ROUND 1 PREVIEW v EAST PERTH

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 10:59 AM

WEST Perth kicks off its 2013 WAFL season with a derby against East Perth at Arena Joondalup this Saturday with the Falcons backing in the strong work over summer to have them raring to go.

West Perth has had a strong pre-season campaign under strength and conditioning coach Craig Soley and now comes into the 2013 season proper on the back of impressive scratch match victories over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval and Peel at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.
That gives the Falcons some momentum, confidence and form to take into Saturday's derby against East Perth.
There will be new faces in the West Perth line-up including recruits Rohan Kerr (Carlton), Shaun Marusic (Frankston) and Trent Manzone (Queensland) while Jay van Berlo and Andrew Strijk will both be suiting up for the Falcons after being delisted by Fremantle and West Coast respectively.
While West Perth has lost some experience with the retirement of three champions – Dion Fleay, Brent LeCras and Dustin Burns since the end of last season, there is still a good blend of experience and youth in the 2013 team.
Captain Jason Salecic, Anthony Tsalikis, Matt Guadagnin, Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Chris Keunen and Ray Bartholomew all have a lot of experience now while Steven Browne, Luke Tedesco, Strijk, van Berlo and Jordan Jones have also played plenty of senior football.
There is excitement surrounding the youngsters as well with midfielders Shane Nelson and Aaron Black coming off outstanding 2012 seasons, Matthew Johnson looking a likely type up forward and Nick Rodda the same down back.
East Perth will have the benefit of West Coast's Blayne Wilson and Cale Morton on Saturday ahead of the full alignment with West Coast taking place from 2014.
However, West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is just focusing on making sure he has the Falcons ready to fire come Saturday to start the season off on a positive note.
He certainly would like to knock the Royals off, though, and urges all West Perth supporters to get to Arena Joondalup and have a look at one of the last three 'real' derbies before East Perth joins up fully with West Coast next year.
"We will only get a couple more cracks at the real derby before that changes so I guess all those passionate West Perth people should frequent all three games against them this year starting Round 1 before we start having a derby with the East Perth Eagles," Monaghan said.
"They are always great challenges against East Perth, but at the end of the day whether it's East Perth or Claremont or Peel in Round 1, we just need to back our systems into place and we will pick 22 fit players who are eager to play.
"We will just go out and give it everything and we are confident that will be good enough."
BY CHRIS PIKE

West Perth has had a strong pre-season campaign under strength and conditioning coach Craig Soley and now comes into the 2013 season proper on the back of impressive scratch match victories over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval and Peel at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

That gives the Falcons some momentum, confidence and form to take into Saturday's derby against East Perth.

There will be new faces in the West Perth line-up including recruits Rohan Kerr (Carlton), Shaun Marusic (Frankston) and Trent Manzone (Queensland) while Jay van Berlo and Andrew Strijk will both be suiting up for the Falcons after being delisted by Fremantle and West Coast respectively.

While West Perth has lost some experience with the retirement of three champions – Dion Fleay, Brent LeCras and Dustin Burns since the end of last season, there is still a good blend of experience and youth in the 2013 team.

Captain Jason Salecic, Anthony Tsalikis, Matt Guadagnin, Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Chris Keunen and Ray Bartholomew all have a lot of experience now while Steven Browne, Luke Tedesco, Strijk, van Berlo and Jordan Jones have also played plenty of senior football.

There is excitement surrounding the youngsters as well with midfielders Shane Nelson and Aaron Black coming off outstanding 2012 seasons, Matthew Johnson looking a likely type up forward and Nick Rodda the same down back.

East Perth will have the benefit of West Coast's Blayne Wilson and Cale Morton on Saturday ahead of the full alignment with West Coast taking place from 2014.

However, West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is just focusing on making sure he has the Falcons ready to fire come Saturday to start the season off on a positive note.

He certainly would like to knock the Royals off, though, and urges all West Perth supporters to get to Arena Joondalup and have a look at one of the last three 'real' derbies before East Perth joins up fully with West Coast next year.

"We will only get a couple more cracks at the real derby before that changes so I guess all those passionate West Perth people should frequent all three games against them this year starting Round 1 before we start having a derby with the East Perth Eagles," Monaghan said.

"They are always great challenges against East Perth, but at the end of the day whether it's East Perth or Claremont or Peel in Round 1, we just need to back our systems into place and we will pick 22 fit players who are eager to play.

"We will just go out and give it everything and we are confident that will be good enough."

BY CHRIS PIKE