DARCY Keast's trips up the highway have increased as North Warrnambool Eagles have edged closer to a potential grand final berth.
The Geelong-based defender, who returned to his Hampden league roots for the 2019 season, has trained at Bushfield the past two Thursday nights.
Usually he travels home for games on Saturdays.
Keast, who will play a crucial role in the Eagles' defence in Saturday's preliminary final, said he'd handled the travel-factor and had already committed to playing for coach Adam Dowie again next season.
He said the Eagles had planned training sessions to include their travelling contingent.
"During the year we've had some catch-ups in random places in between Geelong and Warrnambool or we've gone down on a Friday night," Keast said.
"We went to Derrinallum on the Saturday morning on the first (finals) bye round we had and their ground is actually very, very good."
Keast, 26, said the commitment to return to North had been justified.
"We (the travellers) were all a little bit suspect on the travel aspect but it's worked out not too bad," he said.
"I am going to go around again next year and make the trek down again which will be good."
Keast has slotted into the Eagles' back line in 2019 but has had to adjust to a different role to what he played at Geelong league club Leopold.
The accountant has played on the opposition's key position forwards, such as Warrnambool's Sam Cowling and Travis Graham, Portland's Jake Wilson and Koroit's Sam Dobson.
"It's been different playing on the bigger guys, I probably hadn't done it since (I last played in the Hampden league)," Keast said.
"Because up here (in Geelong) we have guys who are bigger than me and were able to play on the bigger guys and I was more suited to more of a running-type."
Keast is confident the Eagles can respond from their 58-point second semi-final defeat to Koroit, saying morale was high and "we're all very confident we can get our game going again this week" against the Blues at Friendly Societies' Park.
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