ROUND 4 PREVIEW V SOUTH FREMANTLE

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 11:57 AM

WEST Perth returns to action tonight at Fremantle Oval following the bye looking to continuing its unbeaten start to the 2013 season against the so-far winless South Fremantle.

The Falcons have started the 2013 season in tremendous fashion beating East Perth by 75 points in Round 1 at Arena Joondalup and then backing that up with a 24-point win over Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium in Round 2.

They have had the bye last weekend over Easter to freshen up and prepare to head to Fremantle Oval tonight now to take on a South Fremantle side that has suffered first-up losses to Claremont and Perth away from home.

While overall South Fremantle has always performed well under lights at Fremantle Oval, West Perth has done well there on Friday nights.

The Bulldogs and Falcons have met on just four occasions in night games at the port, but West Perth have won three of those.

West Perth first won at Fremantle Oval back in Round 6, 2002 by a solitary point and has since backed it up with a 36-point win in Round 1, 2004 and then by 26 points in Round 21, 2010.

The only loss to the Bulldogs came by 64 points in Round 16, 2010 when the Falcons managed just the three goals on that night.

However, that history shows that playing Friday night games at Fremantle Oval certainly holds no fears for West Perth.

A big factor behind West Perth's strong start to the season has been the health of the squad. Even though captain Jason Salecic goes out of the side to face the Bulldogs, Marc Crisp, Trent Manzone and Anton Saylor are all quality players desperate to try and replace him.

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is glad to have strong pressure from underneath that will continue to make sure that the league side maintains its strong form.

"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," Monaghan said.

"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 CHRIS PIKE