Friday, July 7, 2017 - 8:23 PM by Matt Barnsley

WEST Perth's longest-serving coach Bill Monaghan discusses a narrow loss to Subiaco in horrible conditions for the International Football Festival at HBF Arena and looks ahead to the NAIDOC Round clash with Peel Thunder back at the Joondalup venue.

QUESTION: For the second straight week you finished full of running and were coming hard at the end, but just couldn’t get that goal to get in front?
Look last week it was a case of being really inaccurate in front of goals. This week it was a result of the conditions and clearly there was less of a puddle at the end towards the left than the right end of the ground. We unfortunately were kicking into the puddles which didn’t help us in the last quarter. I thought apart from the second quarter our effort was there and we were able to match them in a lot of areas. It's disappointing to come up short, I thought we were a chance to pinch it there for a bit and we got within five points and then a quick turnaround and up the other end it blew out to 11 or whatever it was. Which was disappointing and the players, they didn’t get the reward for the effort. I thought Subiaco were fantastic as well so given the conditions it was a pretty hard fought game.

Q: There wasn’t much between the two teams and in those conditions, it's about winning the hard ball, gaining territory and seeing who can take their chances?
Narrowly between stoppages, contested ball and inside forward 50s we’re slightly ahead in all those. Probably the most disappointing part for me was the first 10-15 minutes we were up and about. We kicked four points when the ball was still relatively dry at the end that had the least number of puddles. We probably missed two or three really gettable goals. When you’re playing any side but particularly when you’re playing the very best side in the competition you can’t afford to not take your opportunities because as the second quarter showed they can be few and far between. Maybe we could’ve hit quarter time three or four goals up and in those condition that’s a significant advantage.

Q: That goalkicking seems to be an on-going thing now, is there anything you can work on?
We’ve tried various things, subtle things and less subtle things. Going fairly hard at the players stipulating how many shots they should have, where they should have them from, what their routine is, to being a little bit more jovial about it. At the end of the day no one was trying to kick points. I would’ve thought this was probably not a good day to judge our goal kicking apart from the three we missed early on from set shots, 20/30 metres out. As the day went along I think Subiaco missed their fair share of gettable goals as well. That somewhat balanced off and Aidan Lynch kicked one from 45m out that floated through so you take the good with the bad. Clearly it wasn’t a good day for goal kicking at Arena Joondalup. 

Q: Aidan Lynch was one player who has had to wait for his chance and thrived in the conditions?
Steve Potente pulled out late and we actually were keeping Aidan and Chris Keunen, to work out which one would play. It was fairly obvious when I drove up here which of the two were playing but then with Steve pulling out with a tragedy in his family after the loss of his grandfather, he wasn’t up to play. Chris kept his spot or earned his spot in the side too and in hindsight, this isn’t a reflection of Chris as such, it’s probably not the selection we needed. Wake up and you think Steve Potente plays, Aidan Lynch plays ahead of Chris Keunen and we’re probably relatively happy with that decision. That’s not saying that Chris didn’t have an impact at certain stages and obviously Subiaco lost Wheeler pretty early on in the piece. They played pretty much the whole game with 21 players. Albeit again I think if you had your choice of a type of player a key position player would be on that you probably are not too fussed at losing but having said that the quality of Clancy is outstanding and he’s a terrific player both at club level and state level. They were very unfortunate to lose him so early.

Q: Those were hardly ideal conditions for Chris Keunen to return in, he deserves a chance to play in fine weather?
We made no secrets to Chris that he had to earn his spot back in the side. He was playing ok footy for a couple of weeks and then last week in the reserves he was outstanding, that’s why he was selected in our 25. It was looking like he was going to play until the weather turned foul late in the week. Look I guess the only thing and Chris has been around long enough to understand that if the weather’s like this again next Saturday the chance of him playing would be pretty slim. But if the weather's fine our conversation with Chris was when you get back into form we expect you to hold your spot in the side and there would be no reason on a dry he wouldn’t be an automatic selection next week. If it’s wet like this and we’re playing in puddles then we probably won’t pick him. 

Q: How did you pull up physically after a pretty brutal contest?
I guess there’s going to be lots of bruises and so on. It was a hard clash. That was probably the positive that we were able to match a seasoned side like Subi on the inside. They probably got us a little bit on the outside, the biggest differential in the stats at least was the outside loose ball gets and uncontested possessions.  Whilst they weren’t huge numbers that was probably the difference, when the ball did spill out they were probably a bit more efficient at getting it and getting inside forward 50. Having said that we still went inside forward 50 more than they did so we must have done a lot right over the day. 

Q: Happy with Kody Manning's effort in his battle with Liam Ryan?
Yes and no. I mean Liam Ryan had five shots on goal and in the conditions, that’s probably a good return. But on 20 other contests I thought Kody was very good and his body work and positioning was outstanding. Whilst I’m always happy with what Kody delivers, to give up five scoring shots we’ve got to keep that in perspective. Kody wasn’t poor but Liam’s an outstanding player and you’ve got to be at your best at all times because he takes his opportunities. 

Q: You haven't been playing badly but have lost three straight now making the game with Peel crucial heading into the bye if you want to stay in the top five?
It's really hard to judge, the ladder position and our win/loss column is starting to probably head in the wrong direction. It’s really hard to judge whether we’re in good form or bad form and I guess ultimately you can only judge by the end result and last week it was two points and this week 11 points. We’re far from out of form but we’re significantly below where we think we need to be. Last week scoring shots probably cost us, this week playing the best side in the competition we just weren’t able to match them in all the areas we needed to. We’re really looking forward to next week’s game against Peel. We find ourselves still in the final five, we’re a game of third spot and we play the third ranked team next week. If we can somehow eke out a win then whether Swans win or not the most they can be ahead of us is one game still. We’re still an outside chance to finish in the top three but you know we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable to miss out. The fixtures, I don’t look that closely at the fixtures really because there’s so many permutations, I’m sure that there’s enough sides playing each other around I would think the way the season's going. We’re 13 games in, seven games to go you would think 11 wins would probably get you in the finals. I’d be surprised if 11 didn’t get you in the finals, 10 probably is a bit iffy, so somehow we have to find four other wins probably. If we could get to that many, 12 might get you into third spot who knows.