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

FALCONS WIN THRILLER OVER SWANS AT BASSENDEAN

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 2:51 AM

WEST Perth beat Swan Districts by three points at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval on Saturday to win its third straight match and further consolidate second spot on the ladder.

The Falcons kicked away from Swans thanks to four goals to one in the second quarter and then in a nail-biting finish, held on to win 11.16 (82) to 11.13 (79) and improve to a 9-4 record on the season and remain a game and percentage clear in second position on the WAFL ladder after 15 rounds.
Andrew Strijk was outstanding for West Perth with the 125-game veteran finishing with 25 possessions, 15 marks and three inside-50 entries. If it wasn’t for his four behinds he could have had a career-best afternoon, but it was still a tremendous performance from the 25-year-old.
Wingman Aaron Black was also terrific with 26 possessions, 11 marks and six entries inside the forward 50.
Matt Guadagnin gathered 22 disposals as well with Steven Browne picking up 21 touches, Steve Potente 21 in his best game with West Perth, Josh Mellington 21, Shane Nelson 20, Jordan Jones 20, Jay van Berlo 19, Rohan Kerr 18 and Marc Crisp 18 to go with seven marks, seven inside 50s and a goal.
Coach Bill Monaghan pulled a surprise and threw usual key defender Michael Pettigrew forward and the move paid off with him kicking three goals. Brayden Antonio and Kerr kicked two apiece as well.
Chris Keunen had 33 hit outs in the ruck.
Swan Districts came out of the blocks the better of the two sides but West Perth stayed in touch to only trail by 10 points at quarter-time thanks to goals to Anthony Tsalikis, Antonio and Kerr.
The Falcons then turned up the heat in the second quarter booting four goals to just one from Swans to be in front by eight points at the main break.
Both sides then kicked two goals apiece in the third term with West Perth still leading by nine points by three quarter-time.
The game then tightened up further in the final term but West Perth ended up holding on to win by the three points in a thrilling finish at Bassendean.
The West Perth reserves fell short against Swan Districts with the black-and-whites coming away 7.14 (56) to 6.9 (45) winners.
Joe Morrow and Mitch McPhee kicked two goals apiece for the Falcons with James Embley gathering 23 possessions, Michael Mascoulis 22, Corey Chalmers 21, Ben McNamara 20 and Cameron Branch 18.
Frank Stockley had another 19 possessions, five marks and 40 hit outs.
The Falcons colts started the day at Bassendean in perfect fashion running out comfortable 16.10 (106) to 3.6 (24) winners over Swan Districts.
Tom Shadbolt was outstanding for the Falcons with 30 possessions to go with five inside-50 entries and two goals. Tom Wells also kicked three majors and Joel Brown two.
Mitchell Peirce picked up 22 possessions, Nicholas Bowe 20 and Jesse Kirwen 20.
WEST PERTH 3.4 7.8 9.12 11.16 (82)
SWAN DISTRICTS 5.2 6.6 8.9 11.13 (79)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Pettigrew 3; Kerr, Antonio 2; Crisp, Tsalikis, Nelson, Mellington.
Best: Strijk, Black, Guadagnin, Potente, Pettigrew, Crisp, Jones.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Davis 3; Geappen, Neale 2; Robinson, Boekhorst, Newman, Bennell.
Best: Neale, Robinson, Davis, Riggio, Roach, Twomey.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth beat Swan Districts by three points at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval on Saturday to win its third straight match and further consolidate second spot on the ladder.

The Falcons kicked away from Swans thanks to four goals to one in the second quarter and then in a nail-biting finish, held on to win 11.16 (82) to 11.13 (79) and improve to a 9-4 record on the season and remain a game and percentage clear in second position on the WAFL ladder after 15 rounds.

Andrew Strijk was outstanding for West Perth with the 125-game veteran finishing with 25 possessions, 15 marks and three inside-50 entries. If it wasn’t for his four behinds he could have had a career-best afternoon, but it was still a tremendous performance from the 25-year-old.

Wingman Aaron Black was also terrific with 26 possessions, 11 marks and six entries inside the forward 50.

Matt Guadagnin gathered 22 disposals as well with Steven Browne picking up 21 touches, Steve Potente 21 in his best game with West Perth, Josh Mellington 21, Shane Nelson 20, Jordan Jones 20, Jay van Berlo 19, Rohan Kerr 18 and Marc Crisp 18 to go with seven marks, seven inside 50s and a goal.

Coach Bill Monaghan pulled a surprise and threw usual key defender Michael Pettigrew forward and the move paid off with him kicking three goals. Brayden Antonio and Kerr kicked two apiece as well.

Chris Keunen had 33 hit outs in the ruck.

Swan Districts came out of the blocks the better of the two sides but West Perth stayed in touch to only trail by 10 points at quarter-time thanks to goals to Anthony Tsalikis, Antonio and Kerr.

The Falcons then turned up the heat in the second quarter booting four goals to just one from Swans to be in front by eight points at the main break.

Both sides then kicked two goals apiece in the third term with West Perth still leading by nine points by three quarter-time.

The game then tightened up further in the final term but West Perth ended up holding on to win by the three points in a thrilling finish at Bassendean.

The West Perth reserves fell short against Swan Districts with the black-and-whites coming away 7.14 (56) to 6.9 (45) winners.

Joe Morrow and Mitch McPhee kicked two goals apiece for the Falcons with James Embley gathering 23 possessions, Michael Mascoulis 22, Corey Chalmers 21, Ben McNamara 20 and Cameron Branch 18.

Frank Stockley had another 19 possessions, five marks and 40 hit outs.

The Falcons colts started the day at Bassendean in perfect fashion running out comfortable 16.10 (106) to 3.6 (24) winners over Swan Districts.

Tom Shadbolt was outstanding for the Falcons with 30 possessions to go with five inside-50 entries and two goals. Tom Wells also kicked three majors and Joel Brown two.

Mitchell Peirce picked up 22 possessions, Nicholas Bowe 20 and Jesse Kirwen 20.

WEST PERTH 3.4 7.8 9.12 11.16 (82)

SWAN DISTRICTS 5.2 6.6 8.9 11.13 (79)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Pettigrew 3; Kerr, Antonio 2; Crisp, Tsalikis, Nelson, Mellington.

Best: Strijk, Black, Guadagnin, Potente, Pettigrew, Crisp, Jones.

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Davis 3; Geappen, Neale 2; Robinson, Boekhorst, Newman, Bennell.

Best: Neale, Robinson, Davis, Riggio, Roach, Twomey.

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 15 PREVIEW V SWAN DISTRICTS

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 2:46 PM

WEST Perth heads to Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval this Saturday with the aim of winning a third straight game, making up for the earlier season loss to Swan Districts and further consolidating second position on the WAFL ladder.

Both Swans and the Falcons head into Saturday's clash in winning form and needing to win to either try and push further up the ladder, or to maintain their position so that all adds up to what is sure to be a terrific contest at Steel Blue Oval.
Then there is the Round 7 clash between the two teams at Arena Joondalup where Swan Districts went from being behind early in the last quarter to catching fire with an amazing 15-minute stretch to end up winning by 28 points.
Swan Districts enters the clash in terrific form following wins over Perth, Subiaco and South Fremantle the last three weeks and are still without No. 1 ruckman Wes Lammie but Rory Lobb and Tony Notte have been doing well carrying the load in his absence.
At this stage there are no outs for the clash against the Falcons at home where the black-and-whites try to make up for some poor form at Bassendean so far this year.
Swan Districts has won just one from five games at home in 2013 to date despite it generally being considered one of the toughest venues for opposition teams to try and win at.
Fremantle's Lachie Neale is back into the Swan Districts team with Nathan Broad and Graham Jetta also in the mix.
West Perth loses midfielder Mark Hutchings after he played for West Coast on Thursday night against Essendon with forward Matt Fowler going out of the line-up as well.
Veteran forward Anthony Tsalikis comes back in as a straight swap for Fowler in the Falcons team with James Batterham, Joe Morrow, Steve Potente and Frank Stockley all pushing for selection as well.
West Perth veteran Andrew Strijk is in the middle of an outstanding season in his first year back fully with the Falcons after his time on the Eagles list.
He has settled back in across half-back line and certainly hasn’t forgotten what happened last time the two teams met, but is confident of turning that around this Saturday even if it means he has to play a lockdown role on the likes of Dayle Garlett, Murray Newman or Kirk Ugle.
"Last time we played them they made us look a little bit silly to be honest and they got us on the outside. We let them run too much and get ahead of us so this will be a good challenge for us to slow them up, press up hard and stop their run," Strijk said.
"It's something that you learn from, but I don’t think you bring it up. You take the positives out of our win this week and we bring that forward going ahead. You don't want to dwell too much on the forward and we know that if we play our best footy we will beat Swans.
"I will do whatever Billy wants me to do, but I will try to avoid the little quick ones because I'm not that quick. I will try to give that to Ras and Browney but if I got stuck on one of them I will try to block their run because if they get goal side of you they are pretty hard to stop."
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth heads to Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval this Saturday with the aim of winning a third straight game, making up for the earlier season loss to Swan Districts and further consolidating second position on the WAFL ladder.

Both Swans and the Falcons head into Saturday's clash in winning form and needing to win to either try and push further up the ladder, or to maintain their position so that all adds up to what is sure to be a terrific contest at Steel Blue Oval.

Then there is the Round 7 clash between the two teams at Arena Joondalup where Swan Districts went from being behind early in the last quarter to catching fire with an amazing 15-minute stretch to end up winning by 28 points.

Swan Districts enters the clash in terrific form following wins over Perth, Subiaco and South Fremantle the last three weeks and are still without No. 1 ruckman Wes Lammie but Rory Lobb and Tony Notte have been doing well carrying the load in his absence.

At this stage there are no outs for the clash against the Falcons at home where the black-and-whites try to make up for some poor form at Bassendean so far this year.

Swan Districts has won just one from five games at home in 2013 to date despite it generally being considered one of the toughest venues for opposition teams to try and win at.

Fremantle's Lachie Neale is back into the Swan Districts team with Nathan Broad and Graham Jetta also in the mix.

West Perth loses midfielder Mark Hutchings after he played for West Coast on Thursday night against Essendon with forward Matt Fowler going out of the line-up as well.

Veteran forward Anthony Tsalikis comes back in as a straight swap for Fowler in the Falcons team with James Batterham, Joe Morrow, Steve Potente and Frank Stockley all pushing for selection as well.

West Perth veteran Andrew Strijk is in the middle of an outstanding season in his first year back fully with the Falcons after his time on the Eagles list.

He has settled back in across half-back line and certainly hasn’t forgotten what happened last time the two teams met, but is confident of turning that around this Saturday even if it means he has to play a lockdown role on the likes of Dayle Garlett, Murray Newman or Kirk Ugle.

"Last time we played them they made us look a little bit silly to be honest and they got us on the outside. We let them run too much and get ahead of us so this will be a good challenge for us to slow them up, press up hard and stop their run," Strijk said.

"It's something that you learn from, but I don’t think you bring it up. You take the positives out of our win this week and we bring that forward going ahead. You don't want to dwell too much on the forward and we know that if we play our best footy we will beat Swans.

"I will do whatever Billy wants me to do, but I will try to avoid the little quick ones because I'm not that quick. I will try to give that to Ras and Browney but if I got stuck on one of them I will try to block their run because if they get goal side of you they are pretty hard to stop."

BY CHRIS PIKE

JONES BECOMING MAJOR PART OF FALCONS' SUCCESS

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 1:12 PM

JORDAN Jones admittedly had trouble adjusting to life on and off the field in his first season at West Perth in 2012 but he is settled now in both aspects and the Falcons are reaping the rewards with him settling in defence and being one of the star performers so far this season.

Jones spent his first three years as a senior footballer on the West Coast Eagles list where he played two AFL matches and in that time racked up 47 WAFL games with Peel Thunder.
He found himself delisted by the Eagles at the end of 2011 and that left him undecided where to play his football, but more importantly what he wanted to do to make a living.
He tried a host of jobs and West Perth tried him in a number of different roles after he decided to remain in WA to play with the Falcons.
It was a year of adjustment for the soon to be 23-year-old but he has more stability off the field now and his form on the field in 2013 for the Falcons has been tremendous and he has been a major reason why West Perth currently sits in second spot on the ladder.
He has found a regular spot in defence where he is equally capable of playing on small or tall forward from the opposition and he reads the play well, and is outstanding at setting things up coming out of defence. Jones feels it's the position that best suits him as well.
"I've always been a defender and I think I always will be, but I really enjoyed playing in the midfield as well and I thought I'd try to give that a crack but at West Perth we have a lot of young midfielders coming through like Aaron Black and Shane Nelson," Jones said.
"I sorted of got squeezed out of the midfield but the back-line is for me I reckon and I like creating a bit of run from there. I can play on either talls or smalls as well and I'm not too fussed who I play on."
Helping Jones' job in the back-line has been the form of fellow defenders Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Luke Tedesco, Andrew Strijk, Steven Browne and Laine Rasmussen as well.
"It's a really tight-knit group in our back-line and we are really resilient in trying to stop the opposition from scoring. From where we are, we have the best opportunity to see the whole ground and I reckon we direct and use our voice very well down back," he said.
"We can see the play unfolding and a lot of the guys back there have played a lot of footy now, and can read where it's going and can push over to the right spots to try and create the turnover early."
Jones was drafted by the Eagles from the Geelong Falcons straight out of school so being a professional footballer is basically all he knew.
Then when suddenly that life was snatched away from him, he was happy to stay in WA and play with West Perth but what to do off the field wasn’t as easy to figure out. He is happier with the job he now has though.
"My first year out of West Coast was pretty tough because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life outside of football. I obviously needed to start earning some money. I did all sorts of jobs," he said
"I was a pool cleaner, I washed windows, I was a brickies labourer, I did all sorts. It ended up taking a bit of a toll on my body because I was doing labour intensive jobs where when I was at West Coat for three years when you have your time off you are resting, doing recovery and doing everything right to get your body right for the next training session or the next game.
"It certainly took me a while to adjust to it and during the pre-season I ended up getting a job at BankWest so I'm sitting at a desk all day now and I really think that has helped my football quite a bit because I'm not working all day digging holes or something like that.
"I'm coming to training after sitting down all day and I come to training pumped, and ready to burn some energy. That has really helped me play better footy and I also had a better pre-season, and the form has been starting to show."
Jones certainly did think about returning to Victoria, but he had one major reason to stay in Perth and that was his girlfriend. When he decided to stay, West Perth soon became the best option for him thanks to some friends at the Falcons he'd made.
"I contemplated going back to Melbourne to play in the VFL, but my partner is from WA so that sort of encouraged me to stay a little bit longer here. I love it over here and I don’t really want to move anywhere else. I like living in Perth," he said.
"Once I was a free-agent, I caught up with West Perth and knew quite a lot of the boys like Andrew Strijk and Luke Tedesco prior to actually signing with the club and that was probably the most appealing thing because I had some mates there already.
"West Perth are a very successful club with their history and the year before I signed they made it to the prelim so I was hoping to come to West Perth to try and get a premiership."
Like Jones is having a vastly improved 2013 season, so is the whole West Perth team currently sitting a game and percentage clear in second spot on the ladder.
Jones puts much of that credit down to some increased depth at the club this year but perhaps even more importantly that the coaching staff right through the grades has drilled into the players the same game style.
"The most important thing about our list this year is that everyone knows once they get an opportunity that they have to play their role for their team," Jones said.
"Over the pre-season we really implemented the structure that we are going to use and that it's going to happen with our reserves and league teams, and it's filtering down to our colts as well.
"The whole West Perth footy club is going to play the same way so that makes the transition a little bit easier for a few of the young guys to come in after knocking on the door for a league spot.
"Once they have got their opportunity they know the role that they have to play and that's the important thing. If you get 22 blokes doing that, then you have the best shot at trying to win the game."JORDAN Jones admittedly had trouble adjusting to life on and off the field in his first season at West Perth in 2012 but he is settled now in both aspects and the Falcons are reaping the rewards with him settling in defence and being one of the star performers so far this season.

Jones spent his first three years as a senior footballer on the West Coast Eagles list where he played two AFL matches and in that time racked up 47 WAFL games with Peel Thunder.

He found himself delisted by the Eagles at the end of 2011 and that left him undecided where to play his football, but more importantly what he wanted to do to make a living.

He tried a host of jobs and West Perth tried him in a number of different roles after he decided to remain in WA to play with the Falcons.

It was a year of adjustment for the soon to be 23-year-old but he has more stability off the field now and his form on the field in 2013 for the Falcons has been tremendous and he has been a major reason why West Perth currently sits in second spot on the ladder.

He has found a regular spot in defence where he is equally capable of playing on small or tall forward from the opposition and he reads the play well, and is outstanding at setting things up coming out of defence. Jones feels it's the position that best suits him as well.

"I've always been a defender and I think I always will be, but I really enjoyed playing in the midfield as well and I thought I'd try to give that a crack but at West Perth we have a lot of young midfielders coming through like Aaron Black and Shane Nelson," Jones said.

"I sorted of got squeezed out of the midfield but the back-line is for me I reckon and I like creating a bit of run from there. I can play on either talls or smalls as well and I'm not too fussed who I play on."

Helping Jones' job in the back-line has been the form of fellow defenders Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Luke Tedesco, Andrew Strijk, Steven Browne and Laine Rasmussen as well.

"It's a really tight-knit group in our back-line and we are really resilient in trying to stop the opposition from scoring. From where we are, we have the best opportunity to see the whole ground and I reckon we direct and use our voice very well down back," he said.

"We can see the play unfolding and a lot of the guys back there have played a lot of footy now, and can read where it's going and can push over to the right spots to try and create the turnover early."

Jones was drafted by the Eagles from the Geelong Falcons straight out of school so being a professional footballer is basically all he knew.

Then when suddenly that life was snatched away from him, he was happy to stay in WA and play with West Perth but what to do off the field wasn’t as easy to figure out. He is happier with the job he now has though.

"My first year out of West Coast was pretty tough because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life outside of football. I obviously needed to start earning some money. I did all sorts of jobs," he said

"I was a pool cleaner, I washed windows, I was a brickies labourer, I did all sorts. It ended up taking a bit of a toll on my body because I was doing labour intensive jobs where when I was at West Coast for three years when you have your time off you are resting, doing recovery and doing everything right to get your body right for the next training session or the next game.

"It certainly took me a while to adjust to it and during the pre-season I ended up getting a job at BankWest so I'm sitting at a desk all day now and I really think that has helped my football quite a bit because I'm not working all day digging holes or something like that.

"I'm coming to training after sitting down all day and I come to training pumped, and ready to burn some energy. That has really helped me play better footy and I also had a better pre-season, and the form has been starting to show."

Jones certainly did think about returning to Victoria, but he had one major reason to stay in Perth and that was his girlfriend. When he decided to stay, West Perth soon became the best option for him thanks to some friends at the Falcons he'd made.

"I contemplated going back to Melbourne to play in the VFL, but my partner is from WA so that sort of encouraged me to stay a little bit longer here. I love it over here and I don’t really want to move anywhere else. I like living in Perth," he said.

"Once I was a free-agent, I caught up with West Perth and knew quite a lot of the boys like Andrew Strijk and Luke Tedesco prior to actually signing with the club and that was probably the most appealing thing because I had some mates there already.

"West Perth are a very successful club with their history and the year before I signed they made it to the prelim so I was hoping to come to West Perth to try and get a premiership."

Like Jones is having a vastly improved 2013 season, so is the whole West Perth team currently sitting a game and percentage clear in second spot on the ladder.

Jones puts much of that credit down to some increased depth at the club this year but perhaps even more importantly that the coaching staff right through the grades has drilled into the players the same game style.

"The most important thing about our list this year is that everyone knows once they get an opportunity that they have to play their role for their team," Jones said.

"Over the pre-season we really implemented the structure that we are going to use and that it's going to happen with our reserves and league teams, and it's filtering down to our colts as well.

"The whole West Perth footy club is going to play the same way so that makes the transition a little bit easier for a few of the young guys to come in after knocking on the door for a league spot.

"Once they have got their opportunity they know the role that they have to play and that's the important thing. If you get 22 blokes doing that, then you have the best shot at trying to win the game."

BY CHRIS PIKE

A SPECIAL VICTORY

Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12:23 PM

West Perth pulled off a wonderful come from behind victory against Subiaco at the Arena Joondalup on Saturday.

It was a fitting end to a great day at which the 2003 Premiership side was recognised. It was amazing to watch the bond that exists between this group of players as a result of the 2003 victory and it will certainly give impetus to the 2013 team that showed a lot of those qualities in their one point victory.

Subiaco won the toss and kicked to the Perth end with the aid of the breeze and they dominated the first twenty one minutes. During that time they controlled play to kick five goals six and set up a thirty six point advantage. The first West Perth score didn’t come until four minutes later when Josh Mellington kicked a behind from forty. He followed up shortly after with the Falcons first major when he marked forty five out. As a result West Perth salvaged something from the first quarter and at the first change they trailed by twenty nine; 5.6 (36) to 1.1 (7).

The Falcons had the advantage of the breeze in the second quarter and were on the board in the first minute. This occurred when Andrew Strijk took the ball just inside the centre square and bounced through a long bomb. Chris Deluca replied shortly after to restore the status quo. Mark Hutchings was then involved in the centre clearance and finished from fifty to narrow the gap. Promising youngster Brayden Antonio then stepped up to kick the next two for the Falcons.

The first was after he pounced on a Subiaco defensive error and snapped cleverly, the second was a kick from fifty after receiving a Mark Hutchings handball. In between these two Raymond Daniels had scored for the Lions so after eleven minutes the margin had been reduced to seventeen. The next ten minutes belonged to the Falcons as they attacked relentlessly but unfortunately they only managed three behinds. Subiaco then piled on three goals in red time and took a thirty point lead into the main break. They in fact had outscored West Perth by one point and at half time victory looked a long way away. Scores were Subiaco 10.7 (67) to West Perth 5.7 (37).

To have any chance of a win West Perth had to at least hold Subiaco as they kicked to the scoring end. The first goal of the term came at the eight minute mark courtesy of a second to Josh Mellington. Matt Fowler then marked and scored from forty five and after a precise series of passes starting in defence and finished by Trent Manzone found Fowler thirty out, his second goal saw the margin reduced to twelve at the sixteen minute mark. The Falcons had worked really hard to get back into the game but it was undone to a degree when Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and Antoni Grover delivered to restore a four goal advantage. The term finished on the right note for West Perth when Kody Manning marked, played on and scored from thirty. At the final change West Perth trailed by three straight; 12.9 (81) to 9.9 (63).

The last quarter certainly lived up to expectations. It had been a hard fought battle all day and the last quarter was no exception. West Perth kicked four unanswered goals to snatch the lead for the first time in the game at the twenty two minute mark. They had to work really hard against a determined Lions team to achieve this. The first goal went to Jay Van Berlo who received a handball from the best on ground, Matt Guadagnin.

The next ten minutes saw the teams trade behinds before big man Nick Rodda received a free kick in the square. His goal reduced the margin to seven. Shane Nelson then got the Falcons to within a point after controlling the ball on the wing, taking a bounce and bouncing the ball through from outside fifty. It would be fair to say that the bounce was a favourable one as it deviated at nearly a right angle for a major.

Consecutive behinds to West Perth saw them tie the game and then take the lead for the first time in the match. Josh Mellington then laid a terrific tackle to receive a free fifty out, on the boundary on the wrong side for a left footer. To the joy of West Perth supporters his kick split the middle to give him three for the day and the Falcons a seven point lead. Josh Mellington’s attack on the footy is always first class and he is a very good player who is working towards another AFL game. As you would expect the game wasn’t done yet as the Lions took the ball straight out of the middle and big man Callum Sinclair marked thirty out to convert. The margin was just a behind at the twenty four minute mark. The siren went at the thirty two minute mark so for eight minutes all supporters were riveted by the contest that was taking place as each side tried to secure victory. There wasn’t a score in this time and as a result West Perth had earned a one point win; 13.13 (91) to 13.12 (90).

It was a hard fought win that keeps the Falcons one game clear in second spot. There is no such thing as an easy game in the WAFL this year but the character shown by the team today to fight back and achieve victory is highly commendable and a credit to senior coach, Bill Monaghan. Best players were Matt Fowler, Josh Mellington, Shane Nelson, Aaron Black, Andrew Strijk and best was Matt Guadagnin. Congratulations to the Reserves who moved to the edge of the four with their fourth win in their last five games. Coach, Paul Sanzone, has the team going really well. Best players were Kris Shannon, Steven Potente, Joe Morrow and best was Frank Stockley. All are knocking on the door for selection in the League team. A big game against the in-form Swan Districts next week at Steel Blue Oval. See you there.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS STORM BACK TO WIN THRILLER BY A POINT

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 9:55 PM

WEST Perth pulled off a remarkable comeback to end up beating Subiaco by a point in a heart stopper at Arena Joondalup on Saturday after the Falcons failed to score for the first 24 minutes of the contest.

Subiaco came flying out of the blocks with the first 10 scoring shots of the game to lead 5.6 (36) to nothing until the Falcons eventually scored with Josh Mellington kicking a point and goal within seconds of one another.
However, Subiaco still led by 30 points by half-time and again by 24 just before three quarter-time, but a late goal to the returning Kody Manning just before the last break gave the Falcons a sniff still.
That sniff turned into a lot more when Nick Rodda, Shane Nelson and Mellington kicked crucial goals in the last quarter.
Nelson's on the run from outside 50 was particularly impressive to put the Falcons within a point and then the home side hit the front for the first time of the afternoon thanks to a couple of behinds before Mellington kicked a beauty from long range and out wide to stretch the lead to seven points.
Subiaco hit back with a goal to big man Callum Sinclair, but West Perth held on in a frantic finish to win 13.13 (91) to 13.12 (90) and maintain second position on the WAFL ladder.
West Perth wingman Aaron Black was terrific finishing with 31 possessions, 10 marks, four tackles, three clearances, five inside-50 entries and three rebounds from the defensive 50.
Veteran Matt Guadagnin also had 26 disposals and a game-high nine clearances with Shane Nelson shaking the tag of Rhys Waters to gather 23 touches and Mark Hutchings had 21 to go with a goal despite sitting out the entire opening quarter.
Dan Hunt was outstanding in defence keeping state player Clancy Wheeler to just nine touches and a goal, and had 19 disposals, six marks and a six tackles himself.
Andrew Strijk ran off half-back with 22 possessions, eight marks, six rebounds from the defensive 50, four inside 50s and a terrific goal to start the second quarter.
Steven Browne also had 20 disposals from the defence for the Falcons while up forward, Mellington kicked three goals, and Matt Fowler and Brayden Antonio two apiece.
In direct contrast to last week's horror start against Swan Districts, the Lions were quick out of the blocks on Saturday and it started when experienced SANFL recruit Tristan Gum snapped a goal with his first kick in the WAFL.
He injured a knee in his first practice game since signing with the Lions and made an immediate impact in the opening minute. Andrew McDougall added another a minute later and the Lions continued on with the advantage of the breeze.
In the opening 20 minutes alone, Subiaco had 15 inside-50 entries to three and 10 scoring shots to lead 5.6 to 0.0 before West Perth even scored at the 24-minute mark.
West Perth evened things up, but couldn’t take enough advantage of the breeze in the second quarter kicking 4.6 while Subiaco still kicked five goals to be up by 30 points at the main break.
The Falcons again threatened in the third quarter with two goals to Fowler in as many minutes to bring them within 12 points, but Subiaco steadied with late goals to Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and Antoni Grover.
West Perth got a late goal through a strong mark and kick from the returning Manning just before three quarter-time, and then the Falcons kicked the first three goals of the last term to hit the front for the first time, and eventually hold on to win by a point.
WEST PERTH 1.1 5.7 9.9 13.13 (91)
SUBIACO 5.6 10.7 12.9 13.12 (90)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 3; Antonio, Fowler 2; Hutchings, Manning, Nelson, Rodda, Strijk, van Berlo.
Best: Black, Hunt, Guadagnin, Hutchings, Nelson, Strijk, Mellington. 
SUBIACO – Goals: Daniels, Grover, McDougall 2; Deluca, Gum, Hampson, Kayler-Thomson, Nicoski, Sinclair, Wheeler.
Best: McDougall, Hampson, Kayler-Thomson, Stevenson, Forrest, Worthington.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth pulled off a remarkable comeback to end up beating Subiaco by a point in a heart stopper at Arena Joondalup on Saturday after the Falcons failed to score for the first 24 minutes of the contest.

Subiaco came flying out of the blocks with the first 10 scoring shots of the game to lead 5.6 (36) to nothing until the Falcons eventually scored with Josh Mellington kicking a point and goal within seconds of one another.

However, Subiaco still led by 30 points by half-time and again by 24 just before three quarter-time, but a late goal to the returning Kody Manning just before the last break gave the Falcons a sniff still.

That sniff turned into a lot more when Nick Rodda, Shane Nelson and Mellington kicked crucial goals in the last quarter.

Nelson's on the run from outside 50 was particularly impressive to put the Falcons within a point and then the home side hit the front for the first time of the afternoon thanks to a couple of behinds before Mellington kicked a beauty from long range and out wide to stretch the lead to seven points.

Subiaco hit back with a goal to big man Callum Sinclair, but West Perth held on in a frantic finish to win 13.13 (91) to 13.12 (90) and maintain second position on the WAFL ladder.

West Perth wingman Aaron Black was terrific finishing with 31 possessions, 10 marks, four tackles, three clearances, five inside-50 entries and three rebounds from the defensive 50.

Veteran Matt Guadagnin also had 26 disposals and a game-high nine clearances with Shane Nelson shaking the tag of Rhys Waters to gather 23 touches and Mark Hutchings had 21 to go with a goal despite sitting out the entire opening quarter.

Dan Hunt was outstanding in defence keeping state player Clancy Wheeler to just nine touches and a goal, and had 19 disposals, six marks and a six tackles himself.

Andrew Strijk ran off half-back with 22 possessions, eight marks, six rebounds from the defensive 50, four inside 50s and a terrific goal to start the second quarter.

Steven Browne also had 20 disposals from the defence for the Falcons while up forward, Mellington kicked three goals, and Matt Fowler and Brayden Antonio two apiece.

In direct contrast to last week's horror start against Swan Districts, the Lions were quick out of the blocks on Saturday and it started when experienced SANFL recruit Tristan Gum snapped a goal with his first kick in the WAFL.

He injured a knee in his first practice game since signing with the Lions and made an immediate impact in the opening minute. Andrew McDougall added another a minute later and the Lions continued on with the advantage of the breeze.

In the opening 20 minutes alone, Subiaco had 15 inside-50 entries to three and 10 scoring shots to lead 5.6 to 0.0 before West Perth even scored at the 24-minute mark.

West Perth evened things up, but couldn’t take enough advantage of the breeze in the second quarter kicking 4.6 while Subiaco still kicked five goals to be up by 30 points at the main break.

The Falcons again threatened in the third quarter with two goals to Fowler in as many minutes to bring them within 12 points, but Subiaco steadied with late goals to Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and Antoni Grover.

West Perth got a late goal through a strong mark and kick from the returning Manning just before three quarter-time, and then the Falcons kicked the first three goals of the last term to hit the front for the first time, and eventually hold on to win by a point.

WEST PERTH 1.1 5.7 9.9 13.13 (91)

SUBIACO 5.6 10.7 12.9 13.12 (90)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 3; Antonio, Fowler 2; Hutchings, Manning, Nelson, Rodda, Strijk, van Berlo.

Best: Black, Hunt, Guadagnin, Hutchings, Nelson, Strijk, Mellington. 

SUBIACO – Goals: Daniels, Grover, McDougall 2; Deluca, Gum, Hampson, Kayler-Thomson, Nicoski, Sinclair, Wheeler.

Best: McDougall, Hampson, Kayler-Thomson, Stevenson, Forrest, Worthington.

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 14 PREVIEW V SUBIACO

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 3:35 PM

WEST Perth and Subiaco meet in a crucial match at Arena Joondalup on Saturday with the Falcons looking to consolidate second spot and the Lions to get closer to a top-four spot.

West Perth hit back following disappointing losses to East Perth and Claremont with a tremendous performance last Sunday at East Fremantle Oval to control the contest from the start and end up beating the Sharks by 14 points.
That improved the Falcons to a 7-4 record to remain in second position on the ladder to be a game and percentage clear of East Perth in third, and two games and percentage ahead of the chasing pack made up of Perth, Swan Districts, East Fremantle and Subiaco.
The Lions stormed back into contention winning three straight games against Swan Districts, Claremont and South Fremantle leading into last Saturday's loss at home to Swans by 47 points.
However, Subiaco is still sitting on a 5-6 record and with a win on Saturday and if other results go the Lions' way, they could either sneak into the four or be right on the verge of a spot inside there.
The teams met earlier this season under lights at Medibank Stadium in Round 2 with West Perth winning a hard fought battle by 24 points.
West Perth loses exciting young forward Matt Johnson to a slight hamstring injury he went down with during last Sunday's impressive win over East Fremantle.
The Falcons are still without veterans Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew and Anthony Tsalikis, but could still have their team further strengthened with the return of Kody Manning from a knee injury.
Prior to getting injured, he was doing an outstanding job as a pressure forward and now after one game back in the reserves last week where he had 13 possessions, he could come straight back into the league line-up.
Rohan Kerr was also back from injury last week and will be better for the run this Saturday.
Mitch McPhee has been building strong form in the reserves all season long and had another four goals last week with defender Joe Morrow and small forward Steve Potente also pressing for a return with the Falcons.
Subiaco might have dropped a game to Swan Districts after impressive form prior to that with three straight wins, but the Lions' list of inclusions for this Saturday's trip to Joondalup will have them confident of returning to the winner's list.
Experienced SANFL recruit Tristan Gum had 28 possessions in the reserves last week after battling injury through the first half of the season to show he is ready for the WAFL debut.
Retired Fremantle 202-game defender Antoni Grover has now played two games back in the reserves after a knee injury for Subiaco as well to get himself ready for his first game of the season. He has been playing forward as well and could be set for a new role in the twilight of his career.
Then there is West Coast big man Callum Sinclair also set to return from a knee injury while fellow versatile big man Andrew McDougall is also back after missing last week's loss to Swans.
Abe Davey and Brad Stevenson are also pressing for a recall with the Lions and Charles Le Fanu in the mix to make his debut.
West Perth defender Jordan Jones knows how important last Sunday's win was over East Fremantle was in terms of consolidating second spot on the ladder, but he also knows what a big test Subiaco will present this Saturday at Arena Joondalup.
"The weekend's win was really important to try and maintain that second spot and we just have to keep trying to win each week now to hold onto that spot, and keep that gap open to third spot down to fifth where it's all pretty clattered on the ladder with everyone trying to fight for a spot in the four," Jones said.
"Both those losses coming into the game were really tough and we knew our backs were against the wall so to come back and have a good win against East Fremantle was a fantastic achievement by the boys.
"They've got some good players and they are starting to get a few guys back. I think Sinclair is a bit in for them and he really straightens them up, and has that flexibility to play in the ruck and he pushes forward so he's a really big in and that will make it a little tougher for us."
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth and Subiaco meet in a crucial match at Arena Joondalup on Saturday with the Falcons looking to consolidate second spot and the Lions to get closer to a top-four spot.

West Perth hit back following disappointing losses to East Perth and Claremont with a tremendous performance last Sunday at East Fremantle Oval to control the contest from the start and end up beating the Sharks by 14 points.

That improved the Falcons to a 7-4 record to remain in second position on the ladder to be a game and percentage clear of East Perth in third, and two games and percentage ahead of the chasing pack made up of Perth, Swan Districts, East Fremantle and Subiaco.

The Lions stormed back into contention winning three straight games against Swan Districts, Claremont and South Fremantle leading into last Saturday's loss at home to Swans by 47 points.

However, Subiaco is still sitting on a 5-6 record and with a win on Saturday and if other results go the Lions' way, they could either sneak into the four or be right on the verge of a spot inside there.

The teams met earlier this season under lights at Medibank Stadium in Round 2 with West Perth winning a hard fought battle by 24 points.

West Perth loses exciting young forward Matt Johnson to a slight hamstring injury he went down with during last Sunday's impressive win over East Fremantle.

The Falcons are still without veterans Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew and Anthony Tsalikis, but could still have their team further strengthened with the return of Kody Manning from a knee injury.

Prior to getting injured, he was doing an outstanding job as a pressure forward and now after one game back in the reserves last week where he had 13 possessions, he could come straight back into the league line-up.

Rohan Kerr was also back from injury last week and will be better for the run this Saturday.

Mitch McPhee has been building strong form in the reserves all season long and had another four goals last week with defender Joe Morrow and small forward Steve Potente also pressing for a return with the Falcons.

Subiaco might have dropped a game to Swan Districts after impressive form prior to that with three straight wins, but the Lions' list of inclusions for this Saturday's trip to Joondalup will have them confident of returning to the winner's list.

Experienced SANFL recruit Tristan Gum had 28 possessions in the reserves last week after battling injury through the first half of the season to show he is ready for the WAFL debut.

Retired Fremantle 202-game defender Antoni Grover has now played two games back in the reserves after a knee injury for Subiaco as well to get himself ready for his first game of the season. He has been playing forward as well and could be set for a new role in the twilight of his career.

Then there is West Coast big man Callum Sinclair also set to return from a knee injury while fellow versatile big man Andrew McDougall is also back after missing last week's loss to Swans.

Abe Davey and Brad Stevenson are also pressing for a recall with the Lions and Charles Le Fanu in the mix to make his debut.

West Perth defender Jordan Jones knows how important last Sunday's win was over East Fremantle was in terms of consolidating second spot on the ladder, but he also knows what a big test Subiaco will present this Saturday at Arena Joondalup.

"The weekend's win was really important to try and maintain that second spot and we just have to keep trying to win each week now to hold onto that spot, and keep that gap open to third spot down to fifth where it's all pretty clattered on the ladder with everyone trying to fight for a spot in the four," Jones said.

"Both those losses coming into the game were really tough and we knew our backs were against the wall so to come back and have a good win against East Fremantle was a fantastic achievement by the boys.

"They've got some good players and they are starting to get a few guys back. I think Sinclair is a bit in for them and he really straightens them up, and has that flexibility to play in the ruck and he pushes forward so he's a really big in and that will make it a little tougher for us."

BY CHRIS PIKE

WEST PERTH-SUBIACO RIVALRY CONTINUES TO GROW

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 1:42 PM

WEST Perth and Subiaco continue to build a growing rivalry thanks to the proximity of the two club's zones and the familiarity the players have with one another, and this Saturday's clash doubles as the Falcons' 2003 premiership reunion at Arena Joondalup.

West Perth players like Aaron Black (Kingsley), Andrew Strijk (Carine), Anthony Tsalikis (Ocean Ridge), James Batterham (Carine) and Laine Rasmussen (Sorrento/Duncraig) are right on the border of being zoned to Subiaco highlighting the close proximity of the two clubs.
While Subiaco players like Rhys Waters (Sorrento/Duncraig), Mark Nicoski (Carine), Aidan Parker (Carine), Chris Phelan (Kingsley), Simon Moore (Sorrento/Duncraig), David Madut (Kingsway) and Michael Wood (Sorrento/Duncraig) are on the edge of also being zoned to West Perth.
As a result of the closeness of the two club's zones, a host of West Perth and Subiaco players have grown up together and have close friendships perhaps best highlighted by former Falcon Jeff Gobbels and his good ex-Lions mate Blake Broadhurst.
The pair are currently playing together with reigning Eastern Football League premiers Balwyn in Victoria.
While having players know each other so well at either club builds a natural rivalry, the club has also developed quite a history on the field as well particularly since the Falcons moved to Joondalup and the Lions took up residence at Leederville.
Back in 1995, Subiaco won 19 games that season before West Perth went on to beat them in the grand final. The Falcons then won 16 of the next 17 games against Subiaco and also knocked off the Lions in the 2003 grand final with the reunion of that premiership taking place this Saturday.
However, in the late 2000s Subiaco turned the rivalry around winning nine straight matches including the 2008 second semi-final and preliminary final of 2011.
And as it happens with West Perth celebrating its premiership reunion this Saturday, Subiaco also happened to be commemorating its flag from back in 1973 in the first meeting between the two sides this year back in Round 2 when the Falcons prevailed by 24 points at Medibank Stadium.
West Perth president Brett Raponi is excited to be commemorating the 2003 flag at Arena Joondalup this Saturday.
"It is a big day for the football club. We celebrate our 2003 premiership which coincidentally was against the Subiaco Football Club," Raponi said.
"Darren Harris, Brendan Fewster, Steve Trewhella, Kim Rigoll and all the legends will be there including Kepler Bradley who is recovering from a knee injury."
Falcons defender Jordan Jones also has no doubt that the current group of West Perth players can learn plenty and gain plenty of inspiration from having the club's last premiership side on hand come Saturday.
"It's obviously a great achievement to win a premiership and a lot of the boys still come down to the club, and a lot of the boys know a few of those past players quite well," Jones said.
We want to be successful like they were and you obviously get a bit of a lift from having them there. You ask them a few questions to see how they worked through situations and things like that. It's very beneficial for the footy club to have them around."
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth and Subiaco continue to build a growing rivalry thanks to the proximity of the two club's zones and the familiarity the players have with one another, and this Saturday's clash doubles as the Falcons' 2003 premiership reunion at Arena Joondalup.

West Perth players like Aaron Black (Kingsley), Andrew Strijk (Carine), Anthony Tsalikis (Ocean Ridge), James Batterham (Carine) and Laine Rasmussen (Sorrento/Duncraig) are right on the border of being zoned to Subiaco highlighting the close proximity of the two clubs.

While Subiaco players like Rhys Waters (Sorrento/Duncraig), Mark Nicoski (Carine), Aidan Parker (Carine), Chris Phelan (Kingsley), Simon Moore (Sorrento/Duncraig), David Madut (Kingsway) and Michael Wood (Sorrento/Duncraig) are on the edge of also being zoned to West Perth.

As a result of the closeness of the two club's zones, a host of West Perth and Subiaco players have grown up together and have close friendships perhaps best highlighted by former Falcon Jeff Gobbels and his good ex-Lions mate Blake Broadhurst.

The pair are currently playing together with reigning Eastern Football League premiers Balwyn in Victoria.

While having players know each other so well at either club builds a natural rivalry, the club has also developed quite a history on the field as well particularly since the Falcons moved to Joondalup and the Lions took up residence at Leederville.

Back in 1995, Subiaco won 19 games that season before West Perth went on to beat them in the grand final. The Falcons then won 16 of the next 17 games against Subiaco and also knocked off the Lions in the 2003 grand final with the reunion of that premiership taking place this Saturday.

However, in the late 2000s Subiaco turned the rivalry around winning nine straight matches including the 2008 second semi-final and preliminary final of 2011.

And as it happens with West Perth celebrating its premiership reunion this Saturday, Subiaco also happened to be commemorating its flag from back in 1973 in the first meeting between the two sides this year back in Round 2 when the Falcons prevailed by 24 points at Medibank Stadium.

West Perth president Brett Raponi is excited to be commemorating the 2003 flag at Arena Joondalup this Saturday.

"It is a big day for the football club. We celebrate our 2003 premiership which coincidentally was against the Subiaco Football Club," Raponi said.

"Darren Harris, Brendan Fewster, Steve Trewhella, Kim Rigoll and all the legends will be there including Kepler Bradley who is recovering from a knee injury."

Falcons defender Jordan Jones also has no doubt that the current group of West Perth players can learn plenty and gain plenty of inspiration from having the club's last premiership side on hand come Saturday.

"It's obviously a great achievement to win a premiership and a lot of the boys still come down to the club, and a lot of the boys know a few of those past players quite well," Jones said.

We want to be successful like they were and you obviously get a bit of a lift from having them there. You ask them a few questions to see how they worked through situations and things like that. It's very beneficial for the footy club to have them around."

BY CHRIS PIKE

STRIJK BACK TO BEST IN OLD ROLE

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 5:44 AM

ANDREW Strijk played some outstanding football off half-back to find himself drafted and now in his first season back from the West Coast Eagles he has resumed that role with great aplomb for West Perth.

Strijk made his WAFL debut with the Falcons back in 2006 originally as a wingman/half-forward with outstanding kicking skills. Those foot skills have remained, but it was a move to playing off half-back that saw him emerge as one of the most talented players in the WAFL in 2009.
He ended up picked up by the Eagles as a rookie and played 13 AFL matches in three years at West Coast and when back at West Perth in that time he spent the majority of his time back either on the wing or playing across half-forward.
While the now 25-year-old still played some good football, he has returned to West Perth full-time in 2013 and has resettled himself into a role across half-back and is in the middle of an outstanding season.
He played in Western Australia's drought breaking win over Victoria and has averaged 20 possessions a game where his kicking skills coming off half-back constantly sets up play for the second-placed Falcons.
Strijk himself is glad to be back in the role he is most comfortable in.
"It's something that I actually started doing in 2008 when Todd Curley was here and when Bill Monaghan first came to the club," Strijk said.
"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."
Helping to make Strjik's role in the back-line work so well is the fact that the Falcons have experienced big men Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt standing up with Strijk, Steven Browne, Luke Tedesco and Laine Rasmussen alongside them.
"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," he said.
"You know that nine times out of 10 guys like Petters and Hunty will either beat their opponent or halve the contest so you know that the ball is either going to come to ground or they will mark so it's a great confidence boost playing alongside guys like that."
Some players struggle with the adjustment of dropping back to play in the WAFL after spending time on an AFL list, but for Strijk it has simply been about going back to his life before being drafted by West Coast.
He has now played 123 games for the Falcons, kicked 132 goals and played state football on three occasions, but for Strijk is sole focus is on team success. He is yet to play in a winning final in his career and he desperately wants that to soon change.
"I guess I'm pretty lucky because before I got drafted I had a pretty good job with my old man and uncle working in refrigeration, and I'm doing that again. I'm really enjoying that and I love being at this club," he said.
"It's my favourite club to play at and I wouldn’t want to play at any other club. I'm here with my best mates, it's where I've grown up playing footy and I've learned a lot of things here. I want to stay here for the rest of my career.
"Winning a final is the next step we need to take and then it's making a grand final. That's all that is important. Individual performance means nothing with anyone. As long as we can play as a team, get out team defence going and win games of footy, that's all that matters."
After Sunday's 14-point win over East Fremantle, West Perth sits a game and percentage clear in second spot on the WAFL ladder after 13 rounds and Strijk puts much of the success in that performance after tough losses to East Perth and Claremont was the defensive set up from the team.
"It's really tough to come here and actually beat East Fremantle, but to do it twice in a year is pretty successful for us and that's a good starting point to the start of our campaign in the second half of the year and looking towards finals," Strijk said.
"It was a big especially after the last two weeks when we've been very disappointed in ourselves. This week we came here and put four quarters together. It got a big close towards the end there, but we held on and played some good footy.
"The boys started to trust each other with our defence and pressing up. We've spent a lot of time with it at training and practicing it, and that's why we played so well in the first three and-a-half quarters. We really got back to trusting each other with that team defence."
BY CHRIS PIKEANDREW Strijk played some outstanding football off half-back to find himself drafted and now in his first season back from the West Coast Eagles he has resumed that role with great aplomb for West Perth.

Strijk made his WAFL debut with the Falcons back in 2006 originally as a wingman/half-forward with outstanding kicking skills. Those foot skills have remained, but it was a move to playing off half-back that saw him emerge as one of the most talented players in the WAFL in 2009.

He ended up picked up by the Eagles as a rookie and played 13 AFL matches in three years at West Coast and when back at West Perth in that time he spent the majority of his time back either on the wing or playing across half-forward.

While the now 25-year-old still played some good football, he has returned to West Perth full-time in 2013 and has resettled himself into a role across half-back and is in the middle of an outstanding season.

He played in Western Australia's drought breaking win over Victoria and has averaged 20 possessions a game where his kicking skills coming off half-back constantly sets up play for the second-placed Falcons.

Strijk himself is glad to be back in the role he is most comfortable in.

"It's something that I actually started doing in 2008 when Todd Curley was here and when Bill Monaghan first came to the club," Strijk said.

"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."

Helping to make Strjik's role in the back-line work so well is the fact that the Falcons have experienced big men Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt standing up with Strijk, Steven Browne, Luke Tedesco and Laine Rasmussen alongside them.

"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," he said.

"You know that nine times out of 10 guys like Petters and Hunty will either beat their opponent or halve the contest so you know that the ball is either going to come to ground or they will mark so it's a great confidence boost playing alongside guys like that."

Some players struggle with the adjustment of dropping back to play in the WAFL after spending time on an AFL list, but for Strijk it has simply been about going back to his life before being drafted by West Coast.

He has now played 123 games for the Falcons, kicked 132 goals and played state football on three occasions, but for Strijk is sole focus is on team success. He is yet to play in a winning final in his career and he desperately wants that to soon change.

"I guess I'm pretty lucky because before I got drafted I had a pretty good job with my old man and uncle working in refrigeration, and I'm doing that again. I'm really enjoying that and I love being at this club," he said.

"It's my favourite club to play at and I wouldn’t want to play at any other club. I'm here with my best mates, it's where I've grown up playing footy and I've learned a lot of things here. I want to stay here for the rest of my career.

"Winning a final is the next step we need to take and then it's making a grand final. That's all that is important. Individual performance means nothing with anyone. As long as we can play as a team, get out team defence going and win games of footy, that's all that matters."

After Sunday's 14-point win over East Fremantle, West Perth sits a game and percentage clear in second spot on the WAFL ladder after 13 rounds and Strijk puts much of the success in that performance after tough losses to East Perth and Claremont was the defensive set up from the team.

"It's really tough to come here and actually beat East Fremantle, but to do it twice in a year is pretty successful for us and that's a good starting point to the start of our campaign in the second half of the year and looking towards finals," Strijk said.

"It was a big especially after the last two weeks when we've been very disappointed in ourselves. This week we came here and put four quarters together. It got a big close towards the end there, but we held on and played some good footy.

"The boys started to trust each other with our defence and pressing up. We've spent a lot of time with it at training and practicing it, and that's why we played so well in the first three and-a-half quarters. We really got back to trusting each other with that team defence."

BY CHRIS PIKE

COME & SEE THE REAL THING - 2003 PREMIERSHIP HEROES

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 1:33 AM

Years ending in a “3” have never been lucky for West Perth.

It started back in 1923 when the Cardinals missed out on a grand final by losing to East Perth in the semi-final by just nine points.

In 1933, they lost the preliminary final by four points. It cost the club the chance to win four in a row, given the premiership victories of 1932, 1934 and 1935.

Another sequence was broken in 1943. West Perth went back-to-back in 1941 and 1942, but lost the 1943 first semi-final by just three points.

In 1953, it was a grand final loss to South Fremantle and in 1973 a grand final loss to Subiaco. In both 1963 and 1983, West Perth promised the world, but only managed to deliver their fans an atlas.

And then there was 1993. The last season at Leederville and the top-placed Falcons went into the grand final against Claremont as sentimental favourites. They lost by five goals.

Against that backdrop, those members of the West Perth faithful who were superstitious couldn’t possibly have been confident going into season 2003.

West Perth had been thrashed by East Perth in the 2002 grand final and had lost Jeff Bruce, Dean Brunton, Damien Casson, Liam Casson, James Ferguson, Peter Julian, Brett Thompson, Ryan Webb and Andrew Williams during the off-season.

But the hoodoo of years ending in “3” was finally broken and the premiership cup came to Joondalup for the third time in ten years.

This week, the club will honour its 2003 heroes at the game against Subiaco – the same team they upset in the grand final ten seasons ago. Many of those who held the trophy aloft will be present.

Season 2003 started with a heavy recruiting program, which was aimed at plugging the holes left by the departing players.

Kim Rigoll returned to West Perth from Myrtleford, the blond-mopped Brad Murray joined from Victoria, as did life member Dustin Burns, Brent Rynehart and Kepler Bradley made their first appearances, and West Coast recruit Aaron Edwards was allocated to the Falcons.

Finishing the season in second position, the eight-point second semi-final loss to Subiaco was devastating. It gave the Lions a week off, while West Perth was forced to face-off in a preliminary final against their old foes, the Royals.

But a 56-point win finally erased the bitter memories of 2002 and set up a mouth-watering grand final against Subiaco.

From about midway through the second quarter it was clear the day would belong to West Perth.

Brent LeCras, who would go on to win the Simpson Medal, was impassable in defence, as was Simon Duckworth. Mark Seaby dominated in the ruck, while Troy Longmuir kicked five goals up forward.

The other members of that victorious side, coached by former Premiership star Darren Harris, were Rob Hunt, Callum Chambers, Rynehart, Murray, Regan Duckworth, Glenn Britten, Brendon Fewster, Quinten Lynch, Steven Koops, Brett Cousins, Kim Rigoll, Todd Curley, captain Steve Trewhella, Travis McLean, current captain Jason Salecic, Bradley and Brendon Logan.

Mark Seaby aside, they will all be hoping that their efforts to break the hoodoo of years ending in “3” will allow the current crop of Falcons stars to walk away with a premiership this September. 

BY SEAN COWAN