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FIRST SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW V PEEL THUNDER

Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 6:46 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth returns to HBF Arena on Sunday looking for a 13th straight win overall over Peel and a 12th in succession at home over the Thunder in the WAFL first semi-final.

Peel qualified for the WAFL finals for the first time in history in 2015 and its first ever final was also at the Joondalup venue against West Perth. It wasn’t a day to remember for the Thunder with the Falcons beating a depleted Peel outfit by 109 points.

It's fair to say the circumstances are vastly different going into this Sunday's game not only in terms of the personnel of both teams, but also because the game is cut-throat unlike last year's qualifying final when both went on to fight another week.

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TOUGH CALLS AGAIN AWAIT MONAGHAN WITH FALCONS SELECTION

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 1:03 PM - by Chris Pike

THE hardest job of any coach is telling deserving players that they have missed selection and that was never more true than last week for West Perth's Bill Monaghan and it will be no easier this week as he weighs whether or not changes are required.

West Perth came into the qualifying final with South Fremantle last Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in good form having won 12 of the last 15 matches following a 1-4 start to the season to qualify in third position on the WAFL ladder.

But Monaghan needed to find room for Tyler Keitel, Steve Potente, Dean Munns and Shane Nelson in the team and that meant some difficult selection decisions needed to be made.

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BILL GETS GRILLED – BILL MONAGHAN QUALIFYING FINAL Q & A

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 10:26 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan's reaction to Saturday's 52-point qualifying final loss to South Fremantle and how he expects the Falcons to bounce back in this Sunday's first semi-final against Peel Thunder at HBF Arena.

QUESTION: What were your initial thoughts leaving Fremantle on Saturday after that game?
ANSWER: I was extremely disappointed. We've worked hard to get our season back on track after a tardy start and we were confident that if we played our best footy we could match it with South on the weekend. Then 10 minutes into the game it looked like it was going horribly wrong but the positive is that for a significant part of the first quarter and then the second quarter we were able to steady the ship. That's not always easy to do when one side is running rampant. For about a 30-35-minute patch we kicked 4.4 to three points and we probably butchered another couple going inside forward 50 where it felt like halfway through the second quarter we'd probably done enough to be in front. But they kicked a couple of easy goals and went into half-time confident and we were a bit deflated. We were then deplorable in the third quarter. I was extremely disappointed with our overall effort but you have to pick out what we did wrong and try to rectify that. You also need to look at the positives of what we can do at our very best and we'll plan hard for that, and show the players some of the good things we've done during the year and hopefully we can turn around and be mentally strong on Sunday against Peel.

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FALCONS WITH WORK TO DO AFTER QUALIFYING FINAL LOSS

Monday, September 5, 2016 - 8:48 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth was blown away early in Saturday's qualifying final against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval before steadying, but the Bulldogs kicked away again to make it a disappointing day for the Falcons at the port.

The Bulldogs have qualified for the first time since 2011 and won their first finals match since the 2009 grand final on Saturday proving too good for the Falcons on their home deck.

South Fremantle made a blistering start kicking five goals in the opening 12 minutes with Blaine Johnson and Mason Shaw on fire combining for four of those.

But West Perth worked its way back into the contest and with 14 of the Falcons' players having taken part in last year's grand final and 10 of them premiership players from 2013, they were able to steady the ship.

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TOO TALL A CHALLENGE

Monday, September 5, 2016 - 10:22 AM - by Darrell Kent

SOUTH Fremantle is the only team that West Perth had not been able to defeat during the home and away season and this trend continued at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday. On both previous occasions it was the tall South Fremantle key forwards who did all of the damage and this was the case once again. Despite the best efforts of the Falcons defence Ben Saunders and Mason Shaw kicked eight goals between them and Blaine Johnson added three at ground level.

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QUALIFYING FINAL PREVIEW V SOUTH FREMANTLE

Friday, September 2, 2016 - 7:31 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth is back for another WAFL finals campaign in 2016 and it gets underway on Saturday against South Fremantle in a qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The WAFL finals begin at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday with the second placed South Fremantle hosting the third placed West Perth with Subiaco awaiting the winner.

The winner of Saturday's qualifying final will advance to next Sunday's second semi-final against Subiaco at Medibank Stadium with a grand final berth at stake.

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FOUR RETURNING FALCONS CREATES SELECTION DILEMMAS

Friday, September 2, 2016 - 11:51 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth welcomes back Shane Nelson, Dean Munns, Tyler Keitel and Steve Potente for Saturday's WAFL qualifying final against South Fremantle and coach Bill Monaghan hopes the Falcons finals experience can be used as a positive.

The Falcons finished the home and away season winning 12 of their last 15 games following a 1-4 start to end up in third position to book a qualifying final berth against the Bulldogs this Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

It looms as a fascinating contest with West Perth coming off winning the 2013 premiership and playing in the 2015 grand final while South Fremantle hasn’t made a finals appearance since 2011.

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BILL GETS GRILLED – BILL MONAGHAN ROUND 23 Q & A

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 2:57 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan discusses the last round victory over Swan Districts, who he expects to return for Saturday's qualifying final against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and what he makes of the Bulldogs as opponents.

QUESTION: In some ways it was a game you just wanted to get through unscathed but you wouldn’t have wanted to go into the finals with a loss, so it was good to finish off well?
ANSWER: I thought for the first five or 10 minutes we were very good, we just couldn’t hit the scoreboard with three or four points and a couple on the full. I think three of those were from the top of the goal square that we messed up as well. Then Swans went down and kicked a couple of cheap goals and they were good this week. They had a crack, they ran hard forward and they caught us on the rebound so that's really disappointing for us, but in the end had our goal kicking accuracy been a bit better we would have won quite comfortably. Having 31 scoring shots on not a great day was OK but the fact that we gave up 21 is probably a bit disappointing. But nine of those were in the first quarter so it eventually turned but it took longer than we would have liked. But we were experimenting with a few things and whilst we weren’t trying to be disrespectful to Swans, once third spot was locked away we had to try a few things that may be of use to us come finals time. We did a couple of different things and some of them worked well, and some weren’t great. The best of them was probably Hamilton doing a reasonably good job back and Morrow doing reasonably well forward. I would think that at least now we are relatively confident those two can switch spots.

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FALCONS FINISH OVER SWANS TO WIN AHEAD OF FINALS

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 12:18 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth conceded the opening five goals of the game but four goals in succession during the last quarter was enough to set up a 20-point victory over the bottom placed Swan Districts at HBF Arena.

West Perth was always going to finish in third position no matter the result and Swan Districts was always going to be well clear on the bottom of the ladder, but it was the black-and-whites who started on fire.

Swans led by as much as 29 points late in the first quarter but West Perth gradually worked its way back in front and four goals in 13 minutes during the final quarter ended up setting up the 13.18 (96) to 11.10 (76) victory.

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FALCONS GET THE JOB DONE

Monday, August 29, 2016 - 10:53 AM - by Darrell Kent

SWAN Districts had only won two games going into the last fixture of the year but it didn’t stop them from giving West Perth a real run for their money. It might have been the last game for Swan Districts captain Tallan Ames who is weighing up his future for 2017, but a calf injury ended his day early.

At the end of the day it was the class of the Falcons that got them over the line but it wasn’t until midway through the last quarter that West Perth had the game under control. Coach Bill Monaghan used the game to experiment with a few positional changes leading into the finals and it will be interesting to see what impact this will have in the weeks ahead.

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