West Coast was dubbed “fat” and the most unsuitable team in the AFL by former recruiter Matt Rendell.
The Eagles finished 17th this season with two wins in a disastrous year for coach Adam Simpson grappling with COVID-19 and injuries to many of his stars.
Rendell, who has held recruiting and assistant coaching roles at Adelaide and St Kilda, said West Coast had been the least fit club in the AFL for the past two years.
“Some of them are really fat, they carry pounds,” Rendell told Trade Radio.
“(Jeremy) McGovern has been doing this for years. He needs to get fit.
“They need an absolute belt in preseason, that mob. If some of these players haven’t trained well, I’m really disappointed.”
It comes after Port Adelaide Premier and AFL pundit Kane Cornes wrote two exclusive columns for The West Australian about the Eagles’ fitness woes.
Cornes challenged the Eagles in April and questioned the preparation of midfielder Elliot Yeo, who was struggling with injuries.
“It was worrying to see the out of form Yeo looked in his side’s 84-point loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday,” Cornes wrote in April.
“Even though the Eagles have been marred by injuries and COVID protocols, West Coast coach Adam Simpson should have drawn the line with Yeo while the midfielder is in this state. This is a sign of how far West Coast standards have slipped.
“Simpson and the seniors need to reward team-first behavior while punishing unprofessional standards like Yeo’s by getting kicked out of the senior lineup.”
Cornes doubled down on another column in August, saying players shouldn’t be paid if they’re overweight.
“Simpson neglected professional standards on the West Coast. He’s not tough enough on his players like Yeo. Too many have taken liberties,” Cornes wrote.
“The Eagles would be protected if Yeo and others had to comply with the Williamson body fat clause in his contract.
“Yeo isn’t the only Eagles to be out of shape on game day this season. Ruckman Nic Naitanui is far from at the peak of his fitness. He looks heavier than he ever has in his 14-year AFL career.”