Tuesday, May 17, 2022

West Coast coach hits back at Cornes’ ‘fat’ attack on Eagles’ Elliot Yeo

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has branded footy shock jock Kane Cornes “irrelevant” after his fat attack on Eagles star Elliot Yeo.

The former Port Adelaide star blasted Yeo, a two-time All-Australian, for being “out of shape” as the Eagles were thumped by 84 points by the Power in Round 6.

Yeo contributed four disposals and three tackles before he was ruled out of the contest with concussion following a head knock.

The 28-year-old has been plagued with injury over the last few years, playing just 23 AFL games since the start of 2020.

Speaking on Channel 9’s Footy Classified, Cornes ripped into Yeo for how he “presented himself” at Adelaide Oval on the weekend.

He said Yeo would have had to report for “fat club” if he’d been playing at the same time Cornes did before his retirement in 2015.

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Cornes has also penned a newspaper column in Perth trying to explain why it was OK for him to call out players for being out of shape.

Simpson fired back on Thursday.

“To be honest I haven’t read anything that Kane Cornes has written or heard anything he’s said, so irrelevant is what comes to my mind about what his opinion is,” Simpson said.

“Elliot Yeo has not played football for the last two-and-a-half years, really. He’s had osteitis (pubis), he had a calf injury, he got knocked out at the start of the second quarter, he’s played two games this year.

“I think that’s a little bit unfair if that’s the criticism on him. He’s played 12-13 games in the last 40. He’s working really hard. I’ll back him and it’s still irrelevant.”

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He said the club is actually “really happy” with its fitness levels “going into pre-season” but conceded the situation may have deteriorated as a result of the club’s injury crisis.

“Going into pre-season for us, we were really happy with our fitness. I think we had 17 PBs (personal bests) in our time trials and we were in really good shape,” Simpson said.

“We’ve had 20-plus injuries since then and 23 players have had COVID and we’re working really hard to get that fitness back. Absolutely, I can understand the criticism but we’re working really hard to get as fit as we can and as healthy as we can.”

Cornes originally said AFL players are open to criticism about their fitness levels because they are professional athletes.

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