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BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 16

Friday, July 12, 2013 - 1:54 PM
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WE have been working on having a group of up to 30 players who are capable of stepping in to play a role at any time and that has been a really important part of our season and over a period of time.

Against Peel on Saturday, we were really good early and that's something we haven’t been over the last couple of weeks. That was something we really set ourselves to do because I think, as most people do, that Peel are significantly better at home than they are away. They obviously had some really good inclusions, especially in terms of tall players Hannath, Moller and Taberner, and you throw in Michie who is a quality mid as well and their centre squad was Hannath, Motlop, Jones and Michie, and that's pretty decent.
We had a real focus to get off to a good start and we did that, and then late in the game the players probably thought they had done enough and then Peel with the aid of the breeze in the last quarter got their confidence up, started to run and we really had to dig deep. It was good to get away from Mandurah with the four points. It would have been nice to finish with a bit bigger margin, but a win's a win and we hit our break now. It is probably a break we have been looking forward to for a few weeks with a few niggling injuries starting to mount up.
For Batterham to come in, Morrow and then Fowler who has been in and out of the side it was good to get some game time into them, Antonio is getting more opportunities and we've been really happy that even though we have had a bit of a revolving door up forward but have still been playing well.
We think that Joe Morrow is an outstanding talent and he has shown that over three or four years, but he's had a wretched run with injuries and even this year we had him pencilled in to play Round 1 but he had two or three significant injuries over the pre-season. Then he wasn’t helped by us pushing Jordan Jones back and in terms of the role they play they are really similar players. They can both play on talls and smalls, and can mark the ball well so he's been squeezed out because Jordan's form has been so good but he got the opportunity on the weekend.
He hasn’t played a lot of senior footy for the last two or three years so he still has to get up to that pace, but I thought he did some good things but he was rusty in other areas as well. He is great to have around because he can play, but he needs more confidence in his body. He just can't seem to get through two weeks at a time without getting some sort of injury whether that's stress fractures in his foot, shoulders or hamstrings.
He's been really unlucky but the good thing is that he's a naturally fit athlete so we can monitor his loads at training and know that he can get to the level where he's capable of playing league footy quickly, but continuity is everything with Joe and selection is probably not going to help that at the moment when we are at full strength. He is around the money and we think he is capable of being in our best 22, but whether he is or not against South remains to be seen.
Ray Bartholomew over a number of years was always our player we could use to tag an opposition midfielder and he's still capable of that if we need him to, but he's really taken his football to a new level and Steve Potente is something who we think is capable of doing that role for us.
We think that Steve has the ability to play as a close-down midfielder but we also think he has enough tricks to play as an attacking mid or even a small forward. He has really good skills even though he doesn’t have the greatest depth in his kicking, but he chases, tackles and has good lateral movement and speed so he brings a lot to the table. We haven’t had a lot of left-footers either and he's one so it adds another dimension to our midfield.
Marc Crisp has been outstanding in our forward-line. He has always been someone who we believe has a great knowledge of the game and he has great leadership, but he's had to work hard through a number of issues mainly injuries and his confidence and sense of belonging in the league side.
He thought he was good enough and he's always been a player on the cusp but there's always those players at footy clubs who seem to be squeezed out when you are at full strength. He has cemented his place this year, though, and he is working really hard and presenting well, and marking the ball and his foot skills whether kicking on goal or in general play are really good. He has taken on more leadership this year and he is playing a really well-rounded game for us.
Matt Fowler is a bit of an old-fashioned full-forward. He is an exceptional leading player and has a great vertical leap and marking ability. Matt is a work in progress because full-forwards these days don’t just stand in the goal square and decide when to pull the trigger and lead. He is on a steep learning curve and he is a long way further advanced than he was 12 months ago when he got here and that's an on-going issue for him, and we don’t hide that from him.
He knows from our communication that he needs to continually work on that and in the last two games before the weekend he had four and three tackles, which is a really good return for the position he plays and where he has come from. In terms of marking and kicking, he is an extremely talented player and at 21 years of age we think he is a player who will be a long-term player at our footy club. He just needs to show some patience and work on the areas we deem he is deficient in, and we need to keep backing in his strengths which is to mark and kick goals.
BY BILL MONAGHANWE have been working on having a group of up to 30 players who are capable of stepping in to play a role at any time and that has been a really important part of our season and over a period of time.

Against Peel on Saturday, we were really good early and that's something we haven’t been over the last couple of weeks. That was something we really set ourselves to do because I think, as most people do, that Peel are significantly better at home than they are away. They obviously had some really good inclusions, especially in terms of tall players Hannath, Moller and Taberner, and you throw in Michie who is a quality mid as well and their centre squad was Hannath, Motlop, Jones and Michie, and that's pretty decent.

We had a real focus to get off to a good start and we did that, and then late in the game the players probably thought they had done enough and then Peel with the aid of the breeze in the last quarter got their confidence up, started to run and we really had to dig deep. It was good to get away from Mandurah with the four points. It would have been nice to finish with a bit bigger margin, but a win's a win and we hit our break now. It is probably a break we have been looking forward to for a few weeks with a few niggling injuries starting to mount up.

For Batterham to come in, Morrow and then Fowler who has been in and out of the side it was good to get some game time into them, Antonio is getting more opportunities and we've been really happy that even though we have had a bit of a revolving door up forward but have still been playing well.

We think that Joe Morrow is an outstanding talent and he has shown that over three or four years, but he's had a wretched run with injuries and even this year we had him pencilled in to play Round 1 but he had two or three significant injuries over the pre-season. Then he wasn’t helped by us pushing Jordan Jones back and in terms of the role they play they are really similar players. They can both play on talls and smalls, and can mark the ball well so he's been squeezed out because Jordan's form has been so good but he got the opportunity on the weekend.

He hasn’t played a lot of senior footy for the last two or three years so he still has to get up to that pace, but I thought he did some good things but he was rusty in other areas as well. He is great to have around because he can play, but he needs more confidence in his body. He just can't seem to get through two weeks at a time without getting some sort of injury whether that's stress fractures in his foot, shoulders or hamstrings.

He's been really unlucky but the good thing is that he's a naturally fit athlete so we can monitor his loads at training and know that he can get to the level where he's capable of playing league footy quickly, but continuity is everything with Joe and selection is probably not going to help that at the moment when we are at full strength. He is around the money and we think he is capable of being in our best 22, but whether he is or not against South remains to be seen.

Ray Bartholomew over a number of years was always our player we could use to tag an opposition midfielder and he's still capable of that if we need him to, but he's really taken his football to a new level and Steve Potente is something who we think is capable of doing that role for us.

We think that Steve has the ability to play as a close-down midfielder but we also think he has enough tricks to play as an attacking mid or even a small forward. He has really good skills even though he doesn’t have the greatest depth in his kicking, but he chases, tackles and has good lateral movement and speed so he brings a lot to the table. We haven’t had a lot of left-footers either and he's one so it adds another dimension to our midfield.

Marc Crisp has been outstanding in our forward-line. He has always been someone who we believe has a great knowledge of the game and he has great leadership, but he's had to work hard through a number of issues mainly injuries and his confidence and sense of belonging in the league side.

He thought he was good enough and he's always been a player on the cusp but there's always those players at footy clubs who seem to be squeezed out when you are at full strength. He has cemented his place this year, though, and he is working really hard and presenting well, and marking the ball and his foot skills whether kicking on goal or in general play are really good. He has taken on more leadership this year and he is playing a really well-rounded game for us.

Matt Fowler is a bit of an old-fashioned full-forward. He is an exceptional leading player and has a great vertical leap and marking ability. Matt is a work in progress because full-forwards these days don’t just stand in the goal square and decide when to pull the trigger and lead. He is on a steep learning curve and he is a long way further advanced than he was 12 months ago when he got here and that's an on-going issue for him, and we don’t hide that from him.

He knows from our communication that he needs to continually work on that and in the last two games before the weekend he had four and three tackles, which is a really good return for the position he plays and where he has come from. In terms of marking and kicking, he is an extremely talented player and at 21 years of age we think he is a player who will be a long-term player at our footy club. He just needs to show some patience and work on the areas we deem he is deficient in, and we need to keep backing in his strengths which is to mark and kick goals.

BY BILL MONAGHAN