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IN THEIR WORDS – BLAKE WILHELM ROUND 21

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 4:21 PM - by Blake Wilhelm

RATHER than keeping to the same structure as the last column I wrote, I wanted to mix things up a bit and go down another path. I thought I would start with a bit of a key focus for this column which is: 

'The Power of Positivity'

Whilst not an uncommon phrase, I distinctively remember first hearing this focus from one of the greatest (and longest) reserves captains to ever put on the red and blue, Cameron Branch. Whilst his shoulders are dodgy (that’s being polite) and his new venture into being a comedian is laughable, the great man still has some pearls of wisdom in him. 

To start things off, I can’t go past mentioning how exciting the youth of this football club is. As part of the leadership group this year we have focused hard on building our culture up to another level this year and the excitement around the young group of players has been a big part of that. 

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TOUGH DAY FOR FALCONS AGAINST ROYALS BUT SEASON NOT DONE

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 10:18 PM - by Chris Pike
IT was a day to forget for West Perth against East Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday but the positive is a quick response this Saturday at home to East Fremantle and the Falcons could return straight to the WAFL top five.
 
Fifth position went on the line at HBF Arena on Saturday and every indication was that a close game was in order through the first quarter with West Perth actually managing to lead at quarter-time by eight points.
 
But the Falcons wouldn’t score again until the 18-minute mark of the third quarter and wouldn’t kick another goal until the opening minute of the fourth term. 
 
East Perth went on to kick the next 15 goals in the game and the Royals couldn’t have been more empathic about replacing West Perth in the top five coming away from HBF Arena with the 21.13 (139) to 8.7 (55) victory.
 
East Perth has now won two games on the trot against the other two teams fighting for that fifth spot, Claremont and West Perth. That sees the Royals improve to an 8-9 record to sit fifth percentage ahead of the Falcons as they try to play finals for a sixth straight year.
 
West Perth has lost its past two games to slip to an 8-9 record and out of the top five, but the finals hopes of the Falcons are far from over with games to go against East Fremantle, Subiaco and Claremont.
 
Personnel or lack thereof will never be used as an excuse but West Perth did go into Saturday's clash without Andrew Strijk, Kody Manning, Michael Lourey, Joe Morrow, Steve Potente, Tyson Moulton, Scott Nelson, Mark Hamilton and Dean Munns.
 
That opened the door for rising star Oscar Allen to make his league debut. It wasn’t the ideal game to experience league football for the first time but he showed some good signs with eight possessions and five marks.
 
Aidan Lynch kicked two goals to go with 23 possessions, six marks and six tackles for the Falcons while Brayden Antonio also booted two majors and laid seven tackles.
 
Shane Nelson racked up another 29 possessions and laid six tackles for West Perth with Luke Meadows compiling 24 disposals, Trent Manzone 21, Corey Chalmers 21, Jay van Berlo 20 and Aaron Black 18.
 
Ruckman Chris Keunen battled hard for 12 touches, four tackles and 17 hit outs.
 
Despite the day not turning out too positive for West Perth, the game started quite well with the Falcons kicking the game's first two goals thanks to Chalmers and Manzone.
 
Then in response to East Perth getting on the board through its first major from Nathan Vardy, the Falcons again led by 14 points with Meadows kicking truly. East Perth reduced the quarter-time gap to eight a late goal from Fraser McInnes.
 
It took just 20 seconds for McInnes to kick his second to start the second quarter and then just three minutes later the Royals were in the lead for the first time after a goal to Julian Ameduri. That lead would only continue to grow the rest of the afternoon.
 
West Perth went scoreless the entire second quarter with East Perth piling on goals from Josh Hill, Patrick McGinnity, Jake Waterman, Maginness and Nathan Blee that saw the Royals lead by 37 points by the long break.
 
West Perth managed just one behind for all the third term that came at the 18-minute mark through Kris Shannon.
 
Before that, the Royals added goals to Ameduri, Vardy, Shayne Hille and Waterman. And then after that Falcons behind, East Perth ended the second term with goals to Sharrod Wellingham and Hill to be up by 76 points at the last change.
 
West Perth finally got its fourth goal on the board to start the last quarter when Antonio kicked truly. That broke the drought from the 23-minute mark of the first term but it wasn’t going to be enough to change the disappointing result.
 
In the end, the Falcons did end up kicking four more goals in the last quarter with Antonio adding a second, Aidan Lynch booting two and Max Alexander the other.
 
But East Perth wasn’t about to let up with six goals of its own to stretch its lead by the final siren to 84 points and to emphatically replace West Perth in fifth position on the WAFL ladder.
 
The day didn’t start well for West Perth either in the colts with East Perth beating the Falcons 17.12 (114) to 2.8 (20) at HBF Arena.
 
Slade Hawkins and Lachlan Sherriffs were West Perth's goal scorers.
 
Thomas Medhat gathered 26 possessions for the Falcons, Daniel Rowe 23, Nathan Murray 21, Bailey Chalmers 21, Sherriffs 17 and Dylan Yem 16.
 
West Perth was significantly more competitive in the reserves but East Perth still managed to prevail, winning 11.9 (75) to 10.10 (70) on Saturday at HBF Arena.
 
Matt Guadagnin put his hand up for a league recall with the 191-game veteran looking good with 25 possessions, nine tackles and two goals in his third game back in 2017, and second full match.
 
Sam Rotham and Connor West also kicked two goals each for the Falcons.
 
Mitch Antonio picked up 23 possessions for West Perth, Conal Lynch 20, Thomas O'Brien 17, Baylee James 17 and Michael Ashfield eight to go with 32 hit outs in the ruck.
 
West Perth has the chance to try and return to fifth position by beating East Fremantle at HBF Arena on Saturday in the Falcons' last home game of 2017. A win for the Falcons and a loss for East Perth to Swan Districts and they will be back inside the top five.
 
WEST PERTH 3.5 3.5 3.6 8.7 (55)
EAST PERTH 2.3 9.6 15.10 21.13 (139)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Antonio, A Lynch 2; Meadows, Alexander, Chalmers, Manzone.
Best: A Lynch, Meadows, Nelson, Chalmers, Alexander.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Hille, Maginness, Ameduri, Wellingham, Vardy, Waterman, McInnes, Hill 2; Dobson, Mutimer, Blee, Wright, McGinnity.
Best: Blee, McGinnity, McInnes, Hille, Wellingham, Ameduri, Waterman.

SUPPORT IS WHAT THE PLAYERS, COACHES AND CLUB NEEDS

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 3:09 PM - by Darrell Kent

IN the time since 2006 that I have been doing the match day report I have always tried to write them from the perspective of a fan. Saturday was one of those days that you like to forget. After a bright start the Falcons fell right away and were beaten by 84 points by the Royals. 

After quarter-time not a lot went right but no one knows that more than the players and coaches. The reality is that it is a team down on personnel because of injury and it is a side that has been developed from within. Some class players such as Rohan Kerr and Laine Rasmussen moved on at the end of last year and there was limited recruiting with the emphasis being on developing the players from the West Perth District. 

As a result there was little margin for error and the injuries have been the difference. The side had all of our hopes up after a 7-3 start to the year but some narrow losses, inaccurate kicking and the injuries have taken their toll. The message that I am trying to give is get behind the West Perth Football Club. 

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ROUND 20 PREVIEW V EAST PERTH

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 4:26 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth might not have the personnel available it would like but the Falcons will throw everything at East Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday with the goal being moving clear once more in fifth position on the WAFL ladder.

The winner of Saturday's Round 20 clash at HBF Arena will take a significant leap towards playing finals in 2017 setting the stage for a terrific contest for those in attendance and then those watching also live on 7mate from 2.30pm.

West Perth comes into the game currently occupying fifth position on the WAFL ladder with an 8-8 record but following last week's 47-point loss to South Fremantle, the Falcons are now vulnerable inside the top five.

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SORE FALCONS PRESENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEXT GENERATION

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 10:14 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth's horror injury run is unfortunately showing no sign of improving just yet but there were exciting signs last week in the reserves with Matt Guadagnin getting through a full game and the Falcons could have two debutants Saturday against East Perth.

West Perth came into last Saturday's clash with South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval already missing Michael Lourey, Dean Munns, Scott Nelson, Steve Potente, Joe Morrow, Ben King, Mark Hamilton and Tyson Moulton.

Then in the opening minutes Andrew Strijk injured a hamstring and along the way Nick Rodda, Rudy Riddoch and Kody Manning suffered blows in the 47-point loss that leave them battling to be available this Saturday against East Perth at HBF Arena.

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BILL GETS GRILLED – BILL MONAGHAN ROUND 19 Q & A

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 11:06 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan offered his thoughts on Saturday's 47-point loss to South Fremantle that leaves the Falcons needing to beat East Perth this Saturday at HBF Arena to remain in the WAFL top five.

QUESTION: You appeared to match South Fremantle virtually in every area except the scoreboard, what's your reaction to that game?
ANSWER:
My first reaction is that I'd like to think it's an improvement but the scoreboard says it's identical to the last game. It's hard to argue it's an improvement but if you look at a lot of the statistics around why I think it was an improvement, last time it was 31 scoring shots to 14 and this week it's 26 to 24. Last time we had a negative 30-odd inside-50 count and this week it was negative eight. We were able to compete a lot better but unfortunately the result was the same. Every side has its degree of injuries but given where we were and then losing Andrew in the first quarter clearly didn’t help. We had another couple of issues during the game and whilst blokes were able to play the game out, we had two or three other guys who were battling through and who we might lose as a result next week. Our stocks are starting to get pretty thin. We brought six guys up from the colts into the reserves over the last two weeks and hopefully we'll get some reinforcements back like Ben King, Steve Potente, Mark Hamilton, Dean Munns and Michael Lourey is due to play at some stage in the next week or two. It would be nice to get a few back but with East Perth winning, we are only a game inside the five. But the beauty is we play them now and if we happen to beat them we'll be a good chance of still staying there.

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FALCONS COMPETE HARD BUT CAN'T REDUCE MARGIN ON BULLDOGS

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 12:06 PM - by Chris Pike
WEST Perth in a largely competitive performance against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval everywhere but the scoreboard ending up losing to the Bulldogs by 47 points.
 
South Fremantle was able to win by 47 points for the second straight time against West Perth, but it was a vastly more competitive showing all-round from the Falcons except in front of goals.
 
In the end, the Bulldogs kicked 20 goals from 26 scoring shots and the Falcons 11 from 24 and that was the major difference in the contest as South Fremantle went on to win 20.6 (126) to 11.13 (79).
 
Little separated the two teams across the field with both finishing with 307 possessions apiece while South Fremantle managed to take 17 more marks, have 43 more hit outs and eight extra inside-50 entries.
 
It was a sixth straight win overall by South Fremantle this season to improve the Bulldogs to a 13-4 record and remain well clear in second position with just four rounds of the season remaining.
 
It was also a sixth consecutive victory against West Perth with those coming by an average of 53.3 points.
 
Despite the loss, West Perth remains in fifth position but with an 8-8 record to only be one-game ahead of the sixth placed East Perth.
 
West Perth had some strong ball winners and none were better on the field than Shane Nelson. Coming off his 51-possession haul last week against Perth, he had it another 45 times on Saturday against South Fremantle with seven inside-50 entries, five tackles and a goal.
 
Aidan Lynch thrived in the wet conditions too with 32 disposals and six tackles while Aaron Black collected 25 touches, Luke Meadows 21 and ruckman Chris Keunen 16 to go with 33 hit outs.
 
Corey Chalmers had a good impact at half-forward kicking four goals along with 19 possessions and nine tackles. Nick Rodda also kicked three goals despite copping a heavy knock to his jaw.
 
Kody Manning had a good battle with Ben Saunders down back while Blake Wilhelm worked hard to limit Blaine Johnson to just five kicks while having 16 possessions himself.
 
West Perth's day wasn’t helped by losing Andrew Strijk to a hamstring injury in the opening minutes with Ben King, Michael Lourey, Dean Munns, Scott Nelson, Steve Potente, Mark Hamilton and Joe Morrow already sidelined.
 
The signs were ominous early for West Perth with South Fremantle kicking the opening two goals in the first nine minutes thanks to Haiden Schloithe and debutant Matthew Parker as the rain began to fall. West Perth got one back before quarter-time thanks to Brayden Antonio to trail by just the six points at the first change.
 
The Falcons then drew level to start the second quarter with a goal to Rodda. But South Fremantle answered almost immediately with two goals of their own with Cory Dell'Olio and Mason Shaw kicking truly. 
 
Parker soon added his second and when Ben Saunders booted his first of the day in his fascinating battle with Manning, the Bulldogs were threatening to kick away leading by 24 points.
 
West Perth showed some fight to respond with goals to Nelson and Chalmers to get back within 10 points, but Saunders kicked his second and then Jake Florenca his first to put the Bulldogs on top by 24 points at the main break.
 
It took eight minutes for either team to kick a goal in the second half and after three behinds to West Perth, South Fremantle continued the trend of the day by taking its chances while the Falcons weren’t able to. Shaw kicked his second goal to make the margin a game-high 27 points.
 
The Falcons weren’t going away, though, and goals to Chalmers and Rodda had them right back in the game just 16 points behind. But again South Fremantle had the answers with Dell'Olio booting his second and then third in the space of three minutes.
 
West Perth did get one back courtesy of Rodda but the Bulldogs put the game away with four more goals leading into three quarter-time. Kelly kicked truly before Johnson added a couple and Saunders his third as the home team was 39 points up at the last change.
 
West Perth started brightly in the last quarter with three goals in seven minutes to Chalmers, Tyler Keitel and Chalmers. That had the Falcons back within 21 points and a big fightback wasn’t out of the question.
 
It wasn’t to be, though, and South Fremantle kicked the last five goals of the contest through Johnson, Dell'Olio, Parker, Florenca and then Parker again with his fourth in a memorable debut as the Bulldogs cruised to the 47-point victory.
 
The day began at Fremantle Oval with West Perth losing the colts contest with South Fremantle winning 16.11 (107) to 11.6 (72).
 
Dylan Yem kicked three goals to go with 18 possessions and 10 tackles for West Perth with Alec Johnson also booting two majors.
 
Thomas Boyes gathered 20 disposals for the Falcons, Nathan Murray 20, Bailey Chalmers 18 and Thomas Medhat 16.
 
Then in the reserves down at the port, South Fremantle also defeated West Perth 11.7 (73) to 5.11 (41).
 
Patrick Graham kicked two goals for West Perth while Connor West racked up 25 possessions (11 tackles), Broderick Walton 24, Mitch Antonio 19, Conal Lynch 18, Angus Allen 17 (11 tackles), Dylan Campbell 16 and Baylee James 16.
 
Matt Guadagnin was also impressive in his first full game of the season racking up 23 possessions and kicking a goal.
 
West Perth returns to HBF Arena on Saturday needing to beat East Perth to remain in fifth position on the WAFL ladder.
 
WEST PERTH 1.1 4.3 8.8 11.13 (79)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.1 8.3 15.5 20.6 (126)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Chalmers 4; Rodda 3; Keitel, Nelson, Meadows, Antonio.
Best: Nelson, Lynch, Chalmers, Rodda, Black, Meadows, Wilhelm.
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Dell'Olio, Parker 4; Saunders, Johnson 3; Florenca, Shaw 2; Schloithe, Kelly.
Best: Schloithe, Dell'Olio, Kelly, Higgins, Edwards, Hockey, Parker, Maskos, Pullman.

BULLDOGS CONTINUE TO BE FALCONS NEMESIS

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 11:11 AM - by Darrell Kent

SOUTH Fremantle continued Its recent dominance against West Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday. The Bulldogs defeated the Falcons by 47 points, the same amount as the Round 13 encounter.

In each quarter West Perth made a charge at the home team but on all occasions they steadied to extend their lead at each change. The loss has left the Falcons in a precarious position with a loss to East Perth next week seeing them drop out of the top five for the first time since Round 5. 

Injuries to key playmakers Kody Manning and Andrew Strijk compounded what was a difficult day for the West Perth Football Club.

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ROUND 19 PREVIEW V SOUTH FREMANTLE

Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 1:50 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth got back to winning last week and consolidated a place in the WAFL top five and now the Falcons can start building some momentum for the finals with a first win in six attempts against South Fremantle on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The two teams have already met twice this season with the Bulldogs winning on both occasions ahead of Saturday's contest at the port that pits the second placed South Fremantle against the fifth placed West Perth.

There's plenty on the line for both teams with South Fremantle looking to win and further cement itself in second position whereas a loss will leave the door open for the chasing pack to still try and finish second over the last month of the season.

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FALCONS NEW-LOOK IN ATTACK COULD CONTINUE

Friday, July 28, 2017 - 5:07 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth's forward-line looked the best it has all season with Nick Rodda alongside Tyler Keitel in Saturday's win over Perth and that could just be the different look the Falcons are after trying to stop their recent struggles against South Fremantle.

Kicking goals has been a bit of a concern for West Perth so far in 2017. Not so much getting shots, but the Falcons are the most inaccurate team in the competition and that has potentially cost a handful of victories already.

West Perth has kicked 178.176 for the season and when you throw in the 33 rushed behinds that takes the total score to 178.209 leaving he Falcons as the only team in the WAFL this season going at less than 50 per cent in front of goal.

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