Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson questions West Coast’s ‘uncomfortable’ home advantage

The West Australian
VideoWest Coast will unveil a sixth debutant when the Eagles face North Melbourne.

Veteran football journalist Caroline Wilson has sensationally declared some clubs are “a bit uncomfortable” West Coast have been permitted to home quarantine on their return to WA.

The Eagles will fly home tomorrow morning following their final home-and-away clash against North Melbourne tonight.

Similar to their return from the first Gold Coast hub, the players will home quarantine – but not everyone’s on board with it, Wilson says.




“Some clubs are a bit uncomfortable about this,” Wilson said on Footy Classified.

“They (the Eagles) are in quarantine but it’s home quarantine.

“I know if you finish seventh or eighth that you can’t expect many favours…

“West Coast have had to fly to the MCG and win premierships with all of the disadvantages we have heard about. But that is tough for the other side.”

West Coast Eagles leave Eagles HQ in Lathlain bound for the airport where they will fly to the Queensland AFL hub.
Camera IconWest Coast Eagles leave Eagles HQ in Lathlain bound for the airport where they will fly to the Queensland AFL hub. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Wilson’s comments come without reference to any Queensland club’s advantage, despite Brisbane and Gold Coast having played the entire season in their home state.

“West Coast have rightly campaigned for this and they weren’t going to get a final after week one because of the complications of the quarantine,” she continued.

“But I think it’s incredibly tough on all the other clubs, or certainly the one club that goes over.”

The Eagles have played ten away games to their seven matches at Optus Stadium this year, including two separate Gold Coast hub stints.

The club has also been told they will not be permitted to host a final in week two of the series, even if they earn the right to do so.

Social media users were quick to point out the ‘Victorian bias’ stemming from the remarks.

“Is there a mute button for Caroline Wilson and any other AFL media personality who reckons the interstate clubs have an unfair advantage?” one user wrote.

“Spare me,” another wrote.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said his club would make no excuse should they need to travel to Perth for the first week of finals.

“It’ll be what it is and we’ll just get stuck into it, whichever way it goes. If Collingwood is playing in Perth we’ll go over and play our best,” he said.

“Obviously what we would love to see I’m sure is if there was an exemption so the teams could fly in and fly out, I think there’s plenty of opportunities,” he said.

“They’re all in quarantine at the moment, they’re all in hubs, they can all be tested as much as you like, particularly in the weeks going into it.

“Maybe that can be discussed between the AFL and the WA government, not that they’ve given much latitude in the past, the WA government.”

But former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was in support of Wilson’s view stating the ‘advantage’ doesn’t sit well, despite West Coast having earned it with their ladder position.

“In COVID times, they get the emotional nourishment when they get home, their record at home is exceptional and typically you get an advantage. But in this time, it just seems a little bit out of kilter for mine,” he said.

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