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RESERVES FIRST SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW V EAST PERTH

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 6:06 PM

WEST Perth's reserves did a tremendous job to get back from a slow start to the 2013 season to qualify for the finals now take on East Perth in a derby first semi-final on Sunday morning.

The Falcons take on the Royals in the reserves first semi-final at Claremont Oval with the earlier start time of 9.05am.
The winner of the derby final will stay alive for at least one more week to book in a preliminary final clash with the loser of the second semi-final that will be played between Perth and South Fremantle at the same time at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.
The West Perth's reserves team, coached by Paul Sanzone, lost the first three games of the 2013 season and six of the first seven games to be 1-7 after eight rounds with finals appearing a long way off.
However, the Falcons then bounced back with good wins over Perth, East Perth and Claremont between Rounds 10 and 12 before a hiccup against East Fremantle in Round 13.
West Perth's reserves then also suffered a Round 15 loss to Swan Districts, but that was to be the last loss of the home and away season with the Falcons finishing with wins over Peel, South Fremantle, East Perth, Peel, Perth, East Fremantle and Swan Districts to secure a finals place.
West Perth and East Perth's reserves have met three times during the season with the Royals winning by two points at Arena Joondalup in Round 1, the Falcons winning by nine points at Leederville's Medibank Stadium on Foundation Day and then West Perth scoring a thumping 44-poitn win in Round 19 at Arena Joondalup.
The West Perth reserves team looks likely to also be boosted by key senior veteran defenders Michael Pettigrew and Luke Tedesco.
Pettigrew badly tore his hamstring in Round 19 but has recovered well and is likely to try playing in the reserves on Sunday morning. Tedesco injured his calf in Round 21 and is also likely to give playing ago again in the reserves semi-final as well.
The team is also likely to still have Matt Johnson and Laine Rasmussen, who both have played strong league football in 2013 after the pair both returned from injury layoffs last week against Swan Districts.
The Falcons' reserves side also includes Max Alexander, James Batterham, Johnson, Ben McNamara, Luke Meadows, Pettigrew and Tedesco who have played league football in 2013 while Cameron Branch, James Embley, Michael Mascoulis and Drew Rohde have previously.
Jack Thrum, Aidan Lynch, Embley, Joel Latham and McNamara have all been outstanding ball winners in the reserves this season while Frank Stockley has dominated the ruck averaging 16 possessions and 34 hit outs to go with his 15 goals in 15 matches.
Mitchell McPhee is the leading reserves goalkicker with 30 from 19 games with Rohde adding 28 from 20.
WEST PERTH TEAM:
Max Alexander, James Batterham, Cameron Branch, Corey Chalmers, James Embley, Martin Geraghty, Stephen Healy, Matt Johnson, Joel Latham, Aidan Lynch, Michael Mascoulis, Ben McNamara, Mitchell McPhee, Luke Meadows, Jordan Mills, Samuel Money, Ben O'Regan, Michael Pettigrew, Drew Rohde, Thomas Shadbolt, Tim Sutherland, Luke Tedesco, Jack Thrum, Mitchell Van Berlo, Broderick Walton, Blake Wilhelm.
EAST PERTH TEAM: 
Daniel Allsop, Julian Ameduri, Blake Borrett, Ashley Boyes, Trent Bradshaw, Rowan Brookes, Danny Chartres, Beau Chatley, Agid Gardoud, Matt Gordon, Jack Hogan, Brandon Hughes, Jake Keeffe, Matthew Kelly, Mitchell Lague, Julian Locantro, Shaquille McKenzie, Michael Morgan, Thomas Omodei, Matthew Pearce, Jackson Peos, Daniel Perkins, Michael Rimbas, Tyson Rudd, Marcus Ruggiero, Thomas Shanahan, Jackson Slater, Chris Warrell, Lewis Wilson, Steven Wityk.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth's reserves did a tremendous job to get back from a slow start to the 2013 season to qualify for the finals now take on East Perth in a derby first semi-final on Sunday morning.

The Falcons take on the Royals in the reserves first semi-final at Claremont Oval with the earlier start time of 9.05am.

The winner of the derby final will stay alive for at least one more week to book in a preliminary final clash with the loser of the second semi-final that will be played between Perth and South Fremantle at the same time at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

The West Perth's reserves team, coached by Paul Sanzone, lost the first three games of the 2013 season and six of the first seven games to be 1-7 after eight rounds with finals appearing a long way off.

However, the Falcons then bounced back with good wins over Perth, East Perth and Claremont between Rounds 10 and 12 before a hiccup against East Fremantle in Round 13.

West Perth's reserves then also suffered a Round 15 loss to Swan Districts, but that was to be the last loss of the home and away season with the Falcons finishing with wins over Peel, South Fremantle, East Perth, Peel, Perth, East Fremantle and Swan Districts to secure a finals place.

West Perth and East Perth's reserves have met three times during the season with the Royals winning by two points at Arena Joondalup in Round 1, the Falcons winning by nine points at Leederville's Medibank Stadium on Foundation Day and then West Perth scoring a thumping 44-poitn win in Round 19 at Arena Joondalup.

The West Perth reserves team looks likely to also be boosted by key senior veteran defenders Michael Pettigrew and Luke Tedesco.

Pettigrew badly tore his hamstring in Round 19 but has recovered well and is likely to try playing in the reserves on Sunday morning. Tedesco injured his calf in Round 21 and is also likely to give playing ago again in the reserves semi-final as well.

The team is also likely to still have Matt Johnson and Laine Rasmussen, who both have played strong league football in 2013 after the pair both returned from injury layoffs last week against Swan Districts.

The Falcons' reserves side also includes Max Alexander, James Batterham, Johnson, Ben McNamara, Luke Meadows, Pettigrew and Tedesco who have played league football in 2013 while Cameron Branch, James Embley, Michael Mascoulis and Drew Rohde have previously.

Jack Thrum, Aidan Lynch, Embley, Joel Latham and McNamara have all been outstanding ball winners in the reserves this season while Frank Stockley has dominated the ruck averaging 16 possessions and 34 hit outs to go with his 15 goals in 15 matches.

Mitchell McPhee is the leading reserves goalkicker with 30 from 19 games with Rohde adding 28 from 20.

WEST PERTH TEAM:

Max Alexander, James Batterham, Cameron Branch, Corey Chalmers, James Embley, Martin Geraghty, Stephen Healy, Matt Johnson, Joel Latham, Aidan Lynch, Michael Mascoulis, Ben McNamara, Mitchell McPhee, Luke Meadows, Jordan Mills, Samuel Money, Ben O'Regan, Michael Pettigrew, Drew Rohde, Thomas Shadbolt, Tim Sutherland, Luke Tedesco, Jack Thrum, Mitchell Van Berlo, Broderick Walton, Blake Wilhelm.

EAST PERTH TEAM: 

Daniel Allsop, Julian Ameduri, Blake Borrett, Ashley Boyes, Trent Bradshaw, Rowan Brookes, Danny Chartres, Beau Chatley, Agid Gardoud, Matt Gordon, Jack Hogan, Brandon Hughes, Jake Keeffe, Matthew Kelly, Mitchell Lague, Julian Locantro, Shaquille McKenzie, Michael Morgan, Thomas Omodei, Matthew Pearce, Jackson Peos, Daniel Perkins, Michael Rimbas, Tyson Rudd, Marcus Ruggiero, Thomas Shanahan, Jackson Slater, Chris Warrell, Lewis Wilson, Steven Wityk.

BY CHRIS PIKE

SECOND SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW V CLAREMONT

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 5:10 PM

WEST Perth has the chance to qualify for its first WAFL grand final since 2003 when the Falcons head to Claremont Oval to face Claremont in Sunday's second semi-final.

The Falcons had a tremendous home and away season in 2013 to finish in second position on the ladder with a 13-7 record to qualify for the second semi-final against Claremont.
The Tigers have now won four straight WAFL minor premierships and are looking to make a fourth straight grand final, and to win a third successive flag but the Falcons will be looking to have something to say about that on Sunday.
West Perth now heads to Claremont Oval with the chance to win its way through to the 2013 WAFL grand final, the Falcons' first since 2003, or a loss will see the Falcons host the preliminary final next week at Arena Joondalup against the winner of the Swan Districts-East Perth first semi-final.
Claremont and West Perth have been the two standout teams in the WAFL all season long occupying the top-two positions for most of the year, and it's deserving that it is the Tigers and Falcons fighting over being the first team into the grand final for 2013.
Claremont has played in six WAFL grand finals since West Perth won the 2003 premiership with the Tigers looking to qualify for a fourth straight premiership decider hosting the Falcons on Sunday.
The second semi-final takes place on Sunday afternoon at Claremont Oval, the fifth time the second semi has been at Tigerland in the last seven years, as the Tigers and Falcons do battle over a grand final berth in 2013.
Claremont has won its last five games over West Perth dating back to the Falcons' last win which came by a goal in Round 16, 2011.
Claremont bounced back to win the 2011 second semi-final by a massive 85 points and then the Tigers won the two meetings in 2012 by 45 and 119 points respectively, and by 19 and 21 in the two clashes of 2013.
However, the Falcons have answered most challenges during 2013, have a good blend of youth and experience, and will be confident of throwing everything at winning the club's first final since that 2003 premiership winning side.
Beating Claremont in a second semi-final at Claremont Oval, though, is something that West Perth will have to make history to do.
Claremont beat Subiaco in the 2007 second semi by 15 points and then in 2010, beat Swan Districts by 50 points, beat West Perth by 85 in 2011 and then also beat Swans by 32 last year.
So the Tigers have won all four of their previous second semis at home by an average of over 45 points. The other final played at Claremont Oval was the 2006 first semi-final and that was also against West Perth with Claremont winning by a thumping 86 points.
West Perth might have lost all six of its finals since 2003, but the Falcons team is a vastly different one and has also been playing to a different game plan this year which has proved successful through the home and away season.
While the Falcons still have experienced 100-plus game players Andrew Strijk, Dan Hunt, Ray Bartholomew, Matt Guadagnin, Chris Keunen and Jason Salecic in their side, the improvement this year has come with the youngsters.
Shane Nelson and Aaron Black have emerged as two of the best midfielders in the WAFL while Kody Manning and Marc Crisp have stepped up in the forward-line, Nick Rodda at both ends of the ground and recruits from the last two years Trent Manzone, Jordan Jones, Shaun Marusic, Matt Fowler and Rohan Kerr are now crucial players in the Falcons team as well.
West Perth's reserves did qualify for finals, though, and that could prove crucial with key defensive pair Michael Pettigrew and Luke Tedesco likely to try to play at least some minutes in the reserves first semi-final against East Perth on Sunday morning.
Important pair Laine Rasmussen (if not picked in the league side) and Matt Johnson might also get another crucial run under their belts in the reserves after injury layoffs.
The Falcons also have not named anyone out from the side that lost to Swan Districts last Saturday but Fremantle's Josh Mellington will be a natural inclusion with Joe Morrow, Rasmussen and Frank Stockley pushing for inclusion.
Claremont doesn’t have a team in the reserves this year after they've won the last three premierships meaning that there is nowhere for players to drop back if not selected in the league side, or for them to find form or fitness either.
The Tigers haven’t named anyone out at this stage from the team that lost to East Fremantle last Saturday, and will be without any AFL-listed players on Sunday but captain Andrew Browne looks set to be fit to play.
Hugo Breakey, Matthew Goyder and Keifer Yu are three young players at Claremont trying desperately to push their way into the final 22 as well.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth has the chance to qualify for its first WAFL grand final since 2003 when the Falcons head to Claremont Oval to face Claremont in Sunday's second semi-final.

The Falcons had a tremendous home and away season in 2013 to finish in second position on the ladder with a 13-7 record to qualify for the second semi-final against Claremont.

The Tigers have now won four straight WAFL minor premierships and are looking to make a fourth straight grand final, and to win a third successive flag but the Falcons will be looking to have something to say about that on Sunday.

West Perth now heads to Claremont Oval with the chance to win its way through to the 2013 WAFL grand final, the Falcons' first since 2003, or a loss will see the Falcons host the preliminary final next week at Arena Joondalup against the winner of the Swan Districts-East Perth first semi-final.

Claremont and West Perth have been the two standout teams in the WAFL all season long occupying the top-two positions for most of the year, and it's deserving that it is the Tigers and Falcons fighting over being the first team into the grand final for 2013.

Claremont has played in six WAFL grand finals since West Perth won the 2003 premiership with the Tigers looking to qualify for a fourth straight premiership decider hosting the Falcons on Sunday.

The second semi-final takes place on Sunday afternoon at Claremont Oval, the fifth time the second semi has been at Tigerland in the last seven years, as the Tigers and Falcons do battle over a grand final berth in 2013.

Claremont has won its last five games over West Perth dating back to the Falcons' last win which came by a goal in Round 16, 2011.

Claremont bounced back to win the 2011 second semi-final by a massive 85 points and then the Tigers won the two meetings in 2012 by 45 and 119 points respectively, and by 19 and 21 in the two clashes of 2013.

However, the Falcons have answered most challenges during 2013, have a good blend of youth and experience, and will be confident of throwing everything at winning the club's first final since that 2003 premiership winning side.

Beating Claremont in a second semi-final at Claremont Oval, though, is something that West Perth will have to make history to do.

Claremont beat Subiaco in the 2007 second semi by 15 points and then in 2010, beat Swan Districts by 50 points, beat West Perth by 85 in 2011 and then also beat Swans by 32 last year.

So the Tigers have won all four of their previous second semis at home by an average of over 45 points. The other final played at Claremont Oval was the 2006 first semi-final and that was also against West Perth with Claremont winning by a thumping 86 points.

West Perth might have lost all six of its finals since 2003, but the Falcons team is a vastly different one and has also been playing to a different game plan this year which has proved successful through the home and away season.

While the Falcons still have experienced 100-plus game players Andrew Strijk, Dan Hunt, Ray Bartholomew, Matt Guadagnin, Chris Keunen and Jason Salecic in their side, the improvement this year has come with the youngsters.

Shane Nelson and Aaron Black have emerged as two of the best midfielders in the WAFL while Kody Manning and Marc Crisp have stepped up in the forward-line, Nick Rodda at both ends of the ground and recruits from the last two years Trent Manzone, Jordan Jones, Shaun Marusic, Matt Fowler and Rohan Kerr are now crucial players in the Falcons team as well.

West Perth's reserves did qualify for finals, though, and that could prove crucial with key defensive pair Michael Pettigrew and Luke Tedesco likely to try to play at least some minutes in the reserves first semi-final against East Perth on Sunday morning.

Important pair Laine Rasmussen (if not picked in the league side) and Matt Johnson might also get another crucial run under their belts in the reserves after injury layoffs.

The Falcons also have not named anyone out from the side that lost to Swan Districts last Saturday but Fremantle's Josh Mellington will be a natural inclusion with Joe Morrow, Rasmussen and Frank Stockley pushing for inclusion.

Claremont doesn’t have a team in the reserves this year after they've won the last three premierships meaning that there is nowhere for players to drop back if not selected in the league side, or for them to find form or fitness either.

The Tigers haven’t named anyone out at this stage from the team that lost to East Fremantle last Saturday, and will be without any AFL-listed players on Sunday but captain Andrew Browne looks set to be fit to play.

Hugo Breakey, Matthew Goyder and Keifer Yu are three young players at Claremont trying desperately to push their way into the final 22 as well.

BY CHRIS PIKE

2013 DOMINISH MEDAL

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 5:01 PM

The Dominish Medallist will be announced on Thursday 26 September at the Stirling Adriatic Centre!

Other awards being presented include the Coach's Award, Jack Appleby Trophy, Life Members' Award, Rosa Townsend Memorial Award and Past Players' Award.

If you would like to attend the 2013 Dominish Medal, please complete and return the attached booking form with payment to confirm your attendance and guest list. Payment must be made to secure your booking.

2013 DOMINISH MEDAL BOOKING FORM

TABLES OF 10 ONLY.

For any queries, please contact Julie on 0421 786 774 or by email at julie.carpenter@ymca.org.au

TOP DEFENDER HUNT REACHES 150 GAMES

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 4:55 PM

DAN Hunt might have quietly gone about his business since arriving at West Perth in 2005 but has earned the respect of the WAFL competition as one of the best and most consistent defenders and now plays his 150th game with the Falcons in this Sunday's second semi-final against Claremont.

Hunt has certainly never been one to hunt for the limelight and might not have received the accolades that some of his long-time teammates have over their careers, but for eight seasons now there has been no more consistent or important West Perth player.
The now 29-year-old first joined West Perth in 2005 after spending time in the AFL with the Sydney Swans, and now over 148 WAFL games, one Foxtel Cup match and one appearance for Western Australia he has cemented himself as one of the very best key defenders in the competition.
Having already had his name etched onto the No. 12 locker joining Bill Dempsey, Hunt reaches his 150th game in this Sunday's second semi-final against Claremont at Claremont Oval to earn life membership at the club.
Hunt has had an outstanding career and life membership is another accolade to add to that leaving winning a premiership as something standing out for him to knock off and perhaps also adding to his two career goals, and none since 2008.
While that is an achievement he is proud of, the focus is all on trying to play in the first winning final of his career and West Perth's first since the 2003 grand final.
"Given it's a final and it is so important for the club my milestone doesn’t really get a mention to be honest. It's all about the team this week and it just happens to fall on a big occasion for myself," Hunt said.
"From our point of view, we are just going to focus on the game plan that has got us to where we are at the moment. We are just going to knuckle down and our defensive pressure is always a key indicator for us.
"As long as we've got our pressure and that sort of stuff up, it goes a long way to us winning. We have to quell Claremont's midfield because that's where they have a lot of firepower, as well as their forward-line. We've got a big task but hopefully we can get over the line on Sunday."
The fact that West Perth hasn’t won a final in six attempts since the 2003 premiership and that the Falcons lost their last two games coming into this year's finals series won't be something mentioned at the club.
And according to Hunt nor should they be, with this West Perth team consisting of a heap of young players and coming off a strong season where they finished well clear in second position on the ladder to earn a finals doubles chance.
"It doesn’t really get a mention. Those are the sorts of things that the less said about the better and it doesn’t really get a look in. This is a new year, we've got a new side and I don’t really think the fact that we haven’t won a final in a while will get a mention at all," he said.
"We've shown enough throughout the majority of the year that when we are up and going we can match it with the best of the competition, and that's what led us to finishing in second spot. The fact that we lost those last couple of games, of course we didn’t want to lose, but I don’t think it's something we will really hold our hat on."
Hunt knows full well that having won four straight minor premierships and the last two WAFL flags that Claremont will be no pushovers this Sunday, but he is confident that the Falcons' best can get the job done. The problem is the other three teams in the finals this year feel the same way.
"No doubt they will be a really difficult side to beat and they have again been the benchmark all year. It's going to be a real test for us but hopefully we've got enough personnel and get our structures right to get over the line against them," Hunt said.
"I think this year more than ever in the past probably five or six seasons it has been a really open season. Yes Claremont has still been the benchmark but I think there are other contenders this year.
"Last year and the couple before that, that probably hasn’t been the case and there has been a real standout team. But this year I think any of the top-four teams can have a real crack and take out the premiership."
Chris Keunen has a huge job up against two former Falcons Mark Seaby and Mitch Andrews in the ruck this week, but Hunt is confident that if he can at least break even that it will go a long way to West Perth playing well if the other stars stand tall also.
"Chris is obviously going to have a big challenge on his hands with probably the best ruck combination in the WAFL competition this week in Seaby and Andrews. Without a doubt he will be really important and if he can break even, or even get on top, he will give us a really good advantage," Hunt said.
"One guy who is a barometer for our side is Matt Guadagnin. He is an underrated player in the competition and quite often gets overlooked, but we need him to be firing as well as some of our other key players.
"Andrew Strijk and Jordan Jones have had really good years in our back half as well and if they are up and going, they will go a long way to helping us win as well."
Hunt is also glad that coach Bill Monaghan signed a new three-year contract last week and has no doubt that the Falcons are on the right track no matter how this finals series pans out.
"From a player's perspective, we've grown to really understand Bill's way of thinking and he has moved with the game, and changed his game plan to suit," Hunt said.
"He has moved with the times and I think that is a really good sign of a good coach who is willing to change and adapt with the game. I don’t see why the board wouldn’t have been signed up for that period of time."
BY CHRIS PIKEDAN Hunt might have quietly gone about his business since arriving at West Perth in 2005 but has earned the respect of the WAFL competition as one of the best and most consistent defenders and now plays his 150th game with the Falcons in this Sunday's second semi-final against Claremont.

Hunt has certainly never been one to hunt for the limelight and might not have received the accolades that some of his long-time teammates have over their careers, but for eight seasons now there has been no more consistent or important West Perth player.

The now 29-year-old first joined West Perth in 2005 after spending time in the AFL with the Sydney Swans, and now over 148 WAFL games, one Foxtel Cup match and one appearance for Western Australia he has cemented himself as one of the very best key defenders in the competition.

Having already had his name etched onto the No. 12 locker joining Bill Dempsey, Hunt reaches his 150th game in this Sunday's second semi-final against Claremont at Claremont Oval to earn life membership at the club.

Hunt has had an outstanding career and life membership is another accolade to add to that leaving winning a premiership as something standing out for him to knock off and perhaps also adding to his two career goals, and none since 2008.

While that is an achievement he is proud of, the focus is all on trying to play in the first winning final of his career and West Perth's first since the 2003 grand final.

"Given it's a final and it is so important for the club my milestone doesn’t really get a mention to be honest. It's all about the team this week and it just happens to fall on a big occasion for myself," Hunt said.

"From our point of view, we are just going to focus on the game plan that has got us to where we are at the moment. We are just going to knuckle down and our defensive pressure is always a key indicator for us.

"As long as we've got our pressure and that sort of stuff up, it goes a long way to us winning. We have to quell Claremont's midfield because that's where they have a lot of firepower, as well as their forward-line. We've got a big task but hopefully we can get over the line on Sunday."

The fact that West Perth hasn’t won a final in six attempts since the 2003 premiership and that the Falcons lost their last two games coming into this year's finals series won't be something mentioned at the club.

And according to Hunt nor should they be, with this West Perth team consisting of a heap of young players and coming off a strong season where they finished well clear in second position on the ladder to earn a finals doubles chance.

"It doesn’t really get a mention. Those are the sorts of things that the less said about the better and it doesn’t really get a look in. This is a new year, we've got a new side and I don’t really think the fact that we haven’t won a final in a while will get a mention at all," he said.

"We've shown enough throughout the majority of the year that when we are up and going we can match it with the best of the competition, and that's what led us to finishing in second spot. The fact that we lost those last couple of games, of course we didn’t want to lose, but I don’t think it's something we will really hold our hat on."

Hunt knows full well that having won four straight minor premierships and the last two WAFL flags that Claremont will be no pushovers this Sunday, but he is confident that the Falcons' best can get the job done. The problem is the other three teams in the finals this year feel the same way.

"No doubt they will be a really difficult side to beat and they have again been the benchmark all year. It's going to be a real test for us but hopefully we've got enough personnel and get our structures right to get over the line against them," Hunt said.

"I think this year more than ever in the past probably five or six seasons it has been a really open season. Yes Claremont has still been the benchmark but I think there are other contenders this year.

"Last year and the couple before that, that probably hasn’t been the case and there has been a real standout team. But this year I think any of the top-four teams can have a real crack and take out the premiership."

Chris Keunen has a huge job up against two former Falcons Mark Seaby and Mitch Andrews in the ruck this week, but Hunt is confident that if he can at least break even that it will go a long way to West Perth playing well if the other stars stand tall also.

"Chris is obviously going to have a big challenge on his hands with probably the best ruck combination in the WAFL competition this week in Seaby and Andrews. Without a doubt he will be really important and if he can break even, or even get on top, he will give us a really good advantage," Hunt said.

"One guy who is a barometer for our side is Matt Guadagnin. He is an underrated player in the competition and quite often gets overlooked, but we need him to be firing as well as some of our other key players.

"Andrew Strijk and Jordan Jones have had really good years in our back half as well and if they are up and going, they will go a long way to helping us win as well."

Hunt is also glad that coach Bill Monaghan signed a new three-year contract last week and has no doubt that the Falcons are on the right track no matter how this finals series pans out.

"From a player's perspective, we've grown to really understand Bill's way of thinking and he has moved with the game, and changed his game plan to suit," Hunt said.

"He has moved with the times and I think that is a really good sign of a good coach who is willing to change and adapt with the game. I don’t see why the board wouldn’t have been signed up for that period of time."

BY CHRIS PIKE

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 24

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 4:37 PM

IT WAS really only the week of the last bye when East Perth lost to South Fremantle that we were truly cemented in second position and could start looking at Claremont.

We have kind of had it in the back of our minds for three or four weeks that we would be playing Claremont in a second semi-final, and it was ramped up after that bye week.
Whilst we had a game to get through against Swan Districts and we had a few boxes we wanted to tick off in that, there has been one eye firmly on the second semi-final, and our training and loading has been really geared towards that. 
Having said that and whilst we lost on the weekend, I still thought the players did a reasonable job against Swan Districts who clearly had to win and probably played the better footy especially with the breeze. We didn’t play the conditions very well, but on raw statistics we had more inside 50s, more possessions and more clearances so there was enough there to say that our form going into the second semi-final is OK and most importantly we got some really valuable minutes into Jay van Berlo and Chris Keunen, while we had to look after Matt Guadagnin who came back after being crook and copped a hefty knock to his nose.
The proof will be in the pudding, though, and we now need to put up or shut when we head out to Claremont Oval looking to come away with the victory.
The reserves were fantastic again on Saturday and they are playing some inspired football. That works out well for us as well because it means anyone who plays senior football at West Perth can play either grade this weekend. While Tedesco and Pettigrew are still touch and go, we will at least be able to keep getting minutes into Laine Rasmussen and Matt Johnson.
Our midfielders were in good form on Saturday as well and Black, Nelson and Hutchings all had a lot of the ball. We are in the final stretches of having Hutch now before he has to move on but with him back on top of VB and Guadagnin as well as Black, Nelson and Steve Potente with Ray Bartholomew getting back up to decent form and Rohan Kerr as well we feel we have enough in there in that area to match it with Claremont. We know Claremont start a lot of their attacks from their midfield and off half-back, so we need to be on watch in that area but we think we have enough cattle of our own to do well in that area.
We haven’t actually seen Claremont against us since Round 12 so there has been a long time since we've played them but there seems to be a bit of a feeling suggesting they aren’t quite going as well as they have in previous years. But they finished with a 17-3 record so that doesn’t really suggest they are going any worse.
I have seen them a few times since we played them in Round 12 and they are still a very good side. They are experienced and have a lot of quality all over the park so we are expecting them to be very good. We just need to be better.
Everyone would agree that in finals you need just about everything to go right if you are going to win. We just need to keep backing in the structures and personnel that we have, and the main thing is that the players have to come with an attitude and intensity befitting a second semi-final. I'm confident the players can do that.
Regardless of where we finish in the finals, finishing second is a great testament to the efforts of the players this year. A lot is made of our senior players and that is something the club should be proud of, but we have blooded a number of young players this year.
That old chestnut of not having won a final since 2003 keeps getting brought up but more than half our side hasn’t played in any of those finals that we have played in recently. That's a big turnover and I'm sure if you ask Rohan Kerr, Kody Manning, Nick Rodda or Matt Johnson about our finals since 2003 they couldn’t tell you anything about them and they wouldn’t care. All we are focused on is putting in a performance that can get the result this weekend.
Personally, I signed a new three-year contract last week and that has been something we have been in discussion about for some time. It's a great show faith in me from the club, but we have all identified that we have a really good bunch of young kids coming through and I want to be part of that going forward. This year is proof that if we get it right and everyone works hard on and off the field that we can have some success down the track.
I'm rapt the club saw faith in me for another three years. I'm sure it will be cause for conversation for many people inside and outside of the club, but if we win that will take care of itself. If we don’t win then I'm sure there will be people who say it was premature or a bad move, but that won't change my view or the club's view about the fact that the list is in really good shape going forward, and hopefully that will bear fruit in the coming years.
I've heard a lot about how I will become the club's longest serving coach as well, but six years isn’t really a great amount of time and it surprises a lot of people that in 129 years of history no coach has lasted more than six years. That will be something that at some stage I will reflect on and be proud of it, but I still need to get through the sixth and seventh years for that to happen first.
Stan 'Pops' Heal has such a standing in Australian football let alone WA and the West Perth Football Club so to pass someone like that is surreal, but he had a 70 per cent winning ratio and a couple of premierships so even if I'm the longest there are still some great coaches who have been at this footy club. Longevity is one way to measure someone's success but ultimately as a player and a coach you want to be judged on premierships so that's what we will be trying to achieve.
 BY BILL MONAGHANIT WAS really only the week of the last bye when East Perth lost to South Fremantle that we were truly cemented in second position and could start looking at Claremont.

We have kind of had it in the back of our minds for three or four weeks that we would be playing Claremont in a second semi-final, and it was ramped up after that bye week.

Whilst we had a game to get through against Swan Districts and we had a few boxes we wanted to tick off in that, there has been one eye firmly on the second semi-final, and our training and loading has been really geared towards that. 

Having said that and whilst we lost on the weekend, I still thought the players did a reasonable job against Swan Districts who clearly had to win and probably played the better footy especially with the breeze. We didn’t play the conditions very well, but on raw statistics we had more inside 50s, more possessions and more clearances so there was enough there to say that our form going into the second semi-final is OK and most importantly we got some really valuable minutes into Jay van Berlo and Chris Keunen, while we had to look after Matt Guadagnin who came back after being crook and copped a hefty knock to his nose.

The proof will be in the pudding, though, and we now need to put up or shut when we head out to Claremont Oval looking to come away with the victory.

The reserves were fantastic again on Saturday and they are playing some inspired football. That works out well for us as well because it means anyone who plays senior football at West Perth can play either grade this weekend. While Tedesco and Pettigrew are still touch and go, we will at least be able to keep getting minutes into Laine Rasmussen and Matt Johnson.

Our midfielders were in good form on Saturday as well and Black, Nelson and Hutchings all had a lot of the ball. We are in the final stretches of having Hutch now before he has to move on but with him back on top of VB and Guadagnin as well as Black, Nelson and Steve Potente with Ray Bartholomew getting back up to decent form and Rohan Kerr as well we feel we have enough in there in that area to match it with Claremont. We know Claremont start a lot of their attacks from their midfield and off half-back, so we need to be on watch in that area but we think we have enough cattle of our own to do well in that area.

We haven’t actually seen Claremont against us since Round 12 so there has been a long time since we've played them but there seems to be a bit of a feeling suggesting they aren’t quite going as well as they have in previous years. But they finished with a 17-3 record so that doesn’t really suggest they are going any worse.

I have seen them a few times since we played them in Round 12 and they are still a very good side. They are experienced and have a lot of quality all over the park so we are expecting them to be very good. We just need to be better.

Everyone would agree that in finals you need just about everything to go right if you are going to win. We just need to keep backing in the structures and personnel that we have, and the main thing is that the players have to come with an attitude and intensity befitting a second semi-final. I'm confident the players can do that.

Regardless of where we finish in the finals, finishing second is a great testament to the efforts of the players this year. A lot is made of our senior players and that is something the club should be proud of, but we have blooded a number of young players this year.

That old chestnut of not having won a final since 2003 keeps getting brought up but more than half our side hasn’t played in any of those finals that we have played in recently. That's a big turnover and I'm sure if you ask Rohan Kerr, Kody Manning, Nick Rodda or Matt Johnson about our finals since 2003 they couldn’t tell you anything about them and they wouldn’t care. All we are focused on is putting in a performance that can get the result this weekend.

Personally, I signed a new three-year contract last week and that has been something we have been in discussion about for some time. It's a great show faith in me from the club, but we have all identified that we have a really good bunch of young kids coming through and I want to be part of that going forward. This year is proof that if we get it right and everyone works hard on and off the field that we can have some success down the track.

I'm rapt the club saw faith in me for another three years. I'm sure it will be cause for conversation for many people inside and outside of the club, but if we win that will take care of itself. If we don’t win then I'm sure there will be people who say it was premature or a bad move, but that won't change my view or the club's view about the fact that the list is in really good shape going forward, and hopefully that will bear fruit in the coming years.

I've heard a lot about how I will become the club's longest serving coach as well, but six years isn’t really a great amount of time and it surprises a lot of people that in 129 years of history no coach has lasted more than six years. That will be something that at some stage I will reflect on and be proud of it, but I still need to get through the sixth and seventh years for that to happen first.

Stan 'Pops' Heal has such a standing in Australian football let alone WA and the West Perth Football Club so to pass someone like that is surreal, but he had a 70 per cent winning ratio and a couple of premierships so even if I'm the longest there are still some great coaches who have been at this footy club. Longevity is one way to measure someone's success but ultimately as a player and a coach you want to be judged on premierships so that's what we will be trying to achieve.

 BY BILL MONAGHAN

2013 MAJOR RAFFLE

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 12:18 PM

The West Perth Football Club is delighted to announce tickets
for the 2013 Major Raffle are now available!

 Thanks to the generosity of Darren Tyrrell from Emirates
and George Michalcyzk from Motive Travel,
this year’s amazing first prize is a trip of a lifetime
for two people to the magical city of Rome.

 

Your prize includes return economy airfares and five nights accommodation.
Travel conditions apply.

Four minor prizes of $100 each will also be drawn. 

 Strictly 200 tickets are available for $100 each and the raffle will be drawn
at the Breckler Medal, Friday 4 October.

To secure your tickets, please contact Erin on 9300 3611 or by email at promotions@falconsfc.com.au.

     

2013 BRECKLER MEDAL

Monday, September 2, 2013 - 7:24 PM

The countdown is on to find the Breckler Medallist and Roy Ennis Medallist for 2013!

Join the players for this prestigious night to honour award winners, milestone players and retirees of the 2013 senior playing group. Categories include Rookie of the Year, Wayne Dayman Courage Award, League Coach's Award, Reserves Coach's Award, Best Clubman, Carbone / De Vita Award, Ross McMillan Volunteer of the Year, Ray Scott Memorial Award for the leading goalkicker and the Townshend Financial Solutions Sacrificial Act Award. 

This year's Breckler Medal Count will be held at the Joondalup Resort on Friday 4 October with doors opening for pre-dinner drinks at 7pm.

If you would like to attend the 2013 Breckler Medal, please complete and return the attached booking form with payment to confirm your attendance and guest list. Payment must be made to secure your booking.

2013 BRECKLER MEDAL BOOKING FORM

There are strictly 200 seats available so get in quick to secure your seat.

TABLES OF 10 ONLY.

For any queries, please contact Erin at the Club on 08 9300 3611 or by email at promotions@falconsfc.com.au

Second Semi To Look Forward To

Monday, September 2, 2013 - 12:06 PM

West Perth didn’t take the four points against Swan Districts on Saturday but they did enough to suggest that they are on track to take on Claremont in the second semi-final next Sunday. Although beaten by eighteen points they had more inside fifties and clearances to be in the contest all day. In blustery conditions the Falcons kicked 2.10 when kicking with the breeze and this was the difference between winning and losing. The Reserves did a terrific job to win their game by six points and book a place in the first semi-final next week and the Colts finished their season with a thirty nine point victory.

The Falcons won the toss and kicked to the eastern end of the ground with the use of a strong breeze. Swan Districts defended really well and West Perth only kicked one goal for the quarter. This came at the five minute mark when clever ruck work by Chris Keunen saw the ball end up in the hands of Aaron Black fifty out. He kicked accurately to give the Falcons a seven point lead. The quarter was an even contest but Swans had the best of the scoreboard kicking two goals. After kicking with the breeze West Perth trailed by five at the first change. Scores were 2.3 (15) to 1.4 (10).

The Falcons played a good brand of defensive football in the second quarter and kept themselves in the game. Both sides kicked three goals. Tim Geappen kicked his second after a free and fifty metres. This gave Swans an eleven point lead. The first for the Falcons went to Jason Salecic who ran onto the ball after a clever kick forward by Mark Hutchings. He finished from the square. It was seven minutes before there was another score. This went to Swans and Wade Twomey who received a free and finished from forty. Not to be outdone West Perth kicked the next two to tie the game up at the twenty seven minute mark. The first went to classy finisher, Rohan Kerr, who finished on the run from forty. He was to kick three for the day. The second was a freakish snap by Mark Hutchings from deep in the pocket forty out. Swans finished the quarter with the last two scoring shots to take a seven point lead into the main break. The goal went to Tom Roach when he received a free kick. Four of the five goals kicked by Swans in the first half were courtesy of umpiring decisions. Scores were Swans 5.6 (36) to West Perth 4.5 (29).

Once again the Falcons failed to take advantage of the breeze kicking 1.6. The goal went to Matt Fowler at the thirteen minute mark after he ran onto a long kick into the forward line. From here West Perth kicked five consecutive points which wasn’t reward for effort as they dominated play. Swan Districts made the most of their opportunities kicking two majors and as a result they took a ten point lead into the final change. Scores were 7.9 (51) to 5.11 (41).

The blustery conditions were a factor all day and the last quarter was no exception. West Perth was outscored three goals to two but hung tough during the last quarter. Rohan Kerr kicked both of the Falcon goals and his finishing is a great strength. Early in the last quarter the Swans, Tony Notte, took a great grab in the conditions and goaled from close in. At the final siren Swans had recorded an eighteen point victory; 10.13 (73) to 7.13 (55).

While the loss was not an ideal way to finish the home and away season there were a lot of positives to take out of the day. One of these was the return of Jay Van Berlo who will benefit from the outing. Best players for the Falcons were Rohan Kerr, Kody Manning, Mark Hutchings, Steven Brown, Aaron Black and best was Shane Nelson. Players to receive awards for the victorious Reserves were Joe Morrow, Jordan Mills, Frank Stockley and best was Laine Rasmussen. Both teams should play at Claremont Oval next Sunday so be there early to see what should be a top day of football.

 

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS LOSE BUT STAY SECOND, RESERVES MAKE FINALS

Monday, September 2, 2013 - 3:18 AM

WEST Perth wasn’t able to win its final home and away game of 2013 against Swan Districts at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval but all attention is already on this Sunday's second semi-final.

The Falcons were going to finish in second position on the WAFL ladder and earn a finals doubles chance no matter what happened on Saturday but Swan Districts needed to win to secure its own finals place, and the black-and-whites won 10.13 (73) to 7.13 (55).
West Perth now finishes the home and away season on a 13-7 record to be comfortable in second position and to set up a second semi-final clash with two-time reigning premiers Claremont at Claremont Oval this Sunday afternoon.
If West Perth wins that, then the Falcons will be in their first grand final since winning the 2003 premiership.
If the Falcons aren’t able to beat the Tigers then it will mean a home preliminary final at Arena Joondalup against the winner of the first semi-final between Swan Districts and East Perth at Steel Blue Oval also on Sunday.
As for Saturday's clash with Swan Districts, the black-and-whites held a slender lead for the entire afternoon but could never break away from the Falcons.
Swans led by five points at quarter-time, seven at half-time and nine at three quarter-time, but early last quarter goals put the result beyond doubt for the black-and-whites.
West Perth had three prolific ball winners throughout the afternoon, though, with Shane Nelson, Aaron Black and Mark Hutchings combining for an incredible 108 possessions, 23 marks, nine tackles, 11 entries inside the forward 50 and two goals.
Nelson had a day out at Bassendean racking up a career-high 42 disposals to go with seven marks and four inside-50 entries. His 42 possession effort is the highest of a West Perth player since Josh Pearce racked up 43 in Round 14, 2008 against Swan Districts at the same venue.
Black also gathered a career-best 37 possessions to go with nine marks, four inside-50 entries and a goal while Hutchings had 29 touches, seven marks, seven tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.
Rohan Kerr also had 20 touches to go with kicking three goals for the Falcons as the team's only multiple goal scorer on the day.
Shaun Marusic did work hard, though, finishing with 20 possessions, six tackles and five inside 50s from centre half-forward.
Steven Browne did well off half-back with 20 touches and 10 marks while Ray Bartholomew collected 18 disposals and the returning Jay van Berlo who was back from a knee injury after only missing the previous three matches.
The West Perth league side might not have been able to pull off the win at Bassendean, but both the colts and reserves did.
The Falcons reserves beat Swans 5.13 (43) to 4.13 (37) by kicking the only three goals of the last quarter and as a result they finish the season in fourth position setting up a derby first semi-final next week against East Perth.
Frank Stockley worked tirelessly in the ruck for West Perth finishing with 21 possessions and 43 hit outs while Joel Latham had 24 disposals, Aidan Lynch 24 and the returning Matt Johnson 15 to go with five marks.
The Falcons colts might have missed out on playing finals but finished off the season on an impressive note with a 16.12 (108) to 10.9 (69) victory over Swan Districts.
West Perth was behind by 11 points at quarter-time, but assumed the lead by half-time and then kicked nine goals to four in the second to secure the 39-point victory.
William Michell, Jesse Kirwen and Andrew Hardman all kicked three goals for the Falcons with Angus Innes also kicking two goals.
Kirk Bartel gathered 17 possessions, Innes 17, Hardman 14, Kirwen 13 and Josh Nolan 12.
WEST PERTH 1.4 4.5 5.11 7.13 (55)
SWAN DISTRICTS 2.3 5.6 7.9 10.13 (73)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Kerr 3; Black, Salecic, Hutchings.
Best: Nelson, Black, Hutchings, Kerr, Browne, Marusic, Bartholomew.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Geappen 3; Roach, Boekhorst, Twomey, Davis, Garlett, Notte, Rogers.
Best: Davis, Bennell, Geappen, Twomey, Notte, Garlett, Boekhorst.
BY CHRIS PIKE

WEST Perth wasn’t able to win its final home and away game of 2013 against Swan Districts at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval but all attention is already on this Sunday's second semi-final.

The Falcons were going to finish in second position on the WAFL ladder and earn a finals doubles chance no matter what happened on Saturday but Swan Districts needed to win to secure its own finals place, and the black-and-whites won 10.13 (73) to 7.13 (55).

West Perth now finishes the home and away season on a 13-7 record to be comfortable in second position and to set up a second semi-final clash with two-time reigning premiers Claremont at Claremont Oval this Sunday afternoon.

If West Perth wins that, then the Falcons will be in their first grand final since winning the 2003 premiership.

If the Falcons aren’t able to beat the Tigers then it will mean a home preliminary final at Arena Joondalup against the winner of the first semi-final between Swan Districts and East Perth at Steel Blue Oval also on Sunday.

As for Saturday's clash with Swan Districts, the black-and-whites held a slender lead for the entire afternoon but could never break away from the Falcons.

Swans led by five points at quarter-time, seven at half-time and nine at three quarter-time, but early last quarter goals put the result beyond doubt for the black-and-whites.

West Perth had three prolific ball winners throughout the afternoon, though, with Shane Nelson, Aaron Black and Mark Hutchings combining for an incredible 108 possessions, 23 marks, nine tackles, 11 entries inside the forward 50 and two goals.

Nelson had a day out at Bassendean racking up a career-high 42 disposals to go with seven marks and four inside-50 entries. His 42 possession effort is the highest of a West Perth player since Josh Pearce racked up 43 in Round 14, 2008 against Swan Districts at the same venue.

Black also gathered a career-best 37 possessions to go with nine marks, four inside-50 entries and a goal while Hutchings had 29 touches, seven marks, seven tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

Rohan Kerr also had 20 touches to go with kicking three goals for the Falcons as the team's only multiple goal scorer on the day.

Shaun Marusic did work hard, though, finishing with 20 possessions, six tackles and five inside 50s from centre half-forward.

Steven Browne did well off half-back with 20 touches and 10 marks while Ray Bartholomew collected 18 disposals and the returning Jay van Berlo who was back from a knee injury after only missing the previous three matches.

The West Perth league side might not have been able to pull off the win at Bassendean, but both the colts and reserves did.

The Falcons reserves beat Swans 5.13 (43) to 4.13 (37) by kicking the only three goals of the last quarter and as a result they finish the season in fourth position setting up a derby first semi-final next week against East Perth.

Frank Stockley worked tirelessly in the ruck for West Perth finishing with 21 possessions and 43 hit outs while Joel Latham had 24 disposals, Aidan Lynch 24 and the returning Matt Johnson 15 to go with five marks.

The Falcons colts might have missed out on playing finals but finished off the season on an impressive note with a 16.12 (108) to 10.9 (69) victory over Swan Districts.

West Perth was behind by 11 points at quarter-time, but assumed the lead by half-time and then kicked nine goals to four in the second to secure the 39-point victory.

William Michell, Jesse Kirwen and Andrew Hardman all kicked three goals for the Falcons with Angus Innes also kicking two goals.

Kirk Bartel gathered 17 possessions, Innes 17, Hardman 14, Kirwen 13 and Josh Nolan 12.

WEST PERTH 1.4 4.5 5.11 7.13 (55)

SWAN DISTRICTS 2.3 5.6 7.9 10.13 (73)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Kerr 3; Black, Salecic, Hutchings.

Best: Nelson, Black, Hutchings, Kerr, Browne, Marusic, Bartholomew.

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Geappen 3; Roach, Boekhorst, Twomey, Davis, Garlett, Notte, Rogers.

Best: Davis, Bennell, Geappen, Twomey, Notte, Garlett, Boekhorst.

BY CHRIS PIKE

PHOTOS BY DAN WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 23

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 1:50 AM

WE MADE five changes after the Perth game leading into East Fremantle, and four of those will play this week against Swan Districts. Luke Tedesco will be the only one who won't and I expect Chris Keunen, Andrew Strijk, Matt Guadagnin and Kris Shannon to all play.

Jay van Berlo will play as well at some level this week whether we choose to play him in the league side or the reserves is something we will determine before the game. He is really confident that his knee will hold up and that does present a dilemma for us. Do we try to ease him back through a game that isn’t as high intensity or do we throw him in there to make sure he's sharp enough for the final the week after. At the end of the day, if his knee is right then it's right and that will most likely mean that after three or four weeks off he should come back through the seniors.
VB has left no stone unturned in his recovery and the same is for Luke Tedesco and Michael Pettigrew before he had to go up north for a trip with work. They are doing everything they can to give themselves a chance to play, but the one we can't do anything about is Anthony Tsalikis after he ripped a ligament off his shoulder, and he has had a shoulder reconstruction. That is not only really disappointing for him personally, but he has been crucial for our structure this year.
Any long-term injury is devastating and the fact that the team has been playing so well with him such a big part of that, and knowing he is closer to the end of his career than the start, he must have a whole range of emotions going through his head. We will let the dust settle on that and we have indicated to 'Slick' that we think he should continue and his form has been outstanding this year, and it has been as good football as he has played in my five years here which is a great credit to him and his work rate, and preparation. We will talk to him at the appropriate time and he will make a decision that's in his best interests and we hope he plays on, but we would also be comfortable that if it's the end it's the end, and he has had a great career.
The obvious player to help pick up some of that slack would be Matt Johnson who has good speed and marking ability as well so he is a similar type. Whether his work rate is as high as 'Slick's' as an 18-year-old then it probably isn’t, but the other problem is that he hasn’t been playing. He should play this week, though, and he is as close to a like to like player as we have for 'Slick'. But with Jason Salecic, Marc Crisp and Josh Mellington we think we have other options across half-forward but replacing a five-time leading goalkicker isn’t easy.
We can even throw in Kris Shannon with his speed and ability to present up, and it gives a really good opportunity for Shaun Marusic and Matt Fowler to really stand up and provide real focal points in attack for us. We have been working all year on our forward-line spreading the load and this is just another week where this will be the same message.
Our last game against East Fremantle was a really strange one. At one stage, we had gone in our forward 50 14 times to their four in the first quarter, and we were up and about with good forward pressure. Had we taken our opportunities, we could have kicked six or seven in the first quarter but then the second quarter wasn’t quite as good. We still were only one point down at half-time but things hadn’t gone our way with personnel going into the game and then we lost 'Slick', and it was just a completely different game. Our effort, intent and ability to defend all went missing and it's a really difficult thing to put a finger on how you can do it well for the best part of a half, and then basically not turn up after half-time.
We haven’t glossed over that result but having said that, we haven’t spent huge amounts of time trying to work out why it happened against East Fremantle other than the general feeling that our pressure was non-existent, our stoppages were poor after half-time, our respect for defence and tackling and chasing went out the window, and those are things we can't afford to let happen. There were some concerns in the second half, but we have been pretty good over the first 19 weeks.
We have probably only had a poor seven or eight quarters during the season. There were a couple of poor ones against South, a poor last quarter against Swans on Anzac Day, we were ordinary early against Subi before rectifying that and it has been limited a quarter here and there. Over the season, you've got to take that into account and given we've played 76 quarters so far, we have probably played 60 good ones, seven or eight middle of the road and another seven or eight bad ones.
We have to keep looking at the positives and the players are under no illusions about what makes us competitive and our better performances come when we get certain non-negotiables right, which went missing against East Fremantle and that's what we plan to rectify this weekend against Swans and then going into the finals.
There is a lot of talk about the experienced players in our squad and it's a real bonus for us, but given Pettigrew, Tedesco, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Strijk and Keunen were all missing against East Fremantle, and they all have great experience and talent what was probably evident was that we didn’t have enough leaders and showing the way. That's something we addressed and that's probably more important than anything else we did after that game.
We had a very young side and both Ben McNamara and Luke Meadows did a fantastic job and neither looked out of place even though the speed and intensity of the game caught up with them a bit in the second half. That is just something we need to deal with and we are going to get a fair chunk of that experience back.
A lot of things from an experience and structure point of view should right themselves this week against Swans and I'm sure the players are as eager as our supporters to put in a good performance.
It is important for our reserves to win on Saturday as well to make sure of a finals spot.
Our reserves have been fantastic after being 1-6 at one stage. They have won 10 of their last 12 games now and that's a credit to the whole club, but the reserves players and Paul Sanzone and his coaching group in particular. It has probably taken the reserves group a little longer to get their head around some of the changes we have made to the game style this year with our structures and defensive mechanisms.
It took them a little while to get there, and we had one of the oldest league sides but youngest reserves team, so there have been a lot of kids who have taken a while to pick up the pace of reserves footy and work together. We haven’t had a lot of mature bodies in our reserves either so they are doing a great job and hopefully they will tick off their last performance against Swans with a win seeing them finish in the four.
That will be great for our club. Whilst it's not everyone's main goal to win games and finals in the reserves, it can't be a bad thing to qualify for the finals and expose players to a step up in intensity that naturally comes in finals at any level.
Then there is the added bonus that it allows us to have the option of playing the two or three guys coming back from injury in the reserves before the league side. With all going to plan and if the reserves give the same performance they have given over a long period of time for the season they will get up and we will have two sides playing finals.
BY BILL MONAGHANWE MADE five changes after the Perth game leading into East Fremantle, and four of those will play this week against Swan Districts. Luke Tedesco will be the only one who won't and I expect Chris Keunen, Andrew Strijk, Matt Guadagnin and Kris Shannon to all play.

Jay van Berlo will play as well at some level this week whether we choose to play him in the league side or the reserves is something we will determine before the game. He is really confident that his knee will hold up and that does present a dilemma for us. Do we try to ease him back through a game that isn’t as high intensity or do we throw him in there to make sure he's sharp enough for the final the week after. At the end of the day, if his knee is right then it's right and that will most likely mean that after three or four weeks off he should come back through the seniors.

VB has left no stone unturned in his recovery and the same is for Luke Tedesco and Michael Pettigrew before he had to go up north for a trip with work. They are doing everything they can to give themselves a chance to play, but the one we can't do anything about is Anthony Tsalikis after he ripped a ligament off his shoulder, and he has had a shoulder reconstruction. That is not only really disappointing for him personally, but he has been crucial for our structure this year.

Any long-term injury is devastating and the fact that the team has been playing so well with him such a big part of that, and knowing he is closer to the end of his career than the start, he must have a whole range of emotions going through his head. We will let the dust settle on that and we have indicated to 'Slick' that we think he should continue and his form has been outstanding this year, and it has been as good football as he has played in my five years here which is a great credit to him and his work rate, and preparation. We will talk to him at the appropriate time and he will make a decision that's in his best interests and we hope he plays on, but we would also be comfortable that if it's the end it's the end, and he has had a great career.

The obvious player to help pick up some of that slack would be Matt Johnson who has good speed and marking ability as well so he is a similar type. Whether his work rate is as high as 'Slick's' as an 18-year-old then it probably isn’t, but the other problem is that he hasn’t been playing. He should play this week, though, and he is as close to a like to like player as we have for 'Slick'. But with Jason Salecic, Marc Crisp and Josh Mellington we think we have other options across half-forward but replacing a five-time leading goalkicker isn’t easy.

We can even throw in Kris Shannon with his speed and ability to present up, and it gives a really good opportunity for Shaun Marusic and Matt Fowler to really stand up and provide real focal points in attack for us. We have been working all year on our forward-line spreading the load and this is just another week where this will be the same message.

Our last game against East Fremantle was a really strange one. At one stage, we had gone in our forward 50 14 times to their four in the first quarter, and we were up and about with good forward pressure. Had we taken our opportunities, we could have kicked six or seven in the first quarter but then the second quarter wasn’t quite as good. We still were only one point down at half-time but things hadn’t gone our way with personnel going into the game and then we lost 'Slick', and it was just a completely different game. Our effort, intent and ability to defend all went missing and it's a really difficult thing to put a finger on how you can do it well for the best part of a half, and then basically not turn up after half-time.

We haven’t glossed over that result but having said that, we haven’t spent huge amounts of time trying to work out why it happened against East Fremantle other than the general feeling that our pressure was non-existent, our stoppages were poor after half-time, our respect for defence and tackling and chasing went out the window, and those are things we can't afford to let happen. There were some concerns in the second half, but we have been pretty good over the first 19 weeks.

We have probably only had a poor seven or eight quarters during the season. There were a couple of poor ones against South, a poor last quarter against Swans on Anzac Day, we were ordinary early against Subi before rectifying that and it has been limited a quarter here and there. Over the season, you've got to take that into account and given we've played 76 quarters so far, we have probably played 60 good ones, seven or eight middle of the road and another seven or eight bad ones.

We have to keep looking at the positives and the players are under no illusions about what makes us competitive and our better performances come when we get certain non-negotiables right, which went missing against East Fremantle and that's what we plan to rectify this weekend against Swans and then going into the finals.

There is a lot of talk about the experienced players in our squad and it's a real bonus for us, but given Pettigrew, Tedesco, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Strijk and Keunen were all missing against East Fremantle, and they all have great experience and talent what was probably evident was that we didn’t have enough leaders and showing the way. That's something we addressed and that's probably more important than anything else we did after that game.

We had a very young side and both Ben McNamara and Luke Meadows did a fantastic job and neither looked out of place even though the speed and intensity of the game caught up with them a bit in the second half. That is just something we need to deal with and we are going to get a fair chunk of that experience back.

A lot of things from an experience and structure point of view should right themselves this week against Swans and I'm sure the players are as eager as our supporters to put in a good performance.

It is important for our reserves to win on Saturday as well to make sure of a finals spot.

Our reserves have been fantastic after being 1-6 at one stage. They have won 10 of their last 12 games now and that's a credit to the whole club, but the reserves players and Paul Sanzone and his coaching group in particular. It has probably taken the reserves group a little longer to get their head around some of the changes we have made to the game style this year with our structures and defensive mechanisms.

It took them a little while to get there, and we had one of the oldest league sides but youngest reserves team, so there have been a lot of kids who have taken a while to pick up the pace of reserves footy and work together. We haven’t had a lot of mature bodies in our reserves either so they are doing a great job and hopefully they will tick off their last performance against Swans with a win seeing them finish in the four.

That will be great for our club. Whilst it's not everyone's main goal to win games and finals in the reserves, it can't be a bad thing to qualify for the finals and expose players to a step up in intensity that naturally comes in finals at any level.

Then there is the added bonus that it allows us to have the option of playing the two or three guys coming back from injury in the reserves before the league side. With all going to plan and if the reserves give the same performance they have given over a long period of time for the season they will get up and we will have two sides playing finals.

BY BILL MONAGHAN