beating his man.

"I go out with a pretty clear message from the coaches about whether I'm there to do a complete shut- down role or try to run off him with a focus of team defence.

"So it is about what the coach wants and doing that to the best of my ability."

Selwood, who has played on Brent Harvey, Scott Pendlebury, Travis Boak, Marc Murphy, Callan Ward and Nathan Fyfe this season, described his year as "inconsistent".

The younger brother of Geelong captain Joel is averaging 22 touches a game, with the best 29 in round 1, and is equal fourth in the league for goal- assists (11) but equal 12th for clangers (33).