AAP AFL

GF replay a no-go for Eagle Jack Darling

By AAP Newswire

West Coast forward Jack Darling says he still gets nervous watching replays of his team's premiership triumph, revealing he even ordered his family to turn it off on Christmas Day.

Darling had a quiet first half in the five-point grand-final win over Collingwood, but burst to life in the third quarter to play a crucial role in the triumph.

The 26-year-old, who took six marks and kicked a goal in that third term, cherishes the premiership win.

But watching a replay of the match has proven to be tricky.

"I get nervous if I watch it again," Darling said on Monday.

"I don't really like it - I get that nervous feeling.

"On Christmas Day, the brother-in-laws were trying to watch it and I told them to turn it off just because I wanted to enjoy the day.

"It is just such a close game, you still feel nervous."

Darling dropped a simple mark near the goal square in the dying stages of the grand final, with the mistake giving Collingwood one final chance to snatch victory.

Luckily for Darling, the Eagles were able to hold on for the win.

"I dropped the mark," Darling said.

"I turned around to see if I could play on and kick the goal, so I just turned my head a bit too early and that caused me to fumble the ball.

"So (it was) a bit of a mistake and I was glad it didn't cost us.

"Once that siren went, it was one of the best feelings."

Darling was in career-best form last season before suffering a serious ankle injury in round 11.

The 172-game veteran said that purple patch of form has given him confidence he can produce the goods again in 2019.

Darling has returned from the off-season break in good shape.

But Josh Kennedy (shoulder surgery) and Jamie Cripps (foot) face races against time to be fit for round one.

Darling is confident Kennedy will be cleared to play, but Cripps is an unlikely starter.

Defender Tom Barrass (foot) and Daniel Venables (knee) remain sidelined from training, but Elliot Yeo (toe) and Nic Naitanui (knee) are making good progress.