BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 3

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:41 PM

SOUTH Fremantle has a lot of young guys and three or four recruits coming into their side so they are an interesting team. At their best, they run really hard forward and create a lot of scoring opportunities so they are going to be a hard side to match up on this Friday night.

Obviously I didn’t see their game in Round 1 against Claremont, but from all reports they were very good in the first half and then I went and watched them on Saturday against Perth.

But really over the first month or six weeks of the competition you are just trying to get a gauge on where everyone's at. People have their opinions and the media predict who is going to be first through to ninth, but until it settles down after five or six rounds it's kind of up in the air.

We have our second straight Friday night game this week and there is probably a little on-going concern at the moment about the quality of the lights from a spectator point of view. But I've asked the players about the lights at both Leederville and Fremantle and they say the lights are fine, and there's nothing wrong with them.

I guess watching in the coaches box and from the crowd it can get difficult to see at times, but as long as it's good enough for the players to see then that's good enough by me. Whether the WAFL is happy with the quality of the lights or not as a spectacle that's for them to decide.

A couple of years ago we played South down there in two night games in a two or three-week period and it was the middle of winter. That was the strange thing. One of the nights was terrible and the ground was under water, and we were sharing it with sides who were playing in the Landmark Carnival. That posed a lot of different challenges to us, but this time of year you get a 26 or 28 degree day and with a 6.30 start it's a pretty pleasant place to be.

The challenge is that players have to still go to work on the Friday and get down there to play. If they are living and working in the Joondalup area, it's a fair trip down to Fremantle but they are just some of the issues that people have to deal with. I think the players generally like night games and I don’t see it as a big issue. At this time of year it's actually quite pleasant and as long as they steer clear of them in the middle of winter, then I'm OK with them. We don’t see it as being a problem this week going down there.

We continue to have a really healthy list at the moment as well and that presents a challenge for us in the sense that there are genuinely six or seven guys playing reserves footy who are really putting their hands up. Marc Crisp, Trent Manzone, Frank Stockley, Joe Morrow, James Embley, Drew Rohde, James Batterham and Kris Shannon are all playing well. We are comfortable with the side we've got, but having that depth and those players with that quality underneath means that players have to perform.

Chipper and Trent were really unlucky to be forced out of the side last week and we need to wait and see if Mellington and Hutchings' form is good enough to push them up into the AFL, and that opens up a couple of spots and suddenly with an injury or two those players can get their opportunities. We just need to be aware that we have to keep those guys in form and motivated, and that when they get their opportunities they are ready to go and fill their role in the side. That's all we ask of them and at this stage we've had two games and not a lot of spots in the side are opening up, but it's a long season and we just need all those guys to be playing good footy at the right time.

BY BILL MONAGHAN