Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Last Friday I thought we were very impressive early and the last 20 minutes we were very good again, but in between it was a real mixed bag.

I guess the endeavour was there and our ability to stick to what we wanted to do was there, but we failed to capitalise on our winning of the ball with our field kicking, and then obviously in front of goal as well. We kicked 1.8 between the second and third quarters, which was really disappointing because four or five of them were relatively easy shots. It wasn’t as if they were snaps from pockets and so on, some of them were relatively easy shots 20 metres straight out in front.

There were some real positives from the game still, but obviously some things that we need to work on because when we face the better sides, because we don’t know where Subi and East Perth will sit yet, we can't afford to let our chances go begging.

I think at the start to the season players can be a bit scratchy, but the other thing is that all the clubs are working hard on putting good pressure on, and their forwards are all working hard. There seems to be a lot more pressure on the ball carrier at the moment which means that there is a lot of times where there are just quick kicks forward trying to get some yardage.

It has been a focus on ours and it looks as though it might be the case from a couple of other sides. Most sides are also pushing their forwards right up the ground so you can come streaming through the centre and sometimes the players look up and have nothing to kick to. They might be trying to find targets that are a bit hard to hit because of that as well. There's a few things at play, but with the hot weather making the ball sweaty and good pressure are all factors.

We've got a lot of time for Laine Rasmussen who was great for us on Friday. He is an intelligent young man, he works hard and plays the game aggressively both offensively and defensively. There's a lot to like about him and we think that down the track he can develop into a real leader of our footy club. He is someone who understands the game and sets good examples both at training and during games.

He's done a great job for two weeks and what we need to keep remaining ourselves is that he's still just a young man and there will be ups and downs, but at the moment his application and attitude for the contest has been fantastic. He's been rewarded for that. He generally uses the ball well and we just need to keep giving him support and understand that there will be times when he's not going to be great, but we have to keep working hard on helping him keep on improving.

Friday was also a great learning evening for Matt Johnson. He obviously did a very good job the week before and Subiaco saw that, and decided to put Ben Randall on him who is a two-time premiership player and one of Subi's very best. Johnno struggled with that early and Randy did a really good job of closing him down and Johnno wasn’t attacking the ball as clean as the week before, but he improved in the second half and I thought he contributed well at times.

That's great for his learning to understand that if he can make it as a league footballer there will be sides who put a fair bit of planning into stopping him because he has all the attributes to kick goals. Yes he was quiet, but I thought his efforts to keep trying to create were fantastic. It's about sharing the load for us because we don't have a traditional forward-line with a gun key forward like Claremont or Swan Districts has in the past, and Souths had with Saunders. We are trying to spread the load and hopefully we can keep kicking a winning score each week.

We are obviously extremely happy with the way we've started. I think the attitude of all the players over the whole pre-season phase, then the practice matches was very good and they prepared themselves well. They now have got the rewards in the first two games, but we have a break now and can sit back and recharge the batteries a little bit. We also understand there are a lot of things we can do better and we have to keep working on our defensive pressure, and then try to hurt the opposition a little more going forward. It's been a great start, but one or two wins this time of the year doesn’t mean anything other than we have got off to a good start.

We have plenty of work to do and obviously if you are in good form sides take more notice and there are more expectations on you, but all we can do is control the things that we can control. We have just lightened off a bit this week in terms of our competitive type training, but we will ramp that up again early next week because going down to Fremantle Oval on a Friday night is going to be a tough gig regardless of how South goes this week.

The players get three days off. We will do a little bit more than normal this Thursday night and that will be mainly skills based with some running to get some extra kilometres into their legs, but they will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. We will get back to the club at the normal time on Monday night to do our usual session and then train as normal on Tuesday and Thursday leading into the game on Friday night.

It's three days off, but they will all get an individualised program as well where they are expected to do something on their own on Saturday whether that's a bike, swim or run depending on where they are at with their fitness and how saw they have been after the first two weeks.