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Sharrod Wellingham: I was dropped for being lazy, immature

Date

Tom Atkinson

Sharrod Wellingham has admitted he was lazy and immature and deserved to be dropped.

Sharrod Wellingham has admitted he was lazy and immature and deserved to be dropped. Photo: Paul Kane

Too often AFL footballers are trained to talk in clichés but West Coast's Sharrod Wellingham is one that has no problem speaking his mind.

Last night on 6PR's Sports Today program the former Magpie did just that, opening up on why Eagles coach Adam Simpson dropped him after their round six loss to Carlton.

Wellingham who enjoyed a high social profile off the field in Melbourne, said it had nothing to do with anything away from football - and that, to put it bluntly, he’d just been in the worst form of his short career.

The 25-year-old had just 13 possesions and two marks against the Blues, the exact same stats he had in the loss to Port Adelaide the week before.

Prior to those two games he’d averaged 21 touches and four marks.

“I was in a little bit of a slump and that was due to me being a little bit lazy. You’re playing at the peak level and if you’re not on 100 per cent of the time, you get found out pretty quickly and I just wasn’t quite pulling my weight," Wellingham confessed.

“It’s nothing new. It’s switching off and doing all those things that you need to grow out of. When I’m not fully concentrating I can find myself drifting in and out of games, which you can’t really do these days.”

But Wellingham took his demotion to East perth on the chin and a heart-to-heart with the coach has left him in no doubts about what is required to be successful with West Coast.

“I know what I need to work on and what my deficiencies are in my game and I don’t have to be the best at them but if I can keep improving or show that I am thinking about them I’m sure I’ll be able to stay in the team," he said.

A new role playing as a high half-forward has left him frustrated at times but it’s a position he is more than happy to fill for team success.

Ultimately he believes his goal of a move into the engine room will come - but only if he can pull his weight at half-forward first.

“The coaching staff are very keen for me to play in the midfield," he said.

"But if I can’t work both ways and be just as defensively-minded and be able to be relied upon defensively, then it can’t work and I can’t be used in a negating role.”

After being traded to the Eagles from Collingwood at the end of the 2012 season, Wellingham’s 2013 year was wrecked by two ankle injuries, the first while on a trampoline in preseason.

But the 25-year-old has no regrets about making the move back to his home town.

“I actually thought it would be a little bit more full on but the Perth people are quite relaxed about having footballers around town. The bubble, as they say, I don’t think is that intense," he said.

“Maybe if I had of been with another Victorian team I might have seen things a little bit different but I think it [Perth] is a good place to play footy.

"I think you can get away from the footy when you need to and also there is just the perfect amount of footy in your face.”

Wellingham also revealed that the playing group had been getting stuck into Elliot Yeo after a dropped marking attempt against the Pies, resulted in his two front teeth getting knocked out.

“He keeps coming into the club after being at the dentist so he can’t move or feel his face. He’s got a little bit of a lisp the poor bloke," Wellingham said.

"He’s had a couple of root canals already and the boys have been giving him a bit of stick about dropping the mark really.”

Sitting with four wins and five losses the Eagles host North Melbourne for a must-win game at Paterson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

11 comments

  • Good on you Adam Simpson.
    Pull your head in Sharrod.
    Have a look at what you get paid to play footy, while the rest of us bust our arses for one tenth of what you get. Appreciate the opportunity many of us will never ever have.

    Go Eagles. Setting levels is what this side needs, if they want to go forward to a Grand Final in a few years. Those who don't commit, can move on.

    Commenter
    Screech
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 1:38PM
    • This leopard wont change his spots......He came across as a "prima Donna" at Collingwood,which made the right decision in moving him out....Sadly WCE has made an error in trying to salvage his career.....Most blokes that get a second chance when they move onto another club,give it their all....this bloke does not have the ability to give it his all!!!...Can he prove me wrong...I hope so,however my moneys on that he cannot....

      Commenter
      rockinghamlarry
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 1:59PM
      • Another Docker sticking his nose in - obviously.

        Commenter
        Rabbs
        Date and time
        May 29, 2014, 3:10PM
      • I agree. while he is undoubtedly skilful and a class above the rest of WCE's pedestrian midfield, I couldnt help but notice on the weekend he stays a long way from the workface. more concerned about his hair than his contested ball stats is my guess!

        Commenter
        truthsayer
        Location
        bassendean
        Date and time
        May 29, 2014, 3:29PM
      • @Rabbs. I didn't realise this was a private message board for Eagles supporters. As if blanket coverage of WCE in The West and on Channel 7 wasn't enough, it seems you want all the attention from Fairfax as well.

        Commenter
        bio logical
        Location
        perth
        Date and time
        May 29, 2014, 5:06PM
      • @bio logical ill second you on that.you would think the eagles are in the top 4 going by channel 7...

        Commenter
        skeptic
        Location
        perth
        Date and time
        May 30, 2014, 7:38AM
    • Wellingham's problem is that unlike collingwood, west coast don't have three or four a-grade midfielders to take the heat and he just can't swan around doing a few pretty things every game.

      Kicked a nice goal last week but when the heat went on in the last quarter the collingwood cream delivered. Where was Wellingham then?

      Commenter
      RHM
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 3:02PM
      • Potential is the word that comes to mind.

        This bloke has all the skills, decent pace and can take a good grab. There's really no reason he cant push onto become one of the top players in the AFL if he really puts his mind to it

        Add him, "fang fang" Elliot Yeo and Jack Darling into the Eagles midfield and they will have a pretty decent side.

        Commenter
        Lroy
        Date and time
        May 29, 2014, 3:28PM
        • ...and the next in line for a kick in the ar*e and a wake up call......Step up Luke Shuey. I can't remember the last time he had an influence on a result. I'm over hollywoods that won't perform.

          Commenter
          John
          Location
          Northern wannabe
          Date and time
          May 29, 2014, 5:17PM
          • Wellingham is like Buddy Franklin, writ small. Thankfully for WCE he didn't cost as much, but the cultural similarities are there. It will be interesting to see how Franklin turns out, given his arrival at Sydney has been characterised by 'hipster-comes-to-town' behaviour. At least Wellingham doesn't come with a T-shirt business selling lame, sexist, cheap, dated, made in China crappy clothing! Despite the similarities between these two footballers, I detect a little more humility in Wellingham and wish him well.

            Commenter
            Fnaiya
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            May 29, 2014, 5:43PM

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