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BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 12

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 1:35 AM
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WHAT is important after the last couple of weeks is our ability to either concentrate or execute our plans over four quarters.

That's something that has clearly been missing and whilst there might be some circumstances that have led to a loss of personnel and us struggling to counter rotations on the bench and all of that, at the end of the day they aren’t reasons why we lose games of footy.
We are a young, developing side mostly and whilst we have some great experienced players, we are playing some young kids who are just learning the ropes and are going to be up and down at times. In our first four or five games the young kids were playing with a lot of excitement and on the back of their exuberance and ability we looked really good early in the season.
But there was always going to be a time when our leadership players needed to stand up because guys like Johnson, Rodda, Nelson and Black are still very much in the infancy of their careers. Obviously we would like them not to have troughs, but it's always going to happen and it's important now that our senior players and leaders step up and show the way to cover for the fact that the kids might have just dropped off with their form a little bit.
We have 100 and 150-game players because they have proven over a long period of time that they can do that and it's really important now that they show leadership and direction, and obviously put that into practice on the park starting this Sunday.
Obviously losing anyone like we did with Chris Keunen on Saturday in our pre-game and having to bring Frank Stockley off halfway through the reserves isn’t the best for you, but I thought Frank battled hard and Shaun Marusic who came in for his first game also battled hard. Mark Seaby, in particular, won a lot of hit outs but there were 121 ball-ups or throw-ins in our game so I don’t see 55 as being an excessive number that he won in a game like that. I'm also not sure he hit that too many to advantage so I felt that Frank and Shaun battled manfully. The funny stat was that at half-time when we were getting pumped we were even in the clearances, and in the second half when we outscored Claremont we lost the clearances quite markedly.
In some ways I was surprised that West Coast decided to drop Mark Hutchings back to us, but in some ways I'm not as well. He is only young in his AFL career and he has a great ability to find the ball that he did show at AFL player, but when you are picking a side it's all about the balance and how many minutes you will get, and how many mids, backs and forwards you need. Without being on West Coast's selection panel it's hard to know why they go a certain way, but his attitude is outstanding and his performance on the weekend couldn’t get much better. He had 30-odd touches, six shots on goal, 10 tackles that I had him for and seven or eight clearances. We are obviously glad to have him when we can and if West Coat need him or want him, we wish him all the best.
In terms of our injuries, I'll start with the easy one and Chris Keunen will be back. That will be easy. I'm not sure anyone has really worked out what Jason Salecic's concern is and we will train tonight, but I'm not hopeful that he will be able to do a whole session. I'm expecting him to do something tonight, but I would say he's going to be at least a couple of weeks. Bartholomew has a significant strain of the calf so he's going to be four to six weeks.
Then the two interesting ones are Rohan Kerr and Kody Manning. They are both touch and go to be available this week. They have to obviously get through the next couple of nights at training and then we need to get through the process of if we get them back or err on the side of caution and give them an extra week to make sure they aren’t put under unnecessary stress. Our early call would be that we will probably err on the side of caution with both of those guys, and we would expect both to play some footy next week against Subiaco.
The competition is so even this year and even South Fremantle who is currently ninth has shown that if they come to play and the opposition isn’t quite 100 per cent mentally prepared that they can hurt you as well.
The WAFL must be rubbing their hands together with the evenness of the competition, but it probably doesn’t change anything that we do. In some ways, it makes it a little easier as a coach because you don’t have to be telling your players and pointing out to them that every game means a lot, and that you can't take sides lightly. The results and the ladder have everyone knowing that that's the case so that makes it a tad easier. We just need to make sure that we play four quarters of footy and that we are ready starting this Sunday against East Fremantle.
Last time East Fremantle jumped us and we were a bit lucky that in the first 15 minutes that they didn’t get off to an even better start. They kicked three goals with us struggling to touch the ball in that time, so one of our big focuses this week will be to get off to a good start. 
BY BILL MONAGHANWHAT is important after the last couple of weeks is our ability to either concentrate or execute our plans over four quarters.

That's something that has clearly been missing and whilst there might be some circumstances that have led to a loss of personnel and us struggling to counter rotations on the bench and all of that, at the end of the day they aren’t reasons why we lose games of footy.

We are a young, developing side mostly and whilst we have some great experienced players, we are playing some young kids who are just learning the ropes and are going to be up and down at times. In our first four or five games the young kids were playing with a lot of excitement and on the back of their exuberance and ability we looked really good early in the season.

But there was always going to be a time when our leadership players needed to stand up because guys like Johnson, Rodda, Nelson and Black are still very much in the infancy of their careers. Obviously we would like them not to have troughs, but it's always going to happen and it's important now that our senior players and leaders step up and show the way to cover for the fact that the kids might have just dropped off with their form a little bit.

We have 100 and 150-game players because they have proven over a long period of time that they can do that and it's really important now that they show leadership and direction, and obviously put that into practice on the park starting this Sunday.

Obviously losing anyone like we did with Chris Keunen on Saturday in our pre-game and having to bring Frank Stockley off halfway through the reserves isn’t the best for you, but I thought Frank battled hard and Shaun Marusic who came in for his first game also battled hard. Mark Seaby, in particular, won a lot of hit outs but there were 121 ball-ups or throw-ins in our game so I don’t see 55 as being an excessive number that he won in a game like that. I'm also not sure he hit that too many to advantage so I felt that Frank and Shaun battled manfully. The funny stat was that at half-time when we were getting pumped we were even in the clearances, and in the second half when we outscored Claremont we lost the clearances quite markedly.

In some ways I was surprised that West Coast decided to drop Mark Hutchings back to us, but in some ways I'm not as well. He is only young in his AFL career and he has a great ability to find the ball that he did show at AFL player, but when you are picking a side it's all about the balance and how many minutes you will get, and how many mids, backs and forwards you need. Without being on West Coast's selection panel it's hard to know why they go a certain way, but his attitude is outstanding and his performance on the weekend couldn’t get much better. He had 30-odd touches, six shots on goal, 10 tackles that I had him for and seven or eight clearances. We are obviously glad to have him when we can and if West Coat need him or want him, we wish him all the best.

In terms of our injuries, I'll start with the easy one and Chris Keunen will be back. That will be easy. I'm not sure anyone has really worked out what Jason Salecic's concern is and we will train tonight, but I'm not hopeful that he will be able to do a whole session. I'm expecting him to do something tonight, but I would say he's going to be at least a couple of weeks. Bartholomew has a significant strain of the calf so he's going to be four to six weeks.

Then the two interesting ones are Rohan Kerr and Kody Manning. They are both touch and go to be available this week. They have to obviously get through the next couple of nights at training and then we need to get through the process of if we get them back or err on the side of caution and give them an extra week to make sure they aren’t put under unnecessary stress. Our early call would be that we will probably err on the side of caution with both of those guys, and we would expect both to play some footy next week against Subiaco.

The competition is so even this year and even South Fremantle who is currently ninth has shown that if they come to play and the opposition isn’t quite 100 per cent mentally prepared that they can hurt you as well.

The WAFL must be rubbing their hands together with the evenness of the competition, but it probably doesn’t change anything that we do. In some ways, it makes it a little easier as a coach because you don’t have to be telling your players and pointing out to them that every game means a lot, and that you can't take sides lightly. The results and the ladder have everyone knowing that that's the case so that makes it a tad easier. We just need to make sure that we play four quarters of footy and that we are ready starting this Sunday against East Fremantle.

Last time East Fremantle jumped us and we were a bit lucky that in the first 15 minutes that they didn’t get off to an even better start. They kicked three goals with us struggling to touch the ball in that time, so one of our big focuses this week will be to get off to a good start. 

BY BILL MONAGHAN