North Melbourne premiership winner David King says tough call need to be made on West Coast veterans Josh Kennedy, Shannon Hurn

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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VideoAFL: West Coast had their finals hopes were dented after North Melbourne produced a stunning upset at Optus Stadium to register their third victory of the season.

Dual premiership winner David King says it’s time for West Coast coach Adam Simpson to thank veterans Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn and move on given “this (finals) campaign is probably over”.

Speaking on SEN after the disastrous 10-point loss to North Melbourne on Monday night, King said there was “no shame” in starting a rebuild now.

“The question for Adam Simpson is: ‘Do we start the process now, or do we fight tooth and nail to finish seventh or eighth?’” King said.

“I think he’ll come to the realisation that this campaign is probably over with this group and it might be time to get rolling now.”

The Eagles have now lost their past three matches — including two at home and a shock 92-point belting by Sydney in Geelong — and are clinging onto eighth position by percentage.

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King said it was time the Eagles looked to the future without Kennedy and Hurn.

“They’ve had fantastic careers, they’ve been unbelievable and instead of saying get them out, you say thanks,” he said.

“There’s a handover period that’s ready now.

Josh J. Kennedy walks from the field after the tough loss to North Melbourne.
Camera IconJosh J. Kennedy walks from the field after the tough loss to North Melbourne. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“Oscar Allen is ready to take control of this forward line with Jack Darling.

“There’s no shame in saying to Josh Kennedy, ‘Hey, thanks. You’ve been enormous, but we’ve run aground and we need to get on with things’.

“Shannon Hurn, you’ve never seen a more selfless former captain in your life. You celebrate these guys on the way out if that is to be.”

King said questions remained over the “next wave of talent” at West Coast, and called for Simpson to identify the weaknesses.

VideoAFL: In a rotten night for the Eagles, star duo Elliot Yeo and Jeremy McGovern were caught having an animated discussion during the third quarter.

“Find out what you’ve got on the list,” King said.

“That’s the challenge. You’ve always got to have your finger on the pulse and I think the back-half of the year gives you that opportunity.”

West Coast now have three straight games against bottom eight teams Adelaide, St Kilda and Collingwood before a tough run home against Melbourne, Fremantle and Brisbane.

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