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BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 17

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 11:13 AM

I WON'T hide from the fact that we are really happy to be 10-4. It's probably not a position that we were expecting to be in and I dare say it's not a position that most people from outside our club or other clubs were expecting us to be in.

We have been really lucky that in two or three close games we've been able to get over the line and that clearly helps because 10-4 or 7-7 is at completely different ends of the spectrum. We know there is still a lot of work to be done and whilst we are happy with what we have done, we know that there is a lot of hard work still to be done in the coming weeks and we can't stop for any second thinking what we have done is good enough.
Expectations rise from within and externally because of the way we have been playing, and all of a sudden you are judged a lot more harshly when people think you are going to win, and opposition sides look more closely at trying to pick apart what we are trying to do.
We are happy with where we are, but we are still well short of what needs to be done and we are working hard to win enough games to play finals footy. If we are lucky enough to get to that stage, we will reassess and come up with a plan that hopefully comes finals time can allow us to show  our wares at that stage of the year.
Nick Rodda, Matt Johnson, Ray Bartholomew, Laine Rasmussen, Jason Salecic and Jordan Jones weren’t in our league side before the bye against Peel and all of those guys are at different stages and have slightly different injuries.
Sala has only played four games and in two of those he got injured, Bartholomew has now missed three plus he went down at the 10-minute mark of the game he got hurt in and Johnson has now missed a few. Mark Hutchings has only played seven games so there have been opportunities for guys to step up to the plate, and it's been really pleasing that they have played some good footy.
It might be a little more difficult after the bye though. Rodda, Rasmussen and Jones were all touch and go to play last week so they should all come back. Jason has ticked all the boxes that we wanted him to. He was really disappointed with his first effort in the twos, but it was important to get some game time and then he started to find some footy last week and after two solid weeks of training he will come back in after the bye.
That means there will be at least four changes to play South Fremantle and we don't know where Mark Hutchings sits, and then there's Bartholomew and Johnson who will probably come back and play reserves even though we won't completely rule them out of coming directly back in. We probably don’t want to make seven changes, though, and both have missed a month of footy with soft tissue injuries so we will most likely ease them into the South Fremantle where they can play 60 or 70 minutes in the reserves.
Unless something comes out of the blue between now and then, we expect to have pretty much a full list to pick from for the South Fremantle game.
BY BILL MONAGHANI WON'T hide from the fact that we are really happy to be 10-4. It's probably not a position that we were expecting to be in and I dare say it's not a position that most people from outside our club or other clubs were expecting us to be in.

We have been really lucky that in two or three close games we've been able to get over the line and that clearly helps because 10-4 or 7-7 is at completely different ends of the spectrum. We know there is still a lot of work to be done and whilst we are happy with what we have done, we know that there is a lot of hard work still to be done in the coming weeks and we can't stop for any second thinking what we have done is good enough.

Expectations rise from within and externally because of the way we have been playing, and all of a sudden you are judged a lot more harshly when people think you are going to win, and opposition sides look more closely at trying to pick apart what we are trying to do.

We are happy with where we are, but we are still well short of what needs to be done and we are working hard to win enough games to play finals footy. If we are lucky enough to get to that stage, we will reassess and come up with a plan that hopefully comes finals time can allow us to show  our wares at that stage of the year.

Nick Rodda, Matt Johnson, Ray Bartholomew, Laine Rasmussen, Jason Salecic and Jordan Jones weren’t in our league side before the bye against Peel and all of those guys are at different stages and have slightly different injuries.

Sala has only played four games and in two of those he got injured, Bartholomew has now missed three plus he went down at the 10-minute mark of the game he got hurt in and Johnson has now missed a few. Mark Hutchings has only played seven games so there have been opportunities for guys to step up to the plate, and it's been really pleasing that they have played some good footy.

It might be a little more difficult after the bye though. Rodda, Rasmussen and Jones were all touch and go to play last week so they should all come back. Jason has ticked all the boxes that we wanted him to. He was really disappointed with his first effort in the twos, but it was important to get some game time and then he started to find some footy last week and after two solid weeks of training he will come back in after the bye.

That means there will be at least four changes to play South Fremantle and we don't know where Mark Hutchings sits, and then there's Bartholomew and Johnson who will probably come back and play reserves even though we won't completely rule them out of coming directly back in. We probably don’t want to make seven changes, though, and both have missed a month of footy with soft tissue injuries so we will most likely ease them into the South Fremantle where they can play 60 or 70 minutes in the reserves.

Unless something comes out of the blue between now and then, we expect to have pretty much a full list to pick from for the South Fremantle game.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

COLTS SUPER ROUND

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 4:23 PM

The West Perth Football Club wishes to advise members that our Colts will not be playing at Arena Joondalup this weekend for the Round 18 fixture against South Fremantle.

The WAFL are hosting a Colts Super Round at Brownes Stadium to showcase the junior talent on offer. The West Perth Colts will play against South Fremantle at 2:05pm at Brownes Stadium.

FREE ENTRY 

WEST PERTH VS SOUTH FREMANTLE

BROWNES STADIUM

2:05PM

 

WAFL MEDIA RELEASE

THE West Australian Football League has scheduled three Colts games to be played at Brownes Stadium this Saturday 20 July to increase recruiting opportunities for young players.

With the support of the Perth Football Club, three Round 18 WAFL Colts games will be played at Brownes Stadium, with the first to commence at 9:05am and the last kicking off at 2:05pm.

The East Perth vs Swan Districts Colts game will be played after the League match at Medibank Stadium, commencing at 5pm.

West Australian Football Commission State Pathways Manager Darren Davis said the Colts Super Round initiative had been backed by WAFL Football Managers, Player Development Officers and Colts coaches since its introduction in 2011.

“It provides a great opportunity to showcase three Colts games at one venue on the same day and allows AFL recruiting staff to view all four matches on one weekend,” Davis said.

“We are looking forward to what should be a great day for our WAFL Colts. We are committed to showcasing young talent and fixture games whenever possible to accommodate talent and recruiting outcomes.

“This will be the third season we have played a Colts Super Round as we see great value in this concept.”

COLTS SUPER ROUND

Saturday 20 July 2013

Brownes Stadium

9:05am - East Fremantle vs Subiaco

11:35am - Perth vs Peel Thunder

2:05pm - West Perth vs South Fremantle

Medibank Stadium

5pm - East Perth vs Swan Districts 

2013 NAIDOC GUERNSEYS AUCTION

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3:56 PM

In Round 16 for the 2013 WAFL season, West Perth played against Peel Thunder for the NAIDOC Round clash at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

The Falcons celebrated Vice Captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL game with a 16 point win over the Thunder to move further clear in second position on the ladder in the lead up to the 2013 finals campaign.

This is your opportunity to purchase a rare piece of Falcons memorabilia with these signed NAIDOC guernsey’s up for auction.

Click here to grab your favourite player’s guernsey from the match - https://auctiondesq.imgstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category&CategoryID=3690&OrgID=10839

The auction will close at 5pm WST on Thursday 25 July 2013 so make sure you put your best bids in before this date.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL GUERNSEYS ARE SIGNED BY THE INDIVIDUAL PLAYER WHO WORE THEM ON THE DAY.

ROUND 16 – FINAL SCORE

WEST PERTH         7.4   8.6  14.7  15.11 (101)

PEEL THUNDER    1.0   3.4    7.5   13.7 (85)

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 16

Friday, July 12, 2013 - 1:54 PM

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

FALCONS WIN IN MANDURAH IN TEDDY'S 100TH

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 1:57 AM

WEST Perth celebrated vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL game with a 16-point win over Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Saturday to move further clear in second position on the ladder.

The Falcons conceded the first goal of the game to Peel on Saturday at Bendigo Bank Stadium but from there kicked the next eight goals of the game and went on to lead by as much as 56 points late in the third quarter.
However, eight consecutive goals to the Thunder either side of three quarter-time certainly made things interesting with the margin getting down to as little as nine points, but a late goal to Anthony Tsalikis steadied the Falcons and secured the 15.11 (101) to 13.7 (85) victory.
The win improves West Perth to a 10-4 record on the season to be two games and percentage clear in second position of the third-placed East Perth and three games and percentage over fourth-placed Swan Districts and fifth-placed Perth.
The Falcons have now won four straight matches heading into next weekend's bye before the last six games of the season against South Fremantle, East Perth, Peel, Perth, East Fremantle and Swan Districts.
Marc Crisp had a day out for West Perth kicking a career-best five goals to go with 18 possessions, 11 marks and four inside-50 entries.
Matt Fowler also added three goals in the absence of Nick Rodda and Matt Johnson up forward, with Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew and Laine Rasmussen also missing for the Falcons.
Shane Nelson finished with 31 possessions in the midfield for West Perth with Rohan Kerr racking up 26, Jay van Berlo 25 and Aaron Black 20.
Ruckman Chris Keunen was up against Fremantle pair Craig Moller and Jack Hannath, and did a terrific job finishing with 24 possessions, 23 hit outs and a goal.
Steve Potente also did well limiting the influence of his former Swan Districts teammate Marlon Motlop in the midfield for Peel while gathering 20 touches himself.
Peel did kick the game's first goal through Brad Holmes, but West Perth soon assumed control of the contest with Fowler booting three first quarter goals, Crisp adding two and James Batterham and Keunen also getting on the board.
That saw the Falcons lead by 40 points at quarter-time and then 46 to start the second quarter when Shaun Marusic kicked truly as well.
It was a quiet second term from there with West Perth not able to manage another goal and Peel kicking just the two with the Falcons still leading by 32 points at half-time.
It took just over a minute for West Perth to get the first goal of the second half when Crisp booted his third afternoon. Peel answered through Holmes but then Crisp added his fourth at the eight-minute mark.
Then when Brayden Antonio, Michael Pettigrew and Crisp all kicked goals in a three-minute patch in time-on, West Perth's lead was suddenly out to a game-high 56 points.
West Perth still led by 44 points at the last change, but with Holmes on fire up forward for Peel and all the moment swinging the home team's way, the margin was cut to just nine points at the 26-minute mark of the final term before Tsalikis' match-sealing goal at the 28-mintue mark.
West Perth's reserves also beat Peel by 72 points with Jason Salecic, Mitch McPhee and Corey Chalmers all kicking three goals each, and Michael Mascoulis, Jack Thrum and Ben McNamara two.
The Falcons' colts also won over the Thunder by 13 points with Tyson Moulton and Tim Sutherland kicking two goals each. Jesse Kirwen racked up 31 possessions, Nick Bowe 26, Tom Shadbolt 24, Ashley Smith 24 and Joel Brown 19.
WEST PERTH 7.4 8.6 14.7 15.11 (101)
PEEL THUNDER 1.0 3.4 7.5 13.7 (85)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Crisp 5; Fowler 3; Pettigrew, Marusic, Keunen, van Berlo, Antonio, Tsalikis, Batterham.
Best: Kerr, Crisp, Nelson, Keunen, Potente, van Berlo.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Holmes 6; Taberner 2; Gillam, Blair, Moller, McFarlane, Michie.
Best: Jones, Holmes, Faulks, Michie, Moller, Gillam.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth celebrated vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL game with a 16-point win over Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Saturday to move further clear in second position on the ladder.

The Falcons conceded the first goal of the game to Peel on Saturday at Bendigo Bank Stadium but from there kicked the next eight goals of the game and went on to lead by as much as 56 points late in the third quarter.

However, eight consecutive goals to the Thunder either side of three quarter-time certainly made things interesting with the margin getting down to as little as nine points, but a late goal to Anthony Tsalikis steadied the Falcons and secured the 15.11 (101) to 13.7 (85) victory.

The win improves West Perth to a 10-4 record on the season to be two games and percentage clear in second position of the third-placed East Perth and three games and percentage over fourth-placed Swan Districts and fifth-placed Perth.

The Falcons have now won four straight matches heading into next weekend's bye before the last six games of the season against South Fremantle, East Perth, Peel, Perth, East Fremantle and Swan Districts.

Marc Crisp had a day out for West Perth kicking a career-best five goals to go with 18 possessions, 11 marks and four inside-50 entries.

Matt Fowler also added three goals in the absence of Nick Rodda and Matt Johnson up forward, with Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew and Laine Rasmussen also missing for the Falcons.

Shane Nelson finished with 31 possessions in the midfield for West Perth with Rohan Kerr racking up 26, Jay van Berlo 25 and Aaron Black 20.

Ruckman Chris Keunen was up against Fremantle pair Craig Moller and Jack Hannath, and did a terrific job finishing with 24 possessions, 23 hit outs and a goal.

Steve Potente also did well limiting the influence of his former Swan Districts teammate Marlon Motlop in the midfield for Peel while gathering 20 touches himself.

Peel did kick the game's first goal through Brad Holmes, but West Perth soon assumed control of the contest with Fowler booting three first quarter goals, Crisp adding two and James Batterham and Keunen also getting on the board.

That saw the Falcons lead by 40 points at quarter-time and then 46 to start the second quarter when Shaun Marusic kicked truly as well.

It was a quiet second term from there with West Perth not able to manage another goal and Peel kicking just the two with the Falcons still leading by 32 points at half-time.

It took just over a minute for West Perth to get the first goal of the second half when Crisp booted his third afternoon. Peel answered through Holmes but then Crisp added his fourth at the eight-minute mark.

Then when Brayden Antonio, Michael Pettigrew and Crisp all kicked goals in a three-minute patch in time-on, West Perth's lead was suddenly out to a game-high 56 points.

West Perth still led by 44 points at the last change, but with Holmes on fire up forward for Peel and all the moment swinging the home team's way, the margin was cut to just nine points at the 26-minute mark of the final term before Tsalikis' match-sealing goal at the 28-mintue mark.

West Perth's reserves also beat Peel by 72 points with Jason Salecic, Mitch McPhee and Corey Chalmers all kicking three goals each, and Michael Mascoulis, Jack Thrum and Ben McNamara two.

The Falcons' colts also won over the Thunder by 13 points with Tyson Moulton and Tim Sutherland kicking two goals each. Jesse Kirwen racked up 31 possessions, Nick Bowe 26, Tom Shadbolt 24, Ashley Smith 24 and Joel Brown 19.

WEST PERTH 7.4 8.6 14.7 15.11 (101)

PEEL THUNDER 1.0 3.4 7.5 13.7 (85)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Crisp 5; Fowler 3; Pettigrew, Marusic, Keunen, van Berlo, Antonio, Tsalikis, Batterham.

Best: Kerr, Crisp, Nelson, Keunen, Potente, van Berlo.

PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Holmes 6; Taberner 2; Gillam, Blair, Moller, McFarlane, Michie.

Best: Jones, Holmes, Faulks, Michie, Moller, Gillam.

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 16 PREVIEW V PEEL THUNDER

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 6:15 PM

WEST Perth hasn’t always had the most pleasant trips to Mandurah in recent years to face Peel Thunder but head to Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday needing to keep winning to keep hold of second spot, but the home side has some key players returning.

The Falcons currently sit a game and percentage clear in second position on the ladder with a 9-4 record with just seven games of the 2013 season remaining while Peel will want to get a win on the board to avoid any chance of falling to the bottom of the ladder as well.
Peel might just have a 3-10 record on the season, but all three wins have come at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth.
The Thunder's losses at home to East Fremantle, Claremont and Perth have also been by significantly less margins than when Peel leaves Mandurah.
West Perth has now won three straight games to consolidate second position on the ladder even if the last two wins have been by a combined four points over Subiaco and Swan Districts.
The Falcons haven’t always performed well in Mandurah, though, despite a 100-point win at the venue in Round 19 last year.
Prior to that, Peel beat West Perth by 21 points in 2011, by 41 points in 2010 and two points on a wet Saturday night back in 2007.
The Falcons did win comfortably over Peel back in Round 5 at Arena Joondalup this year but the Thunder will be a significantly improved side this time around.
As well as Kelvin Lawrence looking to return for Peel this week against West Perth, the Thunder have some crucial inclusions from Fremantle including ruck pair Jack Hannath and Craig Moller, and prolific midfielder Viv Michie.
Matt Brown also returns for Peel from suspension with Blair Bell a chance to make his league debut after he picked up 15 possessions in the reserves last week against East Perth.
Key defender Chris Luff is out of the team with a serious knee injury with young ruckman Ben Smith and forward Jesse Hockings also out.
West Perth has three important outs with Laine Rasmussen, Nick Rodda and Jordan Jones going out of the side that beat Swan Districts in a thriller by three points last Saturday.
James Batterham, Matt Fowler, Mitch McPhee, Joe Morrow, Kris Shannon and Frank Stockley are all in the mix to come in for the Falcons with Shannon likely to replace Rasmussen, Morrow to take Jones' place and the others fighting for Rodda's position in the forward-line.
West Perth has the added motivation of celebrating vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL match this Saturday as well. The 26-year-old is proud to reach the mark, but knows that the four points against Peel must remain the focus.
"For me it was never about who or where it was against, I'm just grateful for it. But in the context of the season, it's a massive game because we have to keep winning each week to stay above the pack," Tedesco said.
"A loss to anyone at this stage would put us back in the mix so we are really looking forward to the challenge this week, and hopefully we get a win because we haven’t had great success down there in recent years.
"We know that Peel have had a pretty tough week so we are expecting them to come out pretty fired up as well."
West Perth coach Bill Monaghan knows that Peel certainly can't be taken lightly.
"If or when Peel gets back to full strength they are a talented side and we are expecting six or eight changes for them this week, which changes their side significantly," Monaghan said.
"I think we saw for a period there for four or five weeks when they were close to full strength that they were competitive with any side in the competition.
I think that they are a significantly better side down in Mandurah as well and we need to just go down there with the attitude that need to get things done, and tick our boxes with the way we play.
"We have to make sure that we put in an A-grand performance. We can't focus too much on Peel on the travel and where we are playing. We think that if we stick to what we need to get done whether we are playing at Arena Joondalup or Mandurah, we are capable of winning and that's what I will be asking of the players this week."
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth hasn’t always had the most pleasant trips to Mandurah in recent years to face Peel Thunder but head to Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday needing to keep winning to keep hold of second spot, but the home side has some key players returning.

The Falcons currently sit a game and percentage clear in second position on the ladder with a 9-4 record with just seven games of the 2013 season remaining while Peel will want to get a win on the board to avoid any chance of falling to the bottom of the ladder as well.

Peel might just have a 3-10 record on the season, but all three wins have come at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth.

The Thunder's losses at home to East Fremantle, Claremont and Perth have also been by significantly less margins than when Peel leaves Mandurah.

West Perth has now won three straight games to consolidate second position on the ladder even if the last two wins have been by a combined four points over Subiaco and Swan Districts.

The Falcons haven’t always performed well in Mandurah, though, despite a 100-point win at the venue in Round 19 last year.

Prior to that, Peel beat West Perth by 21 points in 2011, by 41 points in 2010 and two points on a wet Saturday night back in 2007.

The Falcons did win comfortably over Peel back in Round 5 at Arena Joondalup this year but the Thunder will be a significantly improved side this time around.

As well as Kelvin Lawrence looking to return for Peel this week against West Perth, the Thunder have some crucial inclusions from Fremantle including ruck pair Jack Hannath and Craig Moller, and prolific midfielder Viv Michie.

Matt Brown also returns for Peel from suspension with Blair Bell a chance to make his league debut after he picked up 15 possessions in the reserves last week against East Perth.

Key defender Chris Luff is out of the team with a serious knee injury with young ruckman Ben Smith and forward Jesse Hockings also out.

West Perth has three important outs with Laine Rasmussen, Nick Rodda and Jordan Jones going out of the side that beat Swan Districts in a thriller by three points last Saturday.

James Batterham, Matt Fowler, Mitch McPhee, Joe Morrow, Kris Shannon and Frank Stockley are all in the mix to come in for the Falcons with Shannon likely to replace Rasmussen, Morrow to take Jones' place and the others fighting for Rodda's position in the forward-line.

West Perth has the added motivation of celebrating vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL match this Saturday as well. The 26-year-old is proud to reach the mark, but knows that the four points against Peel must remain the focus.

"For me it was never about who or where it was against, I'm just grateful for it. But in the context of the season, it's a massive game because we have to keep winning each week to stay above the pack," Tedesco said.

"A loss to anyone at this stage would put us back in the mix so we are really looking forward to the challenge this week, and hopefully we get a win because we haven’t had great success down there in recent years.

"We know that Peel have had a pretty tough week so we are expecting them to come out pretty fired up as well."

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan knows that Peel certainly can't be taken lightly.

"If or when Peel gets back to full strength they are a talented side and we are expecting six or eight changes for them this week, which changes their side significantly," Monaghan said.

"I think we saw for a period there for four or five weeks when they were close to full strength that they were competitive with any side in the competition.

I think that they are a significantly better side down in Mandurah as well and we need to just go down there with the attitude that need to get things done, and tick our boxes with the way we play.

"We have to make sure that we put in an A-grand performance. We can't focus too much on Peel on the travel and where we are playing. We think that if we stick to what we need to get done whether we are playing at Arena Joondalup or Mandurah, we are capable of winning and that's what I will be asking of the players this week."

BY CHRIS PIKE

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 15

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 2:27 PM

IT WAS really important this year with the loss of experience that we've had that we got a lot out of our leadership group.

Most of those have been around for a while now and then losing Jason as well for a significant part of the season so far has really put pressure on the next layer which Luke Tedesco, Jay van Berlo and Ray Bartholomew as our vice-captains have really taken the challenge on, and shown the way.
We also have some other experienced guys especially down back in Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt as well as Steven Browne, Jordan Jones and Andrew Strijk, and they have been influential in the way we've played. They have all had good impact on the games and have already had an impact off the field with their leadership.
We are always trying to find the next level of leaders and I think Marc Crisp has been outstanding, Aaron Black is improving in that area and Laine Rasmussen is a future leader of our football club. We have tried to spread the load to make sure that everyone's playing their part and making sure that it all works for us on game day.
Players are always motivated and seeing other successful people from our club and our organisation really drives players, and our experienced players are no different. There is a lot made about us not having won a final since 2003 but I'm not sure that it really plays on the player's minds at all to be honest.
We can look back and reflect on those finals, and not all the guys who are playing in our side now have played finals footy. It was not that long ago that there was a big focus on Claremont losing four grand finals in-a-row but that has gone out the window now that they have won a couple of premierships.
People look for reasons and obstacles to work out why we haven’t won finals, but the bottom line is that we have played some finals, and come up short but that's all part of our learning. I'm sure our players whether they be experienced players or new to the system will learn from a range of opportunities. I would much prefer to have played finals and lost than not to have played finals at all.
Luke Tedesco plays his 100th game this week and he is an outstanding young man, and a great leader of our football club. That's not only through leading well through his actions, but his understanding of the game and what is required around our football club is fantastic. He will probably admit that he's probably not the most talented player and he has limitations, but he is a great example of players playing within their limitations.
He does a role for us each week and his greatest strength is his aggression and attack on the football. He kicks the ball well and marks the ball well. He isn’t a superstar, but he's nearly our first picked every week because of what he brings to the table. It's a great achievement to reach 100 games and we expect that there is a lot more left in the tank for Luke Tedesco after this weekend.
Matt Guadagnin is an outstanding individual and his preparation for someone who has to travel from the country two or three times a week to present himself in the condition that he does, and then the influence he has on our player group and on game day, is outstanding. We really think that in that time after breaking his leg in 2011 when things were going quite well for us he was a significant loss, and he has battled a range of issues since then like people do when they have leg breaks.
It's quite a significant thing to get over and he still has some on-going issues with his leg, mainly around the Achilles and calf as a result of the break, but his last four or five weeks have been outstanding. That's the type of footy we know he is capable of and he now needs to maintain that, and keep working hard like we know he will. If he wants to play he could play for another couple of years after this as well because of his physical conditioning.
Hunt and Pettigrew are both great examples of having a better pre-season. One of the real issues we had a couple of years ago on the back of the year we fell away was that we limped to the end of the season, and that we had a significant number of post-season injuries so we had to manage loads over pre-season. Dan and Michael have been able to get a lot more volume into their training, and they are great examples that you need to have the base behind you and the work load into you to allow you during the season to modify training and make sure that you are not overworking guys.
Their form has been outstanding but as I keep saying to everyone that can change quickly and we can't reflect too much on what we've done. We can only try to control what we have got in front of us whether that's this week against Peel and then a bye when we will reassess again, and tackle each opponent as they come. The players are really grounded at the moment and we know there is a lot of hard work still to be done.
We've had three or four injuries most weeks this year and there has been blokes coming in and out of the side, but we are actually excited that down the track Jason will come back. He played a game of reserves last week even though it was just 60 minutes and he will play reserves again this week. Hopefully that will get him cherry ripe for after the bye.
Ray has been out for a while now, Hutchy has been in and out of the side, Johnson has had a bit of an injury, Manning is another and we think there are probably six or seven blokes who have missed significant parts of the year. We think that if we get to full strength we should only improve again and that competition for places and a bit of rivalry within the group should hold us in good stead.
We have another milestone game this weekend with Luke Tedesco and it's a really difficult one about how to handle it. The player personally wants to keep it low key because they know it's about the team. Whilst they are great achievements, it's something that you don’t spend that much time reflecting on during a season. It's probably not until after the season or even after your career when you sit back and reflect on things like that and think how good of an achievement it is.
We try to keep it fairly low key but at the same time keeping it respectful to the player and the milestone itself whether it's 100 games, 150 or like Jason last year 200. We have to make mention of it and we have to recognise it, but it's not a huge thing and I don’t think that's a lot different to most games. We still have a game to win and that takes precedence over everything.
BY BILL MONAGHANIT WAS really important this year with the loss of experience that we've had that we got a lot out of our leadership group.

Most of those have been around for a while now and then losing Jason as well for a significant part of the season so far has really put pressure on the next layer which Luke Tedesco, Jay van Berlo and Ray Bartholomew as our vice-captains have really taken the challenge on, and shown the way.

We also have some other experienced guys especially down back in Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt as well as Steven Browne, Jordan Jones and Andrew Strijk, and they have been influential in the way we've played. They have all had good impact on the games and have already had an impact off the field with their leadership.

We are always trying to find the next level of leaders and I think Marc Crisp has been outstanding, Aaron Black is improving in that area and Laine Rasmussen is a future leader of our football club. We have tried to spread the load to make sure that everyone's playing their part and making sure that it all works for us on game day.

Players are always motivated and seeing other successful people from our club and our organisation really drives players, and our experienced players are no different. There is a lot made about us not having won a final since 2003 but I'm not sure that it really plays on the player's minds at all to be honest.

We can look back and reflect on those finals, and not all the guys who are playing in our side now have played finals footy. It was not that long ago that there was a big focus on Claremont losing four grand finals in-a-row but that has gone out the window now that they have won a couple of premierships.

People look for reasons and obstacles to work out why we haven’t won finals, but the bottom line is that we have played some finals, and come up short but that's all part of our learning. I'm sure our players whether they be experienced players or new to the system will learn from a range of opportunities. I would much prefer to have played finals and lost than not to have played finals at all.

Luke Tedesco plays his 100th game this week and he is an outstanding young man, and a great leader of our football club. That's not only through leading well through his actions, but his understanding of the game and what is required around our football club is fantastic. He will probably admit that he's probably not the most talented player and he has limitations, but he is a great example of players playing within their limitations.

He does a role for us each week and his greatest strength is his aggression and attack on the football. He kicks the ball well and marks the ball well. He isn’t a superstar, but he's nearly our first picked every week because of what he brings to the table. It's a great achievement to reach 100 games and we expect that there is a lot more left in the tank for Luke Tedesco after this weekend.

Matt Guadagnin is an outstanding individual and his preparation for someone who has to travel from the country two or three times a week to present himself in the condition that he does, and then the influence he has on our player group and on game day, is outstanding. We really think that in that time after breaking his leg in 2011 when things were going quite well for us he was a significant loss, and he has battled a range of issues since then like people do when they have leg breaks.

It's quite a significant thing to get over and he still has some on-going issues with his leg, mainly around the Achilles and calf as a result of the break, but his last four or five weeks have been outstanding. That's the type of footy we know he is capable of and he now needs to maintain that, and keep working hard like we know he will. If he wants to play he could play for another couple of years after this as well because of his physical conditioning.

Hunt and Pettigrew are both great examples of having a better pre-season. One of the real issues we had a couple of years ago on the back of the year we fell away was that we limped to the end of the season, and that we had a significant number of post-season injuries so we had to manage loads over pre-season. Dan and Michael have been able to get a lot more volume into their training, and they are great examples that you need to have the base behind you and the work load into you to allow you during the season to modify training and make sure that you are not overworking guys.

Their form has been outstanding but as I keep saying to everyone that can change quickly and we can't reflect too much on what we've done. We can only try to control what we have got in front of us whether that's this week against Peel and then a bye when we will reassess again, and tackle each opponent as they come. The players are really grounded at the moment and we know there is a lot of hard work still to be done.

We've had three or four injuries most weeks this year and there has been blokes coming in and out of the side, but we are actually excited that down the track Jason will come back. He played a game of reserves last week even though it was just 60 minutes and he will play reserves again this week. Hopefully that will get him cherry ripe for after the bye.

Ray has been out for a while now, Hutchy has been in and out of the side, Johnson has had a bit of an injury, Manning is another and we think there are probably six or seven blokes who have missed significant parts of the year. We think that if we get to full strength we should only improve again and that competition for places and a bit of rivalry within the group should hold us in good stead.

We have another milestone game this weekend with Luke Tedesco and it's a really difficult one about how to handle it. The player personally wants to keep it low key because they know it's about the team. Whilst they are great achievements, it's something that you don’t spend that much time reflecting on during a season. It's probably not until after the season or even after your career when you sit back and reflect on things like that and think how good of an achievement it is.

We try to keep it fairly low key but at the same time keeping it respectful to the player and the milestone itself whether it's 100 games, 150 or like Jason last year 200. We have to make mention of it and we have to recognise it, but it's not a huge thing and I don’t think that's a lot different to most games. We still have a game to win and that takes precedence over everything.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

LUKE TEDESCO REACHES 100 FALCON GAMES

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 11:07 AM

LUKE Tedesco has shown himself to be a natural leader and general for West Perth across half-back ever since cementing his spot in the league side and now he reaches his 100-game milestone this Saturday against Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

Quite simply, Tedesco has got to where he is as a vice-captain of the West Perth Football Club and now a 100-game player because of nothing but hard work, his professional and dedication to his football and the Falcons.
Tedesco has now been a mainstay of the West Perth back-line unit since 2009 in Bill Monaghan's first season as coach after playing 18 games in the previous two seasons under Todd Curley.
His poise and leadership down back, and overhead marking and spoiling for his size, and most importantly his accurate kicking skills have made him an important player for the Falcons and his leadership has continued to grow over the years as well.
Now this Saturday he reaches his 100th game in the red and blue and it's an honour the 26-year-old is tremendously proud of.
"It's something I am really looking forward to and I guess it has been quite a long time coming. Over the last two years, it has been something that has kept getting that little bit closer and you start to get a little bit more excited about it the closer it gets," Tedesco said.
"It's one of those things where every time you walk into the change rooms and see some of the names that are up on the locker, to think that my name will be up there as well is pretty humbling. Especially with the rich history of our club which is over 125 years old so it's something that I will always be really proud of."
By getting to 100 games Tedesco will have his name etched onto the No. 23 locker now and he is proud as punch to be underneath premiership key forward Brendan Fewster.
"On my locker there's obviously the man before me, 'Buzzy' Fewster," he said.
"I guess because he played in 2003 premiership and all those guys had a reunion a couple of weeks ago, and are still very much involved with the club. They get around to as many games as they can including 'Buzz' so to have my name under him is going to be a huge honour."
Tedesco has played in some big milestones including the 150th and 200th games for captain Jason Salecic, the 150th games for Josh Pearce, Anthony Tsalikis, Dustin Burns and earlier this season Matt Guadagnin, and a host of 100 games as well.
More often than not, those occasions haven’t ended up with wins for West Perth, though, and Tedesco would certainly like to come away from Mandurah this Saturday with a win whether it's his 100th game or not.
"Traditionally we haven’t done too well in our milestone games, but all those guys had been around for a long time in my career obviously and I played a lot of footy with them. Jason's 200th last year, although we lost, was an amazing achievement," he said.
"His commitment to the club, his attitude towards his footy sets a fine example and second to that probably was Joshy Pearce's 150th.
"He endured a pretty tough run with injuries and at the beginning of my career I struggled with injuries, so he's one guy I compared myself to career-path wise. Just through working hard, he was able to get a spot and become a really respected person around the club."
Tedesco has played in the back-line ever since earning his league chances with West Perth starting in 2007 and even before that coming through the ranks has always been more comfortable as a defender.
He enjoyed playing alongside the trio Dustin Burns, Dion Fleay and Brent LeCras who retired at the end of last season, but the Falcons back-line of 2013 with Tedesco, Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Jordan Jones, Steven Browne, Andrew Strijk and Laine Rasmussen has been outstanding.
"I've probably always played in the back-line. Coming through the colts I was a bigger kid so I played key position, but coming up to seniors it was a bit of a hard transition to go to a half-back flank or a back pocket at first," Tedesco said.
"Especially when the game evolved as well and they became hard running positions where you needed to set up your attack from there. I guess I came along at a good time where a spot was there for me and I was able to nail it.
"I guess I found my spot really when Bill took over as coach in 2009 and then have managed to build a pretty good relationship with guys like Dan Hunt, Dustin Burns, Dion Fleay and Brent LeCras back there.
"We all just trust each other back there and when you know each other's games so well, it makes it so much easier. It's good to watch someone young like Laine come in and even Trent Manzone, and helping them feel part of our back-line."
Team success is the obvious goal now for Tedesco and everyone at West Perth. The 2003 premiership team held a reunion a couple of weeks ago at Arena Joondalup when the Falcons beat Subiaco and for Tedesco it only rammed home much he wanted to achieve what that side did.
"When I was a colt that was when those guys were doing their thing. They are legends of the club – Steve Trewhella, Kim Rigoll, Brendan Fewster, Brendon Logan and even Darren Harris as the coach. Their presence is quite awe-inspiring really and they carry that aura around with them," Tedesco said.
"For them to still be so involved and they know everyone's name, and love to have a chat about what is going on and they tell us that it's our turn now and we have to take the next step to get there. They tell us that it's the greatest feeling and we watched their video of the grand final and you kind of feel their emotions after winning, and it did remind us why we are playing.
"In 2011 it was a very disappointing end to the season and I guess the good thing about that is that there is still more than half the squad from that year still playing now. That has been a big driving force.
"It's not something we dwell on, but we do acknowledge it and want to rectify it. To have been at the club for eight years and I've played a lot of footy with some very talented guys, but to not have won a final in that time is something we need to change. I think this is the year that we can do it."
BY CHRIS PIKELUKE Tedesco has shown himself to be a natural leader and general for West Perth across half-back ever since cementing his spot in the league side and now he reaches his 100-game milestone this Saturday against Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

Quite simply, Tedesco has got to where he is as a vice-captain of the West Perth Football Club and now a 100-game player because of nothing but hard work, his professional and dedication to his football and the Falcons.

Tedesco has now been a mainstay of the West Perth back-line unit since 2009 in Bill Monaghan's first season as coach after playing 18 games in the previous two seasons under Todd Curley.

His poise and leadership down back, and overhead marking and spoiling for his size, and most importantly his accurate kicking skills have made him an important player for the Falcons and his leadership has continued to grow over the years as well.

Now this Saturday he reaches his 100th game in the red and blue and it's an honour the 26-year-old is tremendously proud of.

"It's something I am really looking forward to and I guess it has been quite a long time coming. Over the last two years, it has been something that has kept getting that little bit closer and you start to get a little bit more excited about it the closer it gets," Tedesco said.

"It's one of those things where every time you walk into the change rooms and see some of the names that are up on the locker, to think that my name will be up there as well is pretty humbling. Especially with the rich history of our club which is over 125 years old so it's something that I will always be really proud of."

By getting to 100 games Tedesco will have his name etched onto the No. 23 locker now and he is proud as punch to be underneath premiership key forward Brendan Fewster.

"On my locker there's obviously the man before me, 'Buzzy' Fewster," he said.

"I guess because he played in 2003 premiership and all those guys had a reunion a couple of weeks ago, and are still very much involved with the club. They get around to as many games as they can including 'Buzz' so to have my name under him is going to be a huge honour."

Tedesco has played in some big milestones including the 150th and 200th games for captain Jason Salecic, the 150th games for Josh Pearce, Anthony Tsalikis, Dustin Burns and earlier this season Matt Guadagnin, and a host of 100 games as well.

More often than not, those occasions haven’t ended up with wins for West Perth, though, and Tedesco would certainly like to come away from Mandurah this Saturday with a win whether it's his 100th game or not.

"Traditionally we haven’t done too well in our milestone games, but all those guys had been around for a long time in my career obviously and I played a lot of footy with them. Jason's 200th last year, although we lost, was an amazing achievement," he said.

"His commitment to the club, his attitude towards his footy sets a fine example and second to that probably was Joshy Pearce's 150th.

"He endured a pretty tough run with injuries and at the beginning of my career I struggled with injuries, so he's one guy I compared myself to career-path wise. Just through working hard, he was able to get a spot and become a really respected person around the club."

Tedesco has played in the back-line ever since earning his league chances with West Perth starting in 2007 and even before that coming through the ranks has always been more comfortable as a defender.

He enjoyed playing alongside the trio Dustin Burns, Dion Fleay and Brent LeCras who retired at the end of last season, but the Falcons back-line of 2013 with Tedesco, Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Jordan Jones, Steven Browne, Andrew Strijk and Laine Rasmussen has been outstanding.

"I've probably always played in the back-line. Coming through the colts I was a bigger kid so I played key position, but coming up to seniors it was a bit of a hard transition to go to a half-back flank or a back pocket at first," Tedesco said.

"Especially when the game evolved as well and they became hard running positions where you needed to set up your attack from there. I guess I came along at a good time where a spot was there for me and I was able to nail it.

"I guess I found my spot really when Bill took over as coach in 2009 and then have managed to build a pretty good relationship with guys like Dan Hunt, Dustin Burns, Dion Fleay and Brent LeCras back there.

"We all just trust each other back there and when you know each other's games so well, it makes it so much easier. It's good to watch someone young like Laine come in and even Trent Manzone, and helping them feel part of our back-line."

Team success is the obvious goal now for Tedesco and everyone at West Perth. The 2003 premiership team held a reunion a couple of weeks ago at Arena Joondalup when the Falcons beat Subiaco and for Tedesco it only rammed home much he wanted to achieve what that side did.

"When I was a colt that was when those guys were doing their thing. They are legends of the club – Steve Trewhella, Kim Rigoll, Brendan Fewster, Brendon Logan and even Darren Harris as the coach. Their presence is quite awe-inspiring really and they carry that aura around with them," Tedesco said.

"For them to still be so involved and they know everyone's name, and love to have a chat about what is going on and they tell us that it's our turn now and we have to take the next step to get there. They tell us that it's the greatest feeling and we watched their video of the grand final and you kind of feel their emotions after winning, and it did remind us why we are playing.

"In 2011 it was a very disappointing end to the season and I guess the good thing about that is that there is still more than half the squad from that year still playing now. That has been a big driving force.

"It's not something we dwell on, but we do acknowledge it and want to rectify it. To have been at the club for eight years and I've played a lot of footy with some very talented guys, but to not have won a final in that time is something we need to change. I think this is the year that we can do it."

BY CHRIS PIKE

FALCONS RECRUITS MAKING IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 12:30 PM

SELECTIVE recruiting was the order of the day for West Perth coming into the 2013 WAFL season and already Rohan Kerr, Trent Manzone and Shaun Marusic have made their mark, with Jay van Berlo and Andrew Strijk being outstanding in performance and leadership on return.

Iwas always going to be a big ask for West Perth to replace star veterans Dion Fleay, Brent LeCras and Dustin Burns in 2013 with Joel Rice another 100-plus game player to move on.
Captain Jason Salecic has also been restricted to a limited role with just four games up to Round 15, but the new recruits, the two star returnees from the AFL plus the emerging youngsters in the side have all helped the Falcons to sit comfortably in second position on the ladder.
On top of the arrivals and returnees in 2013, two of the recruits of last year have also stepped up to have a massive impact so far this season.
Kerr arrived at West Perth after being on Carlton's AFL list for three years and whether he's been playing on the wing or across half-forward, he has had a terrific impact for the Falcons already.
He did have a minor hiccup with a badly corked thigh that saw him miss games in Rounds 11 and 12, but before that he was outstanding where his form had him in the WA State squad where he was one of the last players cut for the game against Victoria in Northam.
He has found plenty of the ball including picking up 29 possessions both in Round 2 and 8 while he also kicked six goals against Peel in Round 5. Kerr was attracted to West Perth because of some familiar faces and is delighted so far with the move.
"Darren Harris was someone I had a lot to do with in the VFL and in development at Carlton, and I knew Steven Browne and Josh Donaldson as well. I spoke to a few other WAFL clubs as well at the start, but these guys were more on the front foot and more approachable, and it just seemed right and I'm definitely happy I made the move," Kerr said.
"I'm more than happy with where I am at West Perth and I'm just taking it one year at a time. At this stage I will play this year and I've signed for two years, so I'm not looking beyond what is happening here at West Perth. If it happens in the AFL again then it happens and I'm sure West Perth will be happy for me, but I am happy here and hopefully we can bring in a premiership."
Queenslander Manzone made his WAFL debut in Round 1 against East Perth and performed well gathering 19 disposals but he didn’t get back into the team until Round 6.
He was then back in the reserves the next week, but since Round 8 he has played every game and done a terrific job whether as a small defender or further up the field. He even kicked the match-sealing goal against East Fremantle in Round 13 at East Fremantle Oval.
"I have really enjoyed the move so far. Even the last couple of years playing in the NEAFL it has always been an option to come across, and I was lucky enough to get offered a contract by West Perth," Manzone said.
"I have settled in well and the club has been pretty good, and the coaches are really good and the personnel are all great around the club. It probably has helped that I brought my girlfriend across too to help settle in and it's all been good so far. Training and playing has also been another level up, but that's what I wanted."
It took former VFL versatile big man Shaun Marusic until Round 12 to break into the West Perth league side after earning his stripes in the reserves, and since he has performed strongly as a key forward target and back-up ruckman to Chris Keunen.
Strijk returned full-time to West Perth this year after 13 games in three years with the West Coast Eagles, and he has settled into a role across half-back where he has averaged over 20 possessions a game with his outstanding kicking skills a delight.
"It's fantastic in the back-line. We get good leadership from Petters and Dan Hunt with Teddy there as well and then we've also got some good run out of there as well with Browney, Jordy and Ras. It's good to have Ras back this week as well because he's fantastic. It's going well back there," Strijk said.
"It's something that I actually started doing in 2008 when Todd Curley was here and when Bill Monaghan first came to the club. I actually got drafted as a half-back so I've sort of played my better footy there and I'm a bit more comfortable playing behind the ball. I love being back there and especially to be around guys like Teddy and Browney who are fantastic to play next to."
The 125-game veteran also represented WA against Victoria as did van Berlo who has also returned full-time to West Perth after 32 in four years with the Fremantle Dockers.
The 2008 Breckler Medal winner has settled seamlessly back into the West Perth midfield where he has averaged over 22 disposals a game including a high of 36 in Round 13 against East Fremantle.
Michael Pettigrew returned to the Falcons in 2012 after a 103-game AFL career with Port Adelaide but battled knee problems in his first season. However, he has those under control this year and his form has shown him to be the best full-back in the competition in 2013.
Jordan Jones came off West Coast's list after three years at the end of 2011 and signed with West Perth, but had some difficulties on and off the field adjusting to his new life.
However, everything has settled down this year and his form on the field has great benefitted with the 23-yaer-old having an outstanding season to date largely in defence where his versatility has been a key part of making West Perth's back-line so strong.
BY CHRIS PIKESELECTIVE recruiting was the order of the day for West Perth coming into the 2013 WAFL season and already Rohan Kerr, Trent Manzone and Shaun Marusic have made their mark, with Jay van Berlo and Andrew Strijk being outstanding in performance and leadership returning full-time.

It was always going to be a big ask for West Perth to replace star veterans Dion Fleay, Brent LeCras and Dustin Burns in 2013 with Joel Rice another 100-plus game player to move on.

Captain Jason Salecic has also been restricted to a limited role with just four games up to Round 15, but the new recruits, the two star returnees from the AFL plus the emerging youngsters in the side have all helped the Falcons to sit comfortably in second position on the ladder.

On top of the arrivals and returnees in 2013, two of the recruits of last year have also stepped up to have a massive impact so far this season.

Kerr arrived at West Perth after being on Carlton's AFL list for three years and whether he's been playing on the wing or across half-forward, he has had a terrific impact for the Falcons already.

He did have a minor hiccup with a badly corked thigh that saw him miss games in Rounds 11 and 12, but before that he was outstanding where his form had him in the WA State squad where he was one of the last players cut for the game against Victoria in Northam.

He has found plenty of the ball including picking up 29 possessions both in Round 2 and 8 while he also kicked six goals against Peel in Round 5. Kerr was attracted to West Perth because of some familiar faces and is delighted so far with the move.

"Darren Harris was someone I had a lot to do with in the VFL and in development at Carlton, and I knew Steven Browne and Josh Donaldson as well. I spoke to a few other WAFL clubs as well at the start, but these guys were more on the front foot and more approachable, and it just seemed right and I'm definitely happy I made the move," Kerr said.

"I'm more than happy with where I am at West Perth and I'm just taking it one year at a time. At this stage I will play this year and I've signed for two years, so I'm not looking beyond what is happening here at West Perth. If it happens in the AFL again then it happens and I'm sure West Perth will be happy for me, but I am happy here and hopefully we can bring in a premiership."

Queenslander Manzone made his WAFL debut in Round 1 against East Perth and performed well gathering 19 disposals but he didn’t get back into the team until Round 6.

He was then back in the reserves the next week, but since Round 8 he has played every game and done a terrific job whether as a small defender or further up the field. He even kicked the match-sealing goal against East Fremantle in Round 13 at East Fremantle Oval.

"I have really enjoyed the move so far. Even the last couple of years playing in the NEAFL it has always been an option to come across, and I was lucky enough to get offered a contract by West Perth," Manzone said.

"I have settled in well and the club has been pretty good, and the coaches are really good and the personnel are all great around the club. It probably has helped that I brought my girlfriend across too to help settle in and it's all been good so far. Training and playing has also been another level up, but that's what I wanted."

It took former VFL versatile big man Shaun Marusic until Round 12 to break into the West Perth league side after earning his stripes in the reserves, and since he has performed strongly as a key forward target and back-up ruckman to Chris Keunen.

Strijk returned full-time to West Perth this year after 13 games in three years with the West Coast Eagles, and he has settled into a role across half-back where he has averaged over 20 possessions a game with his outstanding kicking skills a delight.

"It's fantastic in the back-line. We get good leadership from Petters and Dan Hunt with Teddy there as well and then we've also got some good run out of there as well with Browney, Jordy and Ras. It's good to have Ras back this week as well because he's fantastic. It's going well back there," Strijk said.

"It's something that I actually started doing in 2008 when Todd Curley was here and when Bill Monaghan first came to the club. I actually got drafted as a half-back so I've sort of played my better footy there and I'm a bit more comfortable playing behind the ball. I love being back there and especially to be around guys like Teddy and Browney who are fantastic to play next to."

The 125-game veteran also represented WA against Victoria as did van Berlo who has also returned full-time to West Perth after 32 in four years with the Fremantle Dockers.

The 2008 Breckler Medal winner has settled seamlessly back into the West Perth midfield where he has averaged over 22 disposals a game including a high of 36 in Round 13 against East Fremantle.

Michael Pettigrew returned to the Falcons in 2012 after a 103-game AFL career with Port Adelaide but battled knee problems in his first season. However, he has those under control this year and his form has shown him to be the best full-back in the competition in 2013.

Jordan Jones came off West Coast's list after three years at the end of 2011 and signed with West Perth, but had some difficulties on and off the field adjusting to his new life.

However, everything has settled down this year and his form on the field has great benefitted with the 23-yaer-old having an outstanding season to date largely in defence where his versatility has been a key part of making West Perth's back-line so strong.

BY CHRIS PIKE

FALCONS SHOW TRUE GRIT

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 12:39 PM

For the second week in a row West Perth refused to be beaten and as a result recorded a three point victory against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.

The Falcons worked hard to get back into the game after being jumped early, grab the lead and then refuse to be headed as the hard fought match went down to the wire. A masterstroke by League Coach, Bill Monaghan, was the move of Michael Pettigrew into the forward line. Swans State defender Tallan Ames was in great form but the move of Pettigrew up forward negated his influence and saw the backman kick three match winning goals.

Swans were out of the blocks quickly and led by eight after ten minutes. Their first goal came from Docker, Lachie Neale. Anthony Tsalikis scored the first for the Falcons after taking possession fifty out on the boundary. It was a great kick. Lachie Neale bobbed up for his second before behinds to West Perth saw the lead reduced to five into time on. Tom Roach extended the lead for the Black Ducks before Brayden Antonio received a free thirty out and converted.

Tim Geappen, who was well held by Dan Hunt all day, kicked one before a clever pass from Kody Manning enabled Rohan Kerr to score from twenty on a sharp angle. He is a very good finisher. The last goal of the quarter went to Swans, though, as Geappen took advantage of a spill over the back to kick his second. At the end of the first quarter the Falcons had done well to stay in touch and trailed by ten; 5.2 (32) to 3.4 (22).

Andrew Strijk got the ball rolling for West Perth in the second quarter when he ran hard and passed the ball to Marc Crisp who scored from thirty. “Strijky’s” hard running off half back was a feature of the game. The Falcons grabbed the lead when Michael Pettigrew out muscled his opponent and ran into an open goal to kick the first of his three.

West Perth did not relinquish the lead from this point of the game onwards. The Falcons continued to control play and at the fifteen minute mark Aaron Black received a free, handballed to Josh Mellington who finished from fifty five.

The ten minute lead was short lived as one of Swans best, Ryan Davis, scored after the ball was taken straight out of the middle. The next ten minutes saw only behinds scored before Marc Crisp hand balled to Rohan Kerr who kicked his second from fifty. The ten point lead was reduced to eight after Swans kicked two behinds but at the main break the Falcons led; 7.8 (50) to 6.6 (42).

The third term was an even contest with both sides kicking two goals. West Perth kicked the first two of the term to take their lead out to twenty two. The first went to Michael Pettigrew who kicked his second with a snap twenty out on his left foot. A clever goal. He then kicked his third at the thirteen minute mark after taking a grab forty five out. Swans then steadied to work their way back into the game thanks to majors from Blaine Boekhorst and a second to Ryan Davis. At the final change the Falcons had extended their lead by just one. The scores were 9.12 (66) to 8.9 (57).

The last quarter was always going to be a beauty and that was the way it turned out. Shane Nelson got the Falcons off to a flyer at the two minute mark when he took the ball from a boundary throw in and scored. But the lead was reduced to just four two minutes later when Ryan Davis kicked his third. The next ten minutes saw the West Perth lead reduced to just two as Swans kicked behinds but at the fourteen minute mark Andrew Strijk passed to Marc Crisp deep in the pocket, “Chippa” then passed off to youngster Brayden Antonio who marked thirty out straight in front. He showed composure by going back and kicking his second to give the Falcons an eight point lead. This was to be their last goal of the game and the next fourteen minutes were a battle of wills as much as anything else.

There wasn’t another goal until the twenty six minute mark. This was a controversial deliberate out of bounds against the Falcon defence that resulted in Murray Newman snapping one from a sharp angle near the point post. The lead was just two and the centre clearance was going to be crucial. Fortunately it went the way of West Perth, they went forward and Rohan Kerr kicked a behind. It is worth mentioning at this point the centre clearance work of Matt Guadagnin. On a number of occasions his work in this area was outstanding as he fought to get the ball forward or at least halve the contest. From the kick in the ball went onto the wing where the siren went; much to the relief of Falcons fans. Final scores were 11.16 (82) to 11.13 (79).

The terrific victory keeps West Perth a game clear in second spot and was a credit to the entire team. Best players included Michael Pettigrew for his influence up forward, Laine Rasmussen for his wonderful defensive effort on Dayle Garlett, Andrew Strijk for his tireless run off half back, Aaron Black for his work around the ground and Matt Guadagnin for his clearance work. The Reserves went down narrowly to Swans to put a dent in their finals aspirations but the Colts had a strong victory. Down to Peel next week for another must win game. Be there to get the boys over the line.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY