Given the brevity of their pre-season, West Coast comes into the 2019 season at a disadvantage, according to SEN’s David King.
The reigning premiers have had a number of new factors to deal with that could make their title defence harder than usual.
“I’ve got them just in the eight. I think it’s really difficult. The eyes of the football world have been on you for six months picking it apart,” King told SEN’s Whateley.
“Because of the program, they’ve done an incredibly short preparation.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a three-week gap at Christmas mandated by the AFLPA, so they come back, they probably had two weeks training before Christmas, off for the break and then come back in and have the JLT Series so they’re behind the eight-ball.
“If teams are going to get them, they’ve got to get them early.”
Despite conceding West Coast faces a huge challenge in 2019, King believes they have what it takes to go back-to-back.
“Of course they (can go back to back),” he said.
“They talk a different language, the Eagles, and it’s off the back of the coach.
“He talks about representing family, he talks about the sanctuary that is the football club. Come inside the four walls of the West Coast and be embraced – leave everything at the door.
“It’s all about making people better. They don’t talk about winning games. They just want people to be their best.
“It’s such a different outlook and I think some of that is now permeating into other clubs.
“Even hearing at three quarter time (of the Grand Final) Adam Simpson saying this is it, head, heart and gut and that’s how he coaches.
“You’ll play differently to the bloke next to you plays, but I’m asking you fundamentally to do it our way.
“He accepts that each individual is fractionally different and he just makes it work.”
West Coast travels to the Gabba to take on Brisbane in Round 1 on Saturday night.