Gaff says Eagles are eager to break MCG hoodoo
Hard-running West Coast wingman Andrew Gaff will be aiming to finally notch a win on his beloved MCG when he runs out for Saturday night's AFL semi-final clash with Collingwood.
Gaff regularly attended games at the 'G' while growing up in Melbourne, with the 182cm wingman cheering on his cherished Demons from the general admission section.
The 20-year-old changed allegiances as soon as he was drafted by West Coast with pick No.4 in the 2010 national draft, but says playing at the MCG still holds extra significance for him.
His first taste of action there came against Collingwood in last year's 20-point qualifying final loss, and his subsequent three visits to the 'home of football' have also resulted in defeats.
But with a spot in the preliminary final on the line, Gaff is determined to end his losing run this Saturday.
"I was lucky enough to play that first final last year. I hadn't played a game at the 'G' before that game so it was all a bit of a blur for me," Gaff said.
"But obviously you can tell that Collingwood supporters are louder than most other teams, especially with 80,000 there.
"It means a lot more playing in the state you grew up in and where all your family is, and you know they'll be at the game cheering.
"It would mean a lot to play in a grand final there one day.
"I used to love going there as a kid."
Gaff, who has averaged 24.6 possessions a game this season, said West Coast would have their hands full trying to control Collingwood's powerful midfield.
"Dayne Beams has been a standout this year," Gaff said.
"Not only is he getting his 30-odd touches, but he's kicking goals.
"So he's one player we have to keep an eye on.
"But if you focus too hard on him, then you've got Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan who can cause havoc like they have several times in their career."
The Eagles replaced injured defender Beau Waters with a fit-again midfielder Matt Rosa, while Collingwood brought in Tyson Goldsack and and Jamie Elliott for Nick Maxwell (suspended) and Ben Sinclair (omitted).