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Saturday, September 29, 2018

AFL grand final 2018: West Coast Eagles former players address pre-game brunch

A bevy of former West Coast premiership stars have tipped their current team to claim the premiership cup today, saying they would be following a club pattern of "losing one before you win one".
Eagles premiership heroes in 2006 Dean Cox, Andrew Embley, Adam Hunter and Quinten Lynch joined premiership players from 1992 and 1994 Peter Wilson and Dean Kemp, who will hand over the Cup to Adam Simpson and Shannon Hurn if the Eagles win, to speak at a packed Eagles fan pre-grand final brunch in Melbourne.
Some in the crowd admitted to paying up to $3500 for airfares.
The former premiership stars shared laughs, banter and stories from their glory days, and all predicted an Eagles win today.
Cox admitted he was flying back after the function to meet a promise to a mate to watch the grand final with him from home. But he predicted he would see "Tommy" (Kemp) present the Cup.
Embley said the 2006 team were close to some of the current crop of players. "You want them to experience what we experienced. When you're so close you just want to make the most of the opportunity because you may not get it again," he said.
Kemp said he was "absolutely rapt" to be given the honour of presenting the Cup if the Eagles win. He was primed for the same task in 2015 when Eagles lost. He hopes this time he makes it onto the stage.
Kemp laughed that when the team won in 1992 and 1994 no one got to touch the Cup apart from Glen Jakovich and Peter Sumich. "This is the first time I will have touched the Cup in a long time," he joked.
Hunter said he would be more worried if West Coast were playing Richmond and believes although it will be tough and tight the Eagles can get over the line.
"They say you need to lose one to win one, it's time to win one," he said.
Lynch, who played for both Collingwood and West Coast, made it clear where his allegiances lied.
"100 per cent I'm on the Eagles bandwagon today, don't you worry about it," he said, tipping an Eagles victory by 14 points.
Cox predicted Josh Kennedy could win the Norm Smith, saying he believed the forward could kick a bag of six goals today.
Wilson said it was great that many in the eastern states didn't rate the Eagles, and looked forward to showing it up to Magpies president Eddie McGuire.
He told the crowd that after nearly 300 AFL and WAFL games, he was remembered for one thing - his over the head goal in the 1992 grand final that Dennis Cometti described as being like a "cork in the ocean".
Kemp recalled how the 1991 grand final loss was a burning motivation. "It eats away at you, you never forget it," he said.