FIRING FALCON TSALIKIS GLAD HE PLAYED ON

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 11:30 PM

VETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis could very well be in career-best forward despite not originally planning to play at all in 2013, and he's confident the Falcons can bounce back from the derby loss to East Perth this Saturday against ladder leaders Claremont.

The 30-year-old already has five club leading goal kicking awards to his credit from throughout his 161-game league career that began in 2004, but his form so far in 2013 could quite possibly be up there with his best and most consistent of the last decade.
Tsalikis is playing a slightly different role than the one that saw him kick 49 goals in 2005 and 58 in 2006 largely playing out of the goal square, but still in 2013 he has kicked 20 goals in the nine games while working hard leading up the ground averaging almost 16 possessions and seven marks a game.
And it has all come after Tsalikis felt he might not even play on in 2013 due to his work commitments that often means he has to travel away from Perth.
That led him to take off the 2008 season as well, but he didn’t want to finish off with the disappointing way 2012 ended for the Falcons and now he's glad he made the move to return even though it still is likely his last year.
"I wasn’t even going to play this year but I spoke to Bill at the start of the pre-season and my work commitments were going to mostly be in Perth, so I decided to play another year," Tsalikis said.
"I wanted to finish off on a better note than we did in 2012 so I decided to play another year and I haven’t decided what I will do next year, but at the start of the season it was definitely going to be my last season.
"But now that I'm playing the best footy that I have in two or three years I'm not sure, but I won't make that decision until the end of the season. More than likely I will retire, but a lot of that will depend on what my work commitments are and how my body is."
Looking back to the Foundation (WA) Day Derby loss to East Perth where the Royals kicked the only six goals of the last quarter to come from behind to win by 19 points, Tsalikis and everyone at West Perth is disappointed by the final result but knows it's still been a good start to the season overall.
"It was a very disappointing last quarter, but anyone that was there would have seen that it was a pretty tough encounter as all derbies are. We had three injuries during the game and things didn’t fall our way obviously in the last quarter, and they were too good for us at the end," he said.
"Over the whole game we did get smashed at the stoppages and at centre bounces, and in the end that cost us along with a few misses in front of goals.
"They were better on the day in the end and overran us, so that was a disappointing result because it would have helped us maintain second spot and having a bit of a gap between the other teams."
West Perth is now gearing up to take on Claremont in the battle of the top-two teams this Saturday at Arena Joondalup and Tsalikis is confident of the Falcons knocking off the Tigers for the first time in five attempts.
"Claremont is pretty hard to stop and they have a good team, and good spread throughout their whole team," he said.
"But if anything we just need to come switched on with our game plan on Saturday, and make sure we are first to the footy and stronger and tougher at the contest. If we do that, then we will come away on the positive side."
Even though Claremont and West Perth both occupy the top two spots on the WAFL ladder, both are coming off losses with the Tigers losing to Subiaco last Sunday and the Falcons going down to the Royals on Monday. Tsalikis expects that to add some even more spice to the contest on Saturday.
"We definitely back ourselves against any team and obviously they are going to be pretty angry as well, and wanting to get back to winning after a loss to Subi that no one expected. We want to bounce back from losing to East Perth as well," Tsalikis said.
"We back our plan in and our game plan against any side, and Claremont is no different. We lost to them about a month ago so we want to get them back for that and I think both teams have a few injuries, so it might be a good time to get Claremont. It's going to be a tough game obviously, but we back ourselves especially at Arena Joondalup."
BY CHRIS PIKEVETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis could very well be in career-best forward despite not originally planning to play at all in 2013, and he's confident the Falcons can bounce back from the derby loss to East Perth this Saturday against ladder leaders Claremont.

The 30-year-old already has five club leading goal kicking awards to his credit from throughout his 161-game league career that began in 2004, but his form so far in 2013 could quite possibly be up there with his best and most consistent of the last decade.

Tsalikis is playing a slightly different role than the one that saw him kick 49 goals in 2005 and 58 in 2006 largely playing out of the goal square, but still in 2013 he has kicked 20 goals in the nine games while working hard leading up the ground averaging almost 16 possessions and seven marks a game.

And it has all come after Tsalikis felt he might not even play on in 2013 due to his work commitments that often means he has to travel away from Perth.

That led him to take off the 2008 season as well, but he didn’t want to finish off with the disappointing way 2012 ended for the Falcons and now he's glad he made the move to return even though it still is likely his last year.

"I wasn’t even going to play this year but I spoke to Bill at the start of the pre-season and my work commitments were going to mostly be in Perth, so I decided to play another year," Tsalikis said.

"I wanted to finish off on a better note than we did in 2012 so I decided to play another year and I haven’t decided what I will do next year, but at the start of the season it was definitely going to be my last season.

"But now that I'm playing the best footy that I have in two or three years I'm not sure, but I won't make that decision until the end of the season. More than likely I will retire, but a lot of that will depend on what my work commitments are and how my body is."

Looking back to the Foundation (WA) Day Derby loss to East Perth where the Royals kicked the only six goals of the last quarter to come from behind to win by 19 points, Tsalikis and everyone at West Perth is disappointed by the final result but knows it's still been a good start to the season overall.

"It was a very disappointing last quarter, but anyone that was there would have seen that it was a pretty tough encounter as all derbies are. We had three injuries during the game and things didn’t fall our way obviously in the last quarter, and they were too good for us at the end," he said.

"Over the whole game we did get smashed at the stoppages and at centre bounces, and in the end that cost us along with a few misses in front of goals.

"They were better on the day in the end and overran us, so that was a disappointing result because it would have helped us maintain second spot and having a bit of a gap between the other teams."

West Perth is now gearing up to take on Claremont in the battle of the top-two teams this Saturday at Arena Joondalup and Tsalikis is confident of the Falcons knocking off the Tigers for the first time in five attempts.

"Claremont is pretty hard to stop and they have a good team, and good spread throughout their whole team," he said.

"But if anything we just need to come switched on with our game plan on Saturday, and make sure we are first to the footy and stronger and tougher at the contest. If we do that, then we will come away on the positive side."

Even though Claremont and West Perth both occupy the top two spots on the WAFL ladder, both are coming off losses with the Tigers losing to Subiaco last Sunday and the Falcons going down to the Royals on Monday. Tsalikis expects that to add some even more spice to the contest on Saturday.

"We definitely back ourselves against any team and obviously they are going to be pretty angry as well, and wanting to get back to winning after a loss to Subi that no one expected. We want to bounce back from losing to East Perth as well," Tsalikis said.

"We back our plan in and our game plan against any side, and Claremont is no different. We lost to them about a month ago so we want to get them back for that and I think both teams have a few injuries, so it might be a good time to get Claremont. It's going to be a tough game obviously, but we back ourselves especially at Arena Joondalup."

BY CHRIS PIKE