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BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 2

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Last Friday I thought we were very impressive early and the last 20 minutes we were very good again, but in between it was a real mixed bag.

I guess the endeavour was there and our ability to stick to what we wanted to do was there, but we failed to capitalise on our winning of the ball with our field kicking, and then obviously in front of goal as well. We kicked 1.8 between the second and third quarters, which was really disappointing because four or five of them were relatively easy shots. It wasn’t as if they were snaps from pockets and so on, some of them were relatively easy shots 20 metres straight out in front.

There were some real positives from the game still, but obviously some things that we need to work on because when we face the better sides, because we don’t know where Subi and East Perth will sit yet, we can't afford to let our chances go begging.

I think at the start to the season players can be a bit scratchy, but the other thing is that all the clubs are working hard on putting good pressure on, and their forwards are all working hard. There seems to be a lot more pressure on the ball carrier at the moment which means that there is a lot of times where there are just quick kicks forward trying to get some yardage.

It has been a focus on ours and it looks as though it might be the case from a couple of other sides. Most sides are also pushing their forwards right up the ground so you can come streaming through the centre and sometimes the players look up and have nothing to kick to. They might be trying to find targets that are a bit hard to hit because of that as well. There's a few things at play, but with the hot weather making the ball sweaty and good pressure are all factors.

We've got a lot of time for Laine Rasmussen who was great for us on Friday. He is an intelligent young man, he works hard and plays the game aggressively both offensively and defensively. There's a lot to like about him and we think that down the track he can develop into a real leader of our footy club. He is someone who understands the game and sets good examples both at training and during games.

He's done a great job for two weeks and what we need to keep remaining ourselves is that he's still just a young man and there will be ups and downs, but at the moment his application and attitude for the contest has been fantastic. He's been rewarded for that. He generally uses the ball well and we just need to keep giving him support and understand that there will be times when he's not going to be great, but we have to keep working hard on helping him keep on improving.

Friday was also a great learning evening for Matt Johnson. He obviously did a very good job the week before and Subiaco saw that, and decided to put Ben Randall on him who is a two-time premiership player and one of Subi's very best. Johnno struggled with that early and Randy did a really good job of closing him down and Johnno wasn’t attacking the ball as clean as the week before, but he improved in the second half and I thought he contributed well at times.

That's great for his learning to understand that if he can make it as a league footballer there will be sides who put a fair bit of planning into stopping him because he has all the attributes to kick goals. Yes he was quiet, but I thought his efforts to keep trying to create were fantastic. It's about sharing the load for us because we don't have a traditional forward-line with a gun key forward like Claremont or Swan Districts has in the past, and Souths had with Saunders. We are trying to spread the load and hopefully we can keep kicking a winning score each week.

We are obviously extremely happy with the way we've started. I think the attitude of all the players over the whole pre-season phase, then the practice matches was very good and they prepared themselves well. They now have got the rewards in the first two games, but we have a break now and can sit back and recharge the batteries a little bit. We also understand there are a lot of things we can do better and we have to keep working on our defensive pressure, and then try to hurt the opposition a little more going forward. It's been a great start, but one or two wins this time of the year doesn’t mean anything other than we have got off to a good start.

We have plenty of work to do and obviously if you are in good form sides take more notice and there are more expectations on you, but all we can do is control the things that we can control. We have just lightened off a bit this week in terms of our competitive type training, but we will ramp that up again early next week because going down to Fremantle Oval on a Friday night is going to be a tough gig regardless of how South goes this week.

The players get three days off. We will do a little bit more than normal this Thursday night and that will be mainly skills based with some running to get some extra kilometres into their legs, but they will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. We will get back to the club at the normal time on Monday night to do our usual session and then train as normal on Tuesday and Thursday leading into the game on Friday night.

It's three days off, but they will all get an individualised program as well where they are expected to do something on their own on Saturday whether that's a bike, swim or run depending on where they are at with their fitness and how saw they have been after the first two weeks.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

A HARD FOUGHT VICTORY

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 9:05 AM

The Falcons persevered throughout the match in the game against Subiaco at Medibank Stadium on Friday night.

Even when things weren’t going as expected the players stuck to the game plan and showed a high degree of discipline. The hard running and attack on the football was again a feature of the night and it was this plus a high level of fitness that saw them run out twenty four point victors.

West Perth were out of the blocks in a hurry and continued their fine form from last weeks match. Kody Manning had a busy start to the game and had the first two majors by the six minute mark. Matt Fowler then received a free forty out and his accurate kick resulted in the Falcons leading by nineteen after twelve minutes. Ryan Herring kicked the first for Subiaco midway through the term. This was to be his only goal for the game as Dan Hunt did another terrific job at shutting the opposition’s key forward. Behinds were the order of the day until Jason Salecic passed to busy forward Anthony Tsalikis who kicked accurately to take the lead back out to seventeen. The next Falcon goal came in the blink of an eye when they took the ball out of the middle and the classy Josh Mellington finished from forty. The Lions replied shortly after courtesy of a free kick twenty out but the Falcons finished the term on a high when Shane Nelson tumbled one through from fifty. After a dominant term West Perth led by twenty three; 6.1 (37) to 2.2 (14). The margin should have been greater.

West Perth received little reward for effort in the second quarter. They had as much of the footy as Subiaco but were able to add only three behinds. It would be fair to say that they weren’t as clean going forward as coach, Bill Monaghan, would have liked. The contest really tightened up and the Lions kicked three majors. Two of these came with in a minute early in the quarter when Callum Sinclair marked close to goal. At the main change the Falcons still led; 6.4 (40) to 5.3 (33).

The third quarter was more on the same but the Falcons managed to add to their goal tally at the two minute mark. The skipper, Jason Salecic, marked twenty out and finished accurately. This was to be West Perth’s only goal for the second and third quarters but they also added eight behinds for the same period. By the fifteen minute mark Subiaco had closed to one point but West Perth’s efforts continued not to be rewarded as they kicked four behinds in the last part of the term to lead by five at the final change; 7.9 (51) to 7.4 (46).

The Tech School end had been the scoring end of the ground all night so the challenge really loomed for the Falcons in the last quarter. After three minutes the Lions led for the first time in the game courtesy of a Rhett Kerr major from forty but from this point West Perth dominated the game. This was a credit to their fitness levels as they were clearly the fitter side. A clever second goal to Josh Mellington restored the lead after five minutes. The next thirteen were a real arm wrestle during which time the Falcons extended their lead by only a behind. They then kicked three quick goals to seal the game. The first was a long major to Matt Fowler who was on the end of a Shane Nelson pass. ”Slick” then kicked his second after marking on an angle thirty out and Matt Guadagnin then took control of the ball at centre half forward to ensure a Falcon victory. It was a very good quarter of football and West Perth thoroughly deserved their 11.12 (78) to 8.6 (54) victory.

There were a number of good players for the Falcons. These included Laine Rasmussen who kept his opponent possessionless, Dan Hunt who is really setting the standard for the backline, midfielders Rohan Kerr (who was probably the Falcons best) and Shane Nelson. Anthony Tsalikis worked hard up forward all night and was supported by Matt Fowler who kicked two important goals.


The whole team contributed to the victory. We have a bye next week and then another Friday night game against South Fremantle on the 5th of April. Be there to help the Falcons continue their fine start to the year.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS MAKE IT TWO FROM TWO TO START 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 1:14 PM

WEST Perth made it two from two to start to the 2013 WAFL season with a 24-point win over Subiaco at Medibank Stadium on Friday night.

The Falcons set up the win largely in the first and last quarters when they kicked a combined 11.3 to Subiaco's 3.4 to run out 11.12 (78) to 8.6 (54) winners at the Leederville ground.

The 24-point win backs up West Perth's dominant 75-point derby win over East Perth in Round 1 at Arena Joondalup with the Falcons now having the Round 3 bye before taking on South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval under lights on Friday April 5.

Subiaco was coming into the game fresh having had the bye in Round 1 but it was West Perth who came flying out of the blocks on Friday night booting six goals to two in the opening quarter to hold a handy 23-point quarter-time advantage.

The Falcons then struggled in front of goal of the second and third quarters kicking a combined 1.8 to Subiaco's 5.2 but still led by five points at three quarter-time, and then booted four goals to one in the last term to run out relatively comfortable 24-point victors.

West Perth dominated the match for the most part and could have won more comfortably had it taken more of its chances in the second and third quarters.

By the end of the match, West Perth had racked up 41 more possessions than Subiaco, had a massive 21 more inside-50 entries and nine more scoring shots in the finish.

Shane Nelson picked up another 30 possessions in the midfield for West Perth to go with seven marks, six entries inside-50 and a goal.

Rohan Kerr was also outstanding in just his second game for West Perth since crossing from Carlton over the summer, and he finished with 29 disposals.

Aaron Black also gathered 25 possessions and Mark Hutchings returned after missing Round 1 to pick up 25 disposals.

As it was last week against East Perth, West Perth's defence was outstanding with Dan Hunt and Laine Rasmussen particularly impressive.

Hunt kept Subiaco recruit Ryan Herring to just three kicks and a goal while Rasmussen ensured that Alliston 'Buddy' Pickett did not touch the ball at all while picking up 18 possessions himself running out of defence.

While there was no second-game heroics from Matthew Johnson after he kicked six goals last week on debut, Josh Mellington, Matt Fowler, Anthony Tsalikis and Kody Manning all kicked two goals apiece.

However, the colts went down to start the night at Leederville Oval with a 77-point loss to Subiaco. Nick Robertson and Tyson Moulton kicked two goals each with Blake Acres picking up 23 possessions and Joel Brown 18.

The reserves then played on Saturday at Arena Joondalup with Subiaco winning by 29 points.

Despite the loss, Corey Chalmers, Drew Rohde and Alex Elisseou kicked two goals each for the Falcons with Marc Crisp picking up 24 possessions, Trent Manzone 22, Joe Morrow 18, Aidan Lynch 18 and James Embley 17.

WEST PERTH                                      6.1          6.4          7.9          11.12     (78)

SUBIACO                                             2.2          5.3          7.4          8.6          (54)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Tsalikis, Fowler, Mellington, Manning 2; Nelson, Guadagnin, Salecic.

Best: Kerr, Nelson, Rasmussen, Black, Hunt, Hutchings, Tsalikis.

SUBIACO – Goals: Sinclair, Deluca 2; Kerr, Wheeler, Herring, Smythe.

Best: Sinclair, Parker, Kayler-Thomson, Mahoney, Rumble, Sheed.

 

BY CHRIS PIKE

PETTIGREW LOOKS FOR FALCONS TO CONTINUE HOT START

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 1:00 PM

WEST Perth made an ideal start to the 2013 season and so did veteran defender Michael Pettigrew personally as he looks for the Falcons to continue that winning form this Friday night against Subiaco.

Pettigrew began his career with West Perth before being drafted by Port Adelaide in 2003 and going on to play 103 games with the Power before leaving at the end of the 2011 season.

That was a tremendous AFL career for the junior from Whitfords and he was more than happy to return to the Falcons in 2012 and now started the 2013 campaign in impressive fashion holding East Perth's Josh Smith goalless in last Saturday's 75-point win over the Royals at Arena Joondalup.

Pettigrew knows that it's important for West Perth to back up with another good performance against Subiaco this Friday night, and he's glad that it's a night fixture at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.

"I'm looking forward to Friday night footy," Pettigrew said.

"I think there should be a bit more night footy played here in Perth in the WAFL, that would be nice and it's always enjoyable to play in."


Even though Pettigrew knows the Falcons can't afford to get ahead of themselves following last Saturday's thumping of East Perth, he also acknowledges there couldn’t have been a better way to start off the season.

"It's only one game, but it's a good start and we can't complain to start things off with a win like that," Pettigrew said.

"For the team to start off is really good and there are now plenty of good signs for the rest of the year, so hopefully we can have a good season.

"The last quarter especially was a bit of fun and it's good when the boys are up and going like that, and playing well. It's always good to watch."

Pettigrew did feel that Smith got a hold of him a couple of times in the derbies of 2012 so he was glad to hold the former Falcon goalless and just to six kicks last Saturday.

"I think he got me a bit last year so it's good to get one back on him I suppose, but he's probably still up on the win-loss ratio against me. Hopefully I can get another back on him later in the year."

Pettigrew played 14 games for West Perth last year upon returning from Port Adelaide, and acknowledges he didn’t have the impact he hoped. He is feeling better physically coming into this year and either way that's always helped by the fact that the team is playing so well already.

"I've rested over the pre-season a fair bit and my knees are quite a bit better, but in saying that I'm not 100 per cent fixed and I'm getting old so I'm sort of on my way out," he said.

"I've played a lot of footy now and I had an old knee injury that I probably didn’t take care of as well as I should have, but I'm not complaining and it's just good to be part of a team that wins. That's what I'm here for."


West Perth lost plenty of experience from its back-line from 2012 with the retirements of Dion Fleay, Dustin Burns and Brent LeCras, but Pettigrew and Dan Hunt are happy to lead the way for the likes of Kody Manning, Nick Rodda and Laine Rasmussen to help them develop.

"We have some really good young players down back so we are just trying to help those guys come through because I know I will be watching them on from the hill in the future," he said.

"We are trying to fast track them along as much as we can and hopefully we also win a few games along the way."

Pettigrew was always going to return to West Perth once his AFL career was over and after missing Port Adelaide's premiership of 2004 and playing in the record-breaking loss to Geelong in the 2007 grand final, he's hoping for some team success before his career is over.

"I would never have played anywhere else once I left Port Adelaide. I grew up in the area, I have bought a house just next door in Currambine and I was never going too far away from here once my AFL career finished," Pettigrew said.

"I haven’t really got any trophies in my cabinet as a player so I would like to finish my career with something in there. So I'm looking forward to us having a good year as a team this year."

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 2 PREVIEW v SUBIACO

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 11:08 AM

WEST Perth looks to continue its terrific start to the 2013 WAFL season taking on Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium on Friday night.

The Falcons could not have possibly made a better start to the 2013 campaign than last Saturday's 75-point thumping of East Perth at Arena Joondalup.

But that will count for little unless West Perth backs it up with another strong performance this Friday against a Subiaco team that had a Round 1 bye, and is ready to fire for the first time under new coach Jarrad Schofield.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the win over East Perth was the fact that there were terrific contributions from youngsters, experienced players and those in between alike.

Debutant Matthew Johnson kicked six goals while Dan Hunt and Michael Pettigrew were terrific in defence with Ray Bartholomew, Chris Keunen, Jay van Berlo, Shane Nelson, Steven Browne, Jordan Jones, Aaron Black and Andrew Strijk all outstanding also.

The West Perth team to face Subiaco on Friday night is even strengthened further with the return of last year's fairest and best winner, and West Coast rookie, Mark Hutchings.

Two players had to make room with the squad going down from 23 to 22 from last week, and to move aside for Hutchings. The two unlucky players are Marc Crisp and Trent Manzone.


West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is confident that the fact his team just played in hot conditions on Saturday to pull up for a Friday night clash with a Subiaco side that had the bye last weekend won't have any impact once the teams run out there for the Round 2 meeting.

Added into the fact that West Perth has the bye in Round 3 following the game, Monaghan is urging his players to throw everything at Subiaco.

"This week is a difficult situation. We've had a game under our belt which at this time of the year is always great to be put under that sort of pressure, but Subiaco had a bye so they are going to be fresher than us," Monaghan said.

"A six-day break on the second game of the year isn’t a big issue, but as the season gets a bit longer and you nurse a few injuries then it can have a significant impact on your preparation, but we also have the knowledge that we have a break after this so the players know that they don’t need to keep anything in the tank."

With a new coach and as many as six players lining up for Subiaco for the first time, Monaghan knows that there is a fair degree of the unknown when it comes to the Lions coming into the clash on Friday night, but what he does know is that they will be primed and ready for the Falcons.

"I expect Subiaco to be up and going after all reports are that they've done a fantastic pre-season in terms of how hard they've worked, and they clearly are playing a distinctive style under their new coach which is fairly different to what they played last year," Monaghan said.

"We expect it to be hot from the start and we expect our players to be ready from that. With a run under our belts, we should be able to match that and hopefully as the game goes along we find ourselves on top."

BY CHRIS PIKE

CEO ANNOUNCEMENT

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 10:12 AM

On Behalf of the Board of Directors I am delighted to announce David Crute as the new Chief Executive Officer of the West Perth Football Club.

The Board believes David has all the attributes to be a successful Chief Executive Officer at West Perth. We believe David will lead the club in a strong and professional manner and serve our members, sponsors, District and other key stakeholders to the standards that have been set in recent years.

David has spent the past eight years working with the Fremantle Football Club in the role of Community Development Manager. During this time he has successfully implemented the Dockers brand through community programs across Western Australia and Australia. Prior to his time at Fremantle, David developed his football career through a variety of roles at the Claremont Football Club. A former league player himself, David previously held the position of District Manager for the Tigers. He has also coached Claremont development squads, been an assistant coach at Claremont at Colts and League level and has coached the Claremont Reserves in his own right. This background in all levels of WAFL coaching will undoubtedly be of added benefit to all levels of our football operations.

The Club has consulted with both the WAFC and the Fremantle Dockers in making this appointment and both parties strongly endorse the decision of West Perth to appoint David to the position.

David will take up his position shortly after the Easter break.

Please join us in welcoming David to the West Perth Football Club.

Brett Raponi

PRESIDENT

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 1

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 4:22 PM

WE couldn’t have made any better start to the season than our win in the derby on Saturday but we all know that it's just Round 1 and Subiaco this week will be a lot tougher opponent than what we saw especially in the second half against East Perth.

We did a lot of things right and unfortunately early on I thought some of our execution was ordinary with our skills when we kicked the ball away a bit, and we missed some relatively easy handball targets. But it was the first game of the year, hot weather and playing for four points the pressure was on early.

Then after half-time obviously when we got our running game up and going, we thought we had a clear pace advantage over East Perth and we tried to exploit that. It worked. That doesn’t mean we are always going to have a pace advantage or that we will always be able to play like that, but the most pleasing thing was probably the form of our young players.

We've got a good group of young players and what we need to do is keep them focused and make sure they keep trying to improve and don’t rest on their laurels after one decent game.

Once you start controlling the ball and kick goals, you naturally appear fresher anyway and it's really hard to chase when the game is gone. The margin probably blew out a little more than we expected, but it was really pleasing that the hard work over the pre-season paid off. They did things little bit different with our new strength and conditioning coach Craig Soley, but they've been impressive and that showed on Saturday.

You don’t go into games expecting to beat anyone by that amount and especially not East Perth. Traditionally once a side in derbies sneaks behind the crowd and coaches tend to fire up and the players lift to another level, but on Saturday I think it was just our ability to sustain our efforts that didn’t allow East Perth back in and that was pleasing.

Young guys like Shane Nelson and Aaron Black were great again in the midfield and they bring a real vibrancy to our group. They work hard off the track, they are good mates and that includes Rasmussen, Manning and good young fellas like that too. Rodda and Johnson graduated out of the colts last year and we are excited with what they bring, but we also need to keep remembering that it's Round 1 and we have plenty of work to do.


It was Matt Johnson's first taste of senior footy since playing in the Foxtel Cup last year, and for him to take them on and use his pace, and even give it off and keep going again was a fantastic way to start his career. Johnno has worked really hard and we are proud of the way he has embraced everything we've asked him to do, and he's taken on board some of the things that he had never done before in terms of tackling, chasing and second and third efforts. He has been a revelation through the pre-season and he just needs to make sure he stays grounded now.

Our experienced defenders were both fantastic and Pettigrew did a fantastic job on Josh Smith and Dan Hunt was able to float around as the second tall. Whilst we've lost a lot of experience, Luke Tedesco is in our leadership group, Steven Browne was used all over the park last year before settling down back and he has played a lot of state league footy, and 20-odd AFL games. We were able to use Strijky off half-back and Jordan Jones as well. We made an effort once we lost that experience down back to replace them with guys who have been exposed to the top level and that's been a real plus for us. Laine Rasmussen is also doing a fantastic job as a replacement for Dustin Burns.


Two of our recruits Rohan Kerr and Trent Manzone were both more than serviceable as well. It's a tough ask and very different adjusting to WAFL footy and even talking to them after the game knowing that we'd played our practice games at Fremantle and Peel, the two smallest grounds, to get out on Joondalup on a host Saturday afternoon in a derby could potentially expose guys who were playing on smaller grounds or in Trent's case in some ways what is a lesser competition. They did what was asked of them, but we think it could be six, eight or 10 weeks until they are playing their best footy once they get used to me, the playing group, the big grounds and the competition.

It's a derby week so that compounds it a little bit and the Eagles have a few injury concerns, Hutchy missed last week and there's a few rumours floating around that he might be in line to play for the derby, but we probably plan a scenario to have him and not to have him. Kepler Bradley is the other one and with Zac Clarke injuring an ankle probably means he is in the mix. We will pick a side with both of them and if we get them, then it's a bonus but we do have to make at least one change because we are going from 23 down to 22. We have to make one change and potentially up to three.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

THE BLVD TAVERN JOINS FORCES WITH THE FALCONS

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 11:13 AM

The Falcons are proud to welcome new club sponsor The Blvd Tavern to the club.

Managing Director Frank Cicchini has a long history of supporting the Falcons over many years.

With his fantastic venue in the heart of Joondalup and Falcons just minutes away at the Arena Joondalup it seemed a perfect fit for both parties.

West Perth President Brett Raponi welcomed Frank and The BLVD Tavern to the Falcons nest. “I am delighted that Frank and his business have joined forces with the Falcons. We are the highest profile sporting team in the Northern Suburbs and we reside right here in Joondalup on The BLVD’s doorstep. I am sure that the players, members and all football fans will appreciate the support and no doubt patronise The BLVD Tavern over the winter months ahead. On behalf of all Falcon fans I thank Frank for his commitment to support the Club in 2013 and urge all members to support the BLVD Tavern.”

The Blvd Tavern is a landmark location. The Blvd Tavern is situated on the corner of Grand Boulevard & Boas Avenue, right in the heart of Joondalup.

The Blvd name is an obvious abbreviation of the word Boulevard & is proudly the new brand. The building originally purpose built a decade ago is licensed for up to 600 persons throughout the Lounge, Bar, Cafe & Courtyard.

Check out the website for more details: www.blvdtavern.com.au.

AN IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 9:00 AM

A well drilled and hard running West Perth team were far too good for East Perth at the Arena on Saturday.

Their attack on the football, fierce tackling and four quarter effort was a reflection of the planning and preparation that has gone into the pre-season. The Falcons presented as a committed group of players with a specific game plan and a desire to be a competitive team in 2013.

The first five minutes of the game announced the arrival of youngster Matt Johnson. He was in everything and kicked the first of his six goals at the two minute mark. It was the result of carrying the ball from the wing, handballing it off to Matt Fowler, receiving it back and kicking from twenty out. Johnson also kicked the next two behinds and was responsible for the eight point Falcon lead at the six minute mark. The Royals kicked the next two courtesy of Ryan Maldenis and Gary Moss and they led by three midway through the term. Another youngster who was impressive was Nick Rodda and he combined with new recruit Rohan Kerr to get the ball into the hands of Matt Johnson for his second. The West Perth lead was out to nine after a long bomb from Ray Bartholomew bounced over the pack for a major. East Perth steadied to kick the last two of the term. One went to dangerous big man Paul Johnson. The Royals led by three at the first change; 4.1 (25) to 3.4 (22).

After five minutes of the second term East Perth led by fifteen thanks to a second for Paul Johnson and a first to Michael Swan. West Perth quickly settled and the lead was narrowed thanks to a strong Nick Rodda mark forty out. He kicked accurately. Shortly after Dean Cadwallader kicked his second to extend the lead but soon after Matt Johnson was once again back in the action. He kicked his third after he took advantage of a kick scrambled forward by Andrew Strijk. The margin was back to two when Anthony Tsalikis kicked the ball to the advantage of Marc Crisp who ran into an open goal. The Royals then took advantage of an umpiring non decision that should have seen a West Perth mark paid in their goal square to scramble a major. West Perth shrugged this aside to kick the last two goals of the half. The first was to Josh Mellington from twenty and a terrific chase and tackle saw Matt Johnson kick his fourth. It was a wonderful effort by West Perth to recover and regain the lead to be four points in front. They led; 8.5 (53) to 8.1 (49).

It would be fair to say that the Falcons dominated the second half. They continued to run in waves to support each other and set up scoring opportunities. Their attack on the ball was first class and the Royals wilted under the tremendous pressure. By the twenty minute mark the lead was out to thirty eight. Ray Bartholomew took the ball after an East Perth kick in to score his second, Josh Mellington snapped out of the pack from thirty to add to his total, a terrific passage of play that featured a number of players saw Rohan Kerr get the ball into the hands of Anthony Tsalikis who finished accurately, the new recruits in Trent Manzone and Rohan Kerr were involved when they assisted “Slick” to kick his second and the sequence concluded when a clever tap from Rohan Kerr enabled Matt Johnson to kick his fifth. It was a dominant period of football by West Perth and it was a pleasure to watch. The only East Perth goal for the term was a long kick from Craig Wulff. The Falcon lead of thirty eight was restored after the siren when busy forward Matt Fowler kicked accurately from forty. Going into the last quarter West Perth led 14.9 (93) to 9.1 (55).

The West Perth dominance continued in the final term and the final margin of seventy six could have been much higher as they kicked five goals ten to the Royals two behinds. The running in waves by the Falcons continued unabated for the term and it was a tribute to their fitness levels. The goal scorers for West Perth were the hard running Shane Nelson, Matt Johnson who showed another touch of class when he weaved between East Perth defenders to kick his sixth, Marc Crisp finished accurately for his second, Josh Mellington showed his class with a clever snap for his third and the skipper, Jason Salecic, received his reward for hard running with the final goal of the game. An impressive West Perth thoroughly deserved their 19.19 (133) to 9.3 (57) victory.

It was a consistent team performance by West Perth and any number of players could have been chosen for awards. Those to be recognised were Aaron Black, Jay Van Berlo, Steven Browne, Michael Pettigrew and best was Matthew Johnson. Dan Hunt would be considered unlucky as he hardly lost a contest all day. Two of the recruits, Rohan Kerr and Trent Manzone, certainly showed enough to suggest that they are going to be valuable acquisitions as they are both hard at the ball and use it very well. The Reserves were unlucky to lose by two points as they led until the last minute of the game. Best players were Mitch Van Berlo, Frank Stockley, James Embley and Joe Morrow. The Colts won by a solitary behind and have started the season well. Next week the Falcons take on Subiaco in a Friday night game at Medibank Stadium. See you there.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS THRASH ROYALS TO OPEN SEASON

Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 12:57 PM

WEST Perth could not have possibly made a more emphatic or exciting start to the 2013 WAFL season than beating East Perth by 75 points in the derby at Arena Joondalup on Saturday.

After an even first half that saw the Falcons lead by just four points at the main break, West Perth put on a remarkable display of football in the second half to kick 11 goals to just one from its fierce rivals to run out massive 19.18 (132) to 9.3 (57) winners.

The 75-point win is the biggest in a Perth derby since East Perth beat West Perth by 76 points back in Round 1, 2002 at Leederville Oval.

West Perth came into the 2013 season confident after a big campaign over summer and with strong practice match form with good wins over South Fremantle and Peel, and that buoyant feeling translated into Saturday's incredible performance at Arena Joondalup.

It was an even opening half with East Perth kicking four goals to three in the first quarter to lead by three points at quarter-time, and then the Falcons kicked five goals to four in the second term to hold a narrow four-point lead at the half-time break.

However, it was all West Perth after the interval with the Falcons piling on six goals to one in the third quarter to lead by 38 points at the last change, and then another five goals nil in the final term to end up winning by 75 points.

The margin could have actually been much closer to 100 points had West Perth not also kicked nine behinds in the final quarter, but no doubt everyone at the Falcons would have been more than happy with the 75-point winning margin over the old enemy.

The star of the day without a doubt for West Perth was debutant Matthew Johnson. The 18-year-old did play one Foxtel Cup match last year, but Saturday's derby was his official WAFL debut and what an impact he made.

Johnson kicked six goals from 18 possessions and five marks to set the Falcons faithful alight.

He received good support up forward as well with Fremantle's Josh Mellington kicking three goals and Anthony Tsalikis two while Marc Crisp and Ray Bartholomew also chipped in with two apiece.

Emerging midfielder Shane Nelson continued on his form from last year to rack up 30 possessions, but he didn’t enjoy his time in front of goal kicking 1.5.

There were plenty more strong ball winners for the Falcons as well with Steven Browne gathering 24 possessions, Aaron Black 23, Jay van Berlo 20, Bartholomew 19, Jordan Jones 19 and Andrew Strijk 19.

Two of West Perth's recruits Rohan Kerr and Trent Manzone also had good debuts in the red-and-blue with 19 disposals apiece. Both showed that they look set to be more than handy pick ups throughout 2013.

Chris Keunen had a good battle in the ruck with East Perth's Paul Johnson and finished with 17 possessions, six marks and 25 hit outs.

While it was youngsters like Black, Johnson and Nelson who might have received all the accolades, veteran defenders Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt were outstanding with Jason Salecic and Matt Guadagnin chipping in when needed to help the young side shine. 

Earlier, the reserves lost a thriller by two points to East Perth with Anton Saylor kicking three goals and Max Alexander two. Corey Chalmers picked up 22 possessions, Aidan Lynch 22, Broderick Walton 20, James Embley 18 and Joe Morrow 17. Frank Stockley had 32 hit outs in the ruck.

The colts, though, started the day off on a winning note for West Perth with a 6.7 (43) to 5.12 (42) win over the Royals.

Nicholas Robertson was brilliant for West Perth with 36 possessions and two goals. Blake Acres also picked up 32 disposals, Jesse Kirwen 21, Luke Meadows 19 and William Michell 19.

 

WEST PERTH                                      3.4          8.5          14.9        19.18     (132)

EAST PERTH                                        4.1          8.1          9.1          9.3          (57)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Johnson 6; Mellington 3; Crisp, Tsalikis, Bartholomew 2; Salecic, Fowler, Rodda, Nelson.

Best: Johnson, Nelson, Black, Pettigrew, Browne, Kerr, Black, Hunt, Keunen.

EAST PERTH – Goals: Johnson, Cadwallader 2; Seal, Moss, Maldenis, Wulff, Swan.

Best: Wulff, Moss, Lee, Wilson, Johnson, Chartres.

 

BY CHRIS PIKE