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Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 1:23 AM
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TEENAGE big man Nick Rodda continues to impress for West Perth in whatever role he is given and so far this season he is stepping up in attack as the one big target with a host of talented mid-sized players at his feet.

The 18-year-old stands at 194cm and despite still being young, is solidly built and is more than capable of holding his own physically against some of the more experienced brutes in the WAFL.

While he did spend much of his colts career with West Perth as a key defender and he is capable of spending time in the ruck, with Dan Hunt and Michael Pettigrew holding down the defensive posts, Rodda has been used forward so far in 2013 to terrific effect.

Rodda has done well kicking eight goals in the seven games including three against Peel Thunder in Round 5, but his main job is to provide a target, create a contest and at least bring the ball to ground, which he is doing well.

The team is performing well also with a 5-2 record to sit in second spot on the ladder following the win over East Fremantle way back on May 4, and leading into this Saturday's clash with Perth at Arena Joondalup.

"It definitely has been a good start to the year. I had a good pre-season and it's just good that we are winning games now and have started the season off pretty well. Hopefully we can just continue that on," Rodda said.

"It has been a good start for the team. We had a big emphasis going into the East Fremantle game that we would rather be 5-2 than 4-3 so getting that win to be 5-2 heading into the couple of weeks off solidified our spot near the top of the ladder. That puts us in good stead for the rest of the year."

Even though Rodda did earn a taste of league football in 2012 playing three games, now that he has done a full pre-season with the group, played every game so far and given such a key role in the side he now feels much more part of the Falcons' senior side.

"It definitely feels a lot better this year after doing a full pre-season with the boys. That helps you feel a much bigger part of the team and that has probably helped my form as well," he said.

"I probably feel more comfortable down forward nowadays. Last year I was pretty comfortable down back, but this year I have been put down forward and I'm enjoying it. I'm pretty comfortable there."

Rodda has emerged as West Perth's main tall forward target this season with the likes of Anthony Tsalikis, Rohan Kerr, Marc Crisp, Josh Mellington and his good friend and fellow youngster Matt Johnson around him offering him support.

"I have a lot of responsibility on myself to be that tall target down there and make a contest, but I have a lot of good players around me like Slick, Johnno and Chipper. Even if I don’t mark it, there's guys like that around to kick plenty of goals for us," he said.

"Johnno is one of my best mates and to have him down forward with me lets us have a lot of fun and we just try to do our bit for the team, but more importantly we really enjoy playing together out there."

Even though West Perth had the two-week break since beating East Fremantle with the State game and then the bye last weekend, over that first weekend Rodda played in the rising stars match at Medibank Stadium and now following the bye, is ready to now take on Perth this Saturday at Arena Joondalup.

"It's probably good in a sense that we had that game last Friday so I didn’t go without a game for two weeks to that was good and now it's all about freshening up to take on Perth," Rodda said,

"We have a two-week break and sometimes you can get a little carried away with not doing a lot, but we got a good win under our belt coming into it and now our focus is keeping on improving in these couple of weeks. We play Perth next week and hopefully we can keep our form going."