Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 6:17 PM

NOT only does Rohan Kerr want to offer plenty on the field to West Perth, but coming off his experience in the AFL with Carlton he wants to provide some leadership to hopefully put the Falcons within premiership contention in 2013.

Kerr joins West Perth for the 2013 WAFL season after spending the last three years with Carlton where he was taken at pick No. 59 in the 2009 draft from the Dandenong Stingrays.

While he couldn’t quite crack it for an AFL game, whether as a midfielder, wingman or half-forward, he played well at VFL level before being delisted at the end of 2012.

The 21-year-old wanted to make a completely fresh start and decided to come west. West Perth then proved his most attractive option and now after a strong pre-season with the Falcons, he can't wait to make his debut this Saturday against East Perth at Arena Joondalup.

"It's a big rivalry I hear and especially to have it at Joondalup in front of the home fans will be a bit more special. Hopefully we can get a win on the board to kick start 2013 off on a high note," Kerr said.

"Everyone talks up the East-West derby and it makes you want to try that extra bit harder to win it. It's something the boys have all been talking about and just can't wait to start the season with that.

"We have done everything in our preparation to give us the best chance to start the season off on the right note against East Perth."

West Perth wasn’t a completely foreign club to Kerr with his former Carlton teammates Steven Browne and Josh Donaldson in the group, and with Darren Harris highly recommending the club he is a premiership captain and coach of.

Kerr has found himself having no trouble settling in and already feels the West Perth culture rubbing off on him.

"It definitely has been different and I suppose that is one of the reasons I came here. The boys have made it a pretty smooth transition and I've known a few guys previously from Carlton like Browney and Darren Harris," he said.

"On that part of it, it's been pretty smooth and I'm enjoying the change so far both for footy and with the better weather compared to Melbourne. I've really noticed the mateship that everyone has. Over at Carlton it's a bit more serious and professional, and just to come down here with 50 of your best mates is really good.

"Everyone is obviously fighting for their spot, but at the end of the day you can walk off the track and everyone is mates, and is trying to succeed for the team to try and win that premiership. That's what we are all about."

Kerr feels that the pre-season with West Perth has been harder than his ones with Carlton simply for the fact that the same amount of work is crammed into spending significantly less time together as a group. He feels the hard work has paid off for himself and the team though.

"I actually think the pre-season has been a bit harder to be honest," Kerr said.

"Compared to an AFL pre-season, you pretty much do the same amount of things but just in a shorter amount of time because Bill only has six hours with us a week but at an AFL club, the coaches are with you all day, every day.

"From that part of it, the time frame is a lot less and the training load is definitely up there. The heat also gets you over here and that makes a difference when you are doing all the hard training."

While there is plenty of experience still in the West Perth group with the likes of captain Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew, Dan Hunt, Matt Guadagnin, Anthony Tsalikis, Chris Keunen, Andrew Strijk and Jay van Berlo, Kerr certainly has not been afraid to speak up and express his views.

That's something he will aim to continue to do and feels that having as much input as possible from the senior players to help coach Bill Monaghan and his coaching staff can only be beneficial towards building a successful season.

"You've also got Strijky and Van Berlo and guys like that who have had AFL experience, but if I can add to the group in any way with leadership or ideas, which I hope I have, then I will be more than happy to," he said.

"We are all striving for that premiership at the end of the year and if I can help achieve that in any way, I'm happy to do that."

Kerr sees himself playing a similar role with West Perth than he was in the VFL, but feels that the bigger grounds and open spaces of WAFL grounds could make him an even more effective player.

"I'll spend more time midfield and half-forward this year, and maybe towards the wing a fair bit to give the guys inside a bit of a chop out, and hopefully hit the scoreboard a bit more," he said.

"VFL grounds are a lot smaller and the space out here will definitely suit my game more. Personally, one of my strengths is being able to run so if I can use that to my advantage and if that can help the team in any way, then I suppose I'll be doing my job."

Kerr had West Perth highly recommended to him and now is already glad that he made the move, and will be more than happy to stay for some time unless another AFL opportunity opens up for him.

"Darren Harris was someone I had a lot to do with in the VFL and in development at Carlton, and I knew Steven Browne and Josh Donaldson who were playing here so that definitely attracted me here," Kerr said.

"I spoke to a few other WAFL clubs as well at the start, but these guys were more on the front foot and more approachable, and it just seemed right and I'm definitely happy I made the move. I'm more than happy with where I am at West Perth and I'm just taking it one year at a time.

"At this stage I will play this year and I've signed for two years, so I'm not looking beyond what is happening here at West Perth. If it happens in the AFL again then it happens and I'm sure West Perth will be happy for me, but I am happy here and hopefully we can bring in a premiership."