MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Jack Darling of the Eagles looks dejected after losing the AFL Semi Final match between the Geelong Cats and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Despite winning the flag in 2018, West Coast hasn't been able to come close to the same success since, with consistent injuries and retirements slowly leading to the downfall of the Eagles.

This year looms as the worst in the club's history, with only one win and after the embarrassing 171-point defeat at the hands of the Sydney Swans last Saturday. They have also only won three games out of their last 38 and have a whopping 21 players on their injury list currently.

And now, talks are happening as to whether the Eagles should acquire a priority pick from the AFL as they have barely been able to field both an AFL and a WAFL side in 2023.

However, AFL executive member Travis Auld doesn't believe that the Eagles' recent off-field issues are enough to obtain a priority pick, but assessment on the club's struggles will continue.

"Not at this point. They haven't asked for one and we don't give priority picks in the middle of the season," Auld told media this week, via Perth Now. 

"We're having conversations with West Coast about how we can support them and we'll continue to do that, like we do with any football clubs. That's not unusual and not directed just at them.

"Whether they feel like they're in a position to apply for a priority pick is their decision and that doesn't occur until sometime later."

It is suggested that the Eagles may consider trading the first pick should they end the year last on the ladder, in the hopes of bringing in younger talent through pick splitting and trading to assist the Eagles back to their winning ways. A priority pick would give West Coast two picks inside the top 10 of next year's draft.

The priority pick was installed in 1986 to provide much-needed assistance to the bottom teams and was used in 1993 for the Sydney Swans, Brisbane Bears and Richmond. Rules stated that they were to be given to teams who struggled to get five wins in a season with no recognisable prospects on their team.

Since then, the rules have been updated to account for recent finals appearances, club percentage, and injuries. The Brisbane Lions being the first in 2016 to earn the right to the priority pick under the new rules with only three wins and a second last-placed finish, while Gold Coast followed in 2019, finishing 18th with three wins as well.

North Melbourne attempted to bid for a priority pick in 2022 but were knocked back, however were given two picks that had to be traded to speed up their rebuild process.

The 18th-placed Eagles take on St Kilda at Optus Stadium on Sunday at 2:40 pm local time.