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ROUND 12 PREVIEW V CLAREMONT

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 1:35 AM

WEST Perth and Claremont have combined for just four losses this season, but two of them came last weekend adding some extra bite to this Saturday's clash at Arena Joondalup.

The Falcons and Tigers occupy the top-two spots on the ladder but Saturday's game looms as a crucial one for the winner, and indeed the loser.
Claremont could move four wins clear of West Perth on the ladder with a victory to make it incredibly hard for any side in the second half of the season to knock the Tigers off for a fourth straight minor premiership.
However, a West Perth win would move the Falcons to just two wins behind Claremont but more importantly only one defeat with a game in hand.
A Falcons loss, though, would see them vulnerable to the teams below with Perth and East Perth just the one win behind, and possibly East Fremantle as well if the Sharks beat Peel on Saturday.
Claremont won its first nine games of the season and looked set to record a 10th straight last Sunday at home to Subiaco, but the Tigers didn’t manage a final quarter goal with the Lions finishing the stronger to end up winning by 10 points.
West Perth was sitting pretty with a 6-2 record and led most of the game last Monday in the Foundation (WA) Day derby against East Perth at Leederville, but then also didn’t manage a goal in the last quarter as the Royals kicked six to win by 19 points.
Neither the Tiger nor Falcons kicked a last quarter goal in their losses last weekend so leading at three quarter-time come Saturday at Arena Joondalup could be crucial in the final result.
Claremont has won the last four encounters with West Perth including a hard fought 19-point win at Claremont Oval in Round 6 this season in what was a terrific contest.
West Perth has lost captain Jason Salecic following Monday's loss to East Perth and the Falcons are confident that prolific midfielder Shane Nelson will be right to take his place in the side despite injuring his ankle midway through the last quarter after already having racked up 27 possessions.
Matt Fowler, Brayden Antonio, Shaun Marusic and James Batterham are all making a strong push to come into the West Perth league side.
Fowler kicked five goals in the reserves last week against East Perth for the second straight game and could come in to add another forward option for the Falcons.
Antonio has been building some form nicely as well and had another 23 possessions in the reserves and he could be an option to come in, and he can play across half-forward and have the odd run in the midfield.
Batterham and Marusic have both been in solid form as well and could come in to add some further versatility to the West Perth line-up.
Claremont is still without Luke Blackwell, Trinity Handley, Jeremy McGovern, Byron Schammer and Ryan Neates, and also loses Fremantle's Alex Silvagni and West Coast's Patrick McGinnity from the side that lost to Subiaco last Sunday.
Nick Winmar returns after being a late withdrawal last week against the Lions while Ben Daniher might have earned his league debut after continued strong reserves form with another 18 possessions and a goal last week.
Jack Bradshaw could return to add another small forward option after a bad run with niggling injuries while Liam Smith could also return. Brendan Lim is a chance to make his league debut as well after 18 disposals in the reserves last week against the Lions.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth and Claremont have combined for just four losses this season, but two of them came last weekend adding some extra bite to this Saturday's clash at Arena Joondalup.

The Falcons and Tigers occupy the top-two spots on the ladder but Saturday's game looms as a crucial one for the winner, and indeed the loser.

Claremont could move four wins clear of West Perth on the ladder with a victory to make it incredibly hard for any side in the second half of the season to knock the Tigers off for a fourth straight minor premiership.

However, a West Perth win would move the Falcons to just two wins behind Claremont but more importantly only one defeat with a game in hand.

A Falcons loss, though, would see them vulnerable to the teams below with Perth and East Perth just the one win behind, and possibly East Fremantle as well if the Sharks beat Peel on Saturday.

Claremont won its first nine games of the season and looked set to record a 10th straight last Sunday at home to Subiaco, but the Tigers didn’t manage a final quarter goal with the Lions finishing the stronger to end up winning by 10 points.

West Perth was sitting pretty with a 6-2 record and led most of the game last Monday in the Foundation (WA) Day derby against East Perth at Leederville, but then also didn’t manage a goal in the last quarter as the Royals kicked six to win by 19 points.

Neither the Tiger nor Falcons kicked a last quarter goal in their losses last weekend so leading at three quarter-time come Saturday at Arena Joondalup could be crucial in the final result.

Claremont has won the last four encounters with West Perth including a hard fought 19-point win at Claremont Oval in Round 6 this season in what was a terrific contest.

West Perth has lost captain Jason Salecic following Monday's loss to East Perth and the Falcons are confident that prolific midfielder Shane Nelson will be right to take his place in the side despite injuring his ankle midway through the last quarter after already having racked up 27 possessions.

Matt Fowler, Brayden Antonio, Shaun Marusic and James Batterham are all making a strong push to come into the West Perth league side.

Fowler kicked five goals in the reserves last week against East Perth for the second straight game and could come in to add another forward option for the Falcons.

Antonio has been building some form nicely as well and had another 23 possessions in the reserves and he could be an option to come in, and he can play across half-forward and have the odd run in the midfield.

Batterham and Marusic have both been in solid form as well and could come in to add some further versatility to the West Perth line-up.

Claremont is still without Luke Blackwell, Trinity Handley, Jeremy McGovern, Byron Schammer and Ryan Neates, and also loses Fremantle's Alex Silvagni and West Coast's Patrick McGinnity from the side that lost to Subiaco last Sunday.

Nick Winmar returns after being a late withdrawal last week against the Lions while Ben Daniher might have earned his league debut after continued strong reserves form with another 18 possessions and a goal last week.

Jack Bradshaw could return to add another small forward option after a bad run with niggling injuries while Liam Smith could also return. Brendan Lim is a chance to make his league debut as well after 18 disposals in the reserves last week against the Lions.

BY CHRIS PIKE

FIRING FALCON TSALIKIS GLAD HE PLAYED ON

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 11:30 PM

VETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis could very well be in career-best forward despite not originally planning to play at all in 2013, and he's confident the Falcons can bounce back from the derby loss to East Perth this Saturday against ladder leaders Claremont.

The 30-year-old already has five club leading goal kicking awards to his credit from throughout his 161-game league career that began in 2004, but his form so far in 2013 could quite possibly be up there with his best and most consistent of the last decade.
Tsalikis is playing a slightly different role than the one that saw him kick 49 goals in 2005 and 58 in 2006 largely playing out of the goal square, but still in 2013 he has kicked 20 goals in the nine games while working hard leading up the ground averaging almost 16 possessions and seven marks a game.
And it has all come after Tsalikis felt he might not even play on in 2013 due to his work commitments that often means he has to travel away from Perth.
That led him to take off the 2008 season as well, but he didn’t want to finish off with the disappointing way 2012 ended for the Falcons and now he's glad he made the move to return even though it still is likely his last year.
"I wasn’t even going to play this year but I spoke to Bill at the start of the pre-season and my work commitments were going to mostly be in Perth, so I decided to play another year," Tsalikis said.
"I wanted to finish off on a better note than we did in 2012 so I decided to play another year and I haven’t decided what I will do next year, but at the start of the season it was definitely going to be my last season.
"But now that I'm playing the best footy that I have in two or three years I'm not sure, but I won't make that decision until the end of the season. More than likely I will retire, but a lot of that will depend on what my work commitments are and how my body is."
Looking back to the Foundation (WA) Day Derby loss to East Perth where the Royals kicked the only six goals of the last quarter to come from behind to win by 19 points, Tsalikis and everyone at West Perth is disappointed by the final result but knows it's still been a good start to the season overall.
"It was a very disappointing last quarter, but anyone that was there would have seen that it was a pretty tough encounter as all derbies are. We had three injuries during the game and things didn’t fall our way obviously in the last quarter, and they were too good for us at the end," he said.
"Over the whole game we did get smashed at the stoppages and at centre bounces, and in the end that cost us along with a few misses in front of goals.
"They were better on the day in the end and overran us, so that was a disappointing result because it would have helped us maintain second spot and having a bit of a gap between the other teams."
West Perth is now gearing up to take on Claremont in the battle of the top-two teams this Saturday at Arena Joondalup and Tsalikis is confident of the Falcons knocking off the Tigers for the first time in five attempts.
"Claremont is pretty hard to stop and they have a good team, and good spread throughout their whole team," he said.
"But if anything we just need to come switched on with our game plan on Saturday, and make sure we are first to the footy and stronger and tougher at the contest. If we do that, then we will come away on the positive side."
Even though Claremont and West Perth both occupy the top two spots on the WAFL ladder, both are coming off losses with the Tigers losing to Subiaco last Sunday and the Falcons going down to the Royals on Monday. Tsalikis expects that to add some even more spice to the contest on Saturday.
"We definitely back ourselves against any team and obviously they are going to be pretty angry as well, and wanting to get back to winning after a loss to Subi that no one expected. We want to bounce back from losing to East Perth as well," Tsalikis said.
"We back our plan in and our game plan against any side, and Claremont is no different. We lost to them about a month ago so we want to get them back for that and I think both teams have a few injuries, so it might be a good time to get Claremont. It's going to be a tough game obviously, but we back ourselves especially at Arena Joondalup."
BY CHRIS PIKEVETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis could very well be in career-best forward despite not originally planning to play at all in 2013, and he's confident the Falcons can bounce back from the derby loss to East Perth this Saturday against ladder leaders Claremont.

The 30-year-old already has five club leading goal kicking awards to his credit from throughout his 161-game league career that began in 2004, but his form so far in 2013 could quite possibly be up there with his best and most consistent of the last decade.

Tsalikis is playing a slightly different role than the one that saw him kick 49 goals in 2005 and 58 in 2006 largely playing out of the goal square, but still in 2013 he has kicked 20 goals in the nine games while working hard leading up the ground averaging almost 16 possessions and seven marks a game.

And it has all come after Tsalikis felt he might not even play on in 2013 due to his work commitments that often means he has to travel away from Perth.

That led him to take off the 2008 season as well, but he didn’t want to finish off with the disappointing way 2012 ended for the Falcons and now he's glad he made the move to return even though it still is likely his last year.

"I wasn’t even going to play this year but I spoke to Bill at the start of the pre-season and my work commitments were going to mostly be in Perth, so I decided to play another year," Tsalikis said.

"I wanted to finish off on a better note than we did in 2012 so I decided to play another year and I haven’t decided what I will do next year, but at the start of the season it was definitely going to be my last season.

"But now that I'm playing the best footy that I have in two or three years I'm not sure, but I won't make that decision until the end of the season. More than likely I will retire, but a lot of that will depend on what my work commitments are and how my body is."

Looking back to the Foundation (WA) Day Derby loss to East Perth where the Royals kicked the only six goals of the last quarter to come from behind to win by 19 points, Tsalikis and everyone at West Perth is disappointed by the final result but knows it's still been a good start to the season overall.

"It was a very disappointing last quarter, but anyone that was there would have seen that it was a pretty tough encounter as all derbies are. We had three injuries during the game and things didn’t fall our way obviously in the last quarter, and they were too good for us at the end," he said.

"Over the whole game we did get smashed at the stoppages and at centre bounces, and in the end that cost us along with a few misses in front of goals.

"They were better on the day in the end and overran us, so that was a disappointing result because it would have helped us maintain second spot and having a bit of a gap between the other teams."

West Perth is now gearing up to take on Claremont in the battle of the top-two teams this Saturday at Arena Joondalup and Tsalikis is confident of the Falcons knocking off the Tigers for the first time in five attempts.

"Claremont is pretty hard to stop and they have a good team, and good spread throughout their whole team," he said.

"But if anything we just need to come switched on with our game plan on Saturday, and make sure we are first to the footy and stronger and tougher at the contest. If we do that, then we will come away on the positive side."

Even though Claremont and West Perth both occupy the top two spots on the WAFL ladder, both are coming off losses with the Tigers losing to Subiaco last Sunday and the Falcons going down to the Royals on Monday. Tsalikis expects that to add some even more spice to the contest on Saturday.

"We definitely back ourselves against any team and obviously they are going to be pretty angry as well, and wanting to get back to winning after a loss to Subi that no one expected. We want to bounce back from losing to East Perth as well," Tsalikis said.

"We back our plan in and our game plan against any side, and Claremont is no different. We lost to them about a month ago so we want to get them back for that and I think both teams have a few injuries, so it might be a good time to get Claremont. It's going to be a tough game obviously, but we back ourselves especially at Arena Joondalup."

BY CHRIS PIKE

INJURIES TAKE THEIR TOLL

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 2:29 AM

West Perth led until the fifteen minute mark of the last quarter but were unable to stop East Perth who ran out nineteen point winners in the end.

The Falcons cause was not helped by the fact that they suffered three injuries within the first ten minutes of the game. This impacted on the number of rotations available to West Perth, especially in the last quarter. The loss didn’t take away from the great achievement of Matt Guadagnin to achieve Life Membership by playing his 150th game. He has been a great servant of the Club. Young gun Aaron Black played his 50th game and we look forward to him playing many more.

West Perth hit the scoreboard early thanks to a major to the skipper, Jason Salecic, who took advantage of a free kick to run into an open goal. Three behinds followed as the Falcons dominated play before Scott Lycett goaled for the Royals from the square. Josh Mellington scored on the run from fifty before the Royals went forward to score and reduce the margin to just three again. A number of West Perth players then combined to get the ball into the hands of Anthony Tsalikis who snapped a beauty from thirty.

This was half way through the term but another goal wasn’t kicked until the twenty seven minute mark. Seven behinds were kicked in this time, most to East Perth. Matt Johnson took the lead out to ten when he took advantage of a free down the ground after “Slick” was tackled after his kick but the four point quarter time lead was achieved after Michael Swan kicked the first of his three for the game. At the first change the Falcons led 4.4 (28) to 3.6 (24).

At different times of the game West Perth looked like taking control but on each occasion were reeled back in by East Perth. This occurred at the start of the second quarter when cohesive football by the Falcons saw goals to Anthony Tsalikis, Jason Salecic and debutant Steven Potente take the lead out to twenty three. East Perth managed replies to stay in the game as the Falcons looked likely to break the game open. Michael Swan and Dean Cadwallader stepped up to keep East Perth in touch. Other Falcons players to score goals were Matt Johnson, Aaron Black and Nick Rodda who continued his strong marking form. The West Perth lead at the main break was fifteen; 10.6 (66) to 7.9 (51).

West Perth once again got the jump early when an unselfish Josh Mellington pass set up Anthony Tsalikis for his third. A precise handball enabled “Slick” to kick his fourth and the lead was out to twenty seven after five minutes. The next two went to the Royals courtesy of a second to Dean Cadwallader and Josh Smith. Anton Saylor extended the lead to twenty three at the nineteen minute mark before East Perth once again steadied to reduce the margin to twelve before a second to Nick Rodda gave West Perth an eighteen point advantage going into the last quarter. They had increased the margin for each of the three quarters and led 14.10 (94) to 11.10 (76).

The last quarter was all East Perth as they took advantage of the lack of rotations available to the Falcons. They scored six goals to none to run out nineteen point winners. There was no doubting the endeavour of West Perth but with the circumstances that prevailed they were unable to run out the game. Final scores were East Perth 17.12 (114) to West Perth 14.11 (95).

Best players for West Perth were Shane Nelson, Josh Mellington, Andrew Strijk, Michael Pettigrew and best was the evergreen Anthony Tsalikis. Congratulations to the Reserves who came from behind to beat the top placed East Perth. This is two weeks in a row that they have beaten the top placed Reserves team. Congratulations to the award winners who were Jack Thrum, Kris Shannon, Shaun Marusic and best was Luke Meadows who played up from the Colts. A number of these players will be called on when West Perth does battle with league leaders Claremont at the Arena on Saturday. With only a five day turn around and the injuries from this week it promises to be an interesting game of football.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FOUNDATION DAY DERBY V EAST PERTH PREVIEW

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 3:28 AM

THE Perth derby has Monday all to itself at Leederville's Medibank Stadium and there's no question there will be plenty of fireworks between East Perth and West Perth.

West Perth is currently sitting pretty in second position on the ladder coming into the game with a 6-2 record following last Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup coming off a three-week break since downing East Fremantle way back on Saturday May 4.
East Perth appeared to be building some form before going down to Mandurah last Saturday and losing to Peel, but the Royals could climb up into the top-four with a win on Monday if East Fremantle loses to South Fremantle on the Sunday.
East Perth sure wouldn’t have forgotten the 75-point thumping West Perth handed the Royals at Arena Joondalup in Round 1 as well.
Perth derbies have taken place every Foundation Day since 1997 and have become among the fiercest contested battled in each and every WAFL season.
They have thrown up some intriguing results with some amazing battles as well.
Over those 16 meetings, West Perth has won eight and East Perth seven with the incredible draw of last year that took place at Arena Joondalup.
Winning at the opposition's venue certainly hasn’t been a problem for either side since 2003 as well. West Perth's home since 1994 has been Arena Joondalup, but prior to that it was East Perth's current Leederville home of Medibank Stadium.
East Perth has also held no fear of travelling to Joondalup with the visiting team winning seven of the last 10 Perth derbies on Foundation Day.
Those 16 battles since 1997 has seen 68,235 come through the turnstiles at either Arena Joondalup, Medibank Stadium or Perth Oval at an average of 4265 per contest. Expect another big crowd this Monday at Medibank Stadium with no other WAFL game played on the day.
East Perth has some experienced and key players right to come back after getting some form and fitness after injury and form layoffs.
Important defender Kyle Anderson is on track to play his first game of the season after two games back in the reserves while former captain Michael Swan returned with seven goals in the reserves last week following a shoulder injury so that should he him back to face the Falcons.
West Coast defender Blayne Wilson should also be back as will Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls who had 29 possessions a fortnight ago against Swan Districts in his one and only league game so far in 2013.
Mat Seal has gone back to the reserves and played two good games so that could earn the 129-game mid-sized forward a recall. Shaquille McKenzie and Cameron Grover have also made a case to come back into the side.
West Perth loses Rohan Kerr to a cork in his quad suffered in the first half of last week's win against Perth with Brayden Antonio, James Batterham, Shaun Marusic, Steve Potente and Laine Rasmussen all looking to try and break into the strong Falcons line-up.
BY CHRIS PIKETHE Perth derby has Monday all to itself at Leederville's Medibank Stadium and there's no question there will be plenty of fireworks between East Perth and West Perth.

West Perth is currently sitting pretty in second position on the ladder coming into the game with a 6-2 record following last Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup coming off a three-week break since downing East Fremantle way back on Saturday May 4.

East Perth appeared to be building some form before going down to Mandurah last Saturday and losing to Peel, but the Royals could climb up into the top-four with a win on Monday if East Fremantle loses to South Fremantle on the Sunday.

East Perth sure wouldn’t have forgotten the 75-point thumping West Perth handed the Royals at Arena Joondalup in Round 1 as well.

Perth derbies have taken place every Foundation Day since 1997 and have become among the fiercest contested battled in each and every WAFL season.

They have thrown up some intriguing results with some amazing battles as well.

Over those 16 meetings, West Perth has won eight and East Perth seven with the incredible draw of last year that took place at Arena Joondalup.

Winning at the opposition's venue certainly hasn’t been a problem for either side since 2003 as well. West Perth's home since 1994 has been Arena Joondalup, but prior to that it was East Perth's current Leederville home of Medibank Stadium.

East Perth has also held no fear of travelling to Joondalup with the visiting team winning seven of the last 10 Perth derbies on Foundation Day.

Those 16 battles since 1997 has seen 68,235 come through the turnstiles at either Arena Joondalup, Medibank Stadium or Perth Oval at an average of 4265 per contest. Expect another big crowd this Monday at Medibank Stadium with no other WAFL game played on the day.

East Perth has some experienced and key players right to come back after getting some form and fitness after injury and form layoffs.

Important defender Kyle Anderson is on track to play his first game of the season after two games back in the reserves while former captain Michael Swan returned with seven goals in the reserves last week following a shoulder injury so that should he him back to face the Falcons.

West Coast defender Blayne Wilson should also be back as will Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls who had 29 possessions a fortnight ago against Swan Districts in his one and only league game so far in 2013.

Mat Seal has gone back to the reserves and played two good games so that could earn the 129-game mid-sized forward a recall. Shaquille McKenzie and Cameron Grover have also made a case to come back into the side.

West Perth loses Rohan Kerr to a cork in his quad suffered in the first half of last week's win against Perth with Brayden Antonio, James Batterham, Shaun Marusic, Steve Potente and Laine Rasmussen all looking to try and break into the strong Falcons line-up.

BY CHRIS PIKE

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 10

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 2:35 PM

FROM the outside of either East or West Perth it's a difficult concept to get your head around just how much a derby means to both clubs and their supporters.

You see them play in derbies over a number of years and sometimes you think why people are so passionate about but now the great thing about being the coach of the West Perth Football Club is you get to go and meet some of the past greats of the club. They talk about when Polly Farmer changed from one club to the other, they talk about when Don and Ray Marinko were going between East Perth and West Perth, and there's George Michalczyk and a lot of great players who have gone between the two clubs.
There is obviously a history of bad blood between the two clubs as well so that has been the really interesting part for me. I've learned a lot about the West Perth history by having derby stories told to me. There is so much passion there and the enjoyment West Perth people get from beating East Perth, it's just amazing.
As a coach coming from a background that wasn’t with East Perth or West Perth and to some extent the players who even now play the game, they are just wins. A win is a win no matter the opposition and afterwards we sit back, and reflect upon it. We might have a little bit more enjoyment because it is East Perth but our focus is always on preparing ourselves well and then making sure we perform well. If we can do that in a derby, then it holds a little bit more weight within the West Perth community and I'm sure East Perth is exactly the same.
The bizarre thing now is that there are a large number of West Perth supporters, especially those who are called 'Garlic Munchers' and are from that North Perth and Mt Lawley area that it's nearly an act of treason that East Perth plays out of Leederville Oval. For those who have been around the football club for a long period of time and have been through the Cardies and now the Falcons, beating East Perth means a lot to them.
It has been spelled out quite clearly to me by a number of people that there are only three things you need to do each year and that's win the three derbies, but when the temperature goes down a little bit it's not as simple as just beating East Perth. I tell them I will take three derby losses if we still play finals and are successful.
It still astounds me at times how passionate people are about the rivalry, but it's also something that I want the club to embrace and for it to continue. It gives us that little bit extra edge as two clubs when we play in a derby and that's great for the competition because we still have the ability to draw a 7 or 8000 person crowd. It's still a great day for both clubs to showcase their clubs and there is always good and bad publicity about it.
I think sometimes supporters and the press are looking for something to write or talk about in a derby. There is a lot of cats and dogs who don’t get kicked out at night when West Perth supporters go home after watching us win a derby.
As a player when I was at Subiaco in particular we never had one traditional rival over a long period of time. We were very successful at Subi when I first started and then I played in a period when we were often in finals, and made a couple of grand finals but didn’t win, and any rivalry we had was largely dependent on ladder positions at the time.
If you were near the top and played two or three times against another top side, then that became a real focus for that year and there was a period of time around 1995 when we had a strong rivalry with West Perth. We won 19 games that year at Subi and then West Perth knocked us off in the grand final. That then sprouted a rivalry and West Perth won 16 of the next 17 games against us after that and then it flipped the other way when Subi won nine in-a-row in the late 2000s.
It was probably West Perth who was our biggest rival at Subi so that was the closest I got to a derby-type rivalry, but it still wasn’t close to being on the same level. Before that when I first started there was a fair bit against East Fremantle because they were a good side and then through the late 1980s and early 90s Claremont was really successful.
The derby is unique, though, and I'm sure if you go back 25 or 30 years he passion at either a Fremantle or Perth derby was immense, and it's good to see that it has continued to a large degree.
From a players and coach point of view I don’t see anything noticeably different leading into a derby, but you do get a sense from people around the club like Vic Carbone, our team manager, and Bart DeVito, a long-time trainer, who walk around with more spring in their step. The board and supporters always send through messages and you even walk down the street and bump into friends and family who talk about the derby coming up.
You notice it a bit on the outside, but as a coach and player you are so focused on getting things right and on the processes and structures, and all those words that coaches trot out, that you get so absorbed in your work that it doesn’t have a big bearing on your week. The answer is that no it doesn’t affect us in preparation. We understand it happening around us, but it doesn’t take our focus off preparing right for the game.
BY BILL MONAGHANFROM the outside of either East or West Perth it's a difficult concept to get your head around just how much a derby means to both clubs and their supporters.

You see them play in derbies over a number of years and sometimes you think why people are so passionate about but now the great thing about being the coach of the West Perth Football Club is you get to go and meet some of the past greats of the club. They talk about when Polly Farmer changed from one club to the other, they talk about when Don and Ray Marinko were going between East Perth and West Perth, and there's George Michalczyk and a lot of great players who have gone between the two clubs.

There is obviously a history of bad blood between the two clubs as well so that has been the really interesting part for me. I've learned a lot about the West Perth history by having derby stories told to me. There is so much passion there and the enjoyment West Perth people get from beating East Perth, it's just amazing.

As a coach coming from a background that wasn’t with East Perth or West Perth and to some extent the players who even now play the game, they are just wins. A win is a win no matter the opposition and afterwards we sit back, and reflect upon it. We might have a little bit more enjoyment because it is East Perth but our focus is always on preparing ourselves well and then making sure we perform well. If we can do that in a derby, then it holds a little bit more weight within the West Perth community and I'm sure East Perth is exactly the same.

The bizarre thing now is that there are a large number of West Perth supporters, especially those who are called 'Garlic Munchers' and are from that North Perth and Mt Lawley area that it's nearly an act of treason that East Perth plays out of Leederville Oval. For those who have been around the football club for a long period of time and have been through the Cardies and now the Falcons, beating East Perth means a lot to them.

It has been spelled out quite clearly to me by a number of people that there are only three things you need to do each year and that's win the three derbies, but when the temperature goes down a little bit it's not as simple as just beating East Perth. I tell them I will take three derby losses if we still play finals and are successful.

It still astounds me at times how passionate people are about the rivalry, but it's also something that I want the club to embrace and for it to continue. It gives us that little bit extra edge as two clubs when we play in a derby and that's great for the competition because we still have the ability to draw a 7 or 8000 person crowd. It's still a great day for both clubs to showcase their clubs and there is always good and bad publicity about it.

I think sometimes supporters and the press are looking for something to write or talk about in a derby. There is a lot of cats and dogs who don’t get kicked out at night when West Perth supporters go home after watching us win a derby.

As a player when I was at Subiaco in particular we never had one traditional rival over a long period of time. We were very successful at Subi when I first started and then I played in a period when we were often in finals, and made a couple of grand finals but didn’t win, and any rivalry we had was largely dependent on ladder positions at the time.

If you were near the top and played two or three times against another top side, then that became a real focus for that year and there was a period of time around 1995 when we had a strong rivalry with West Perth. We won 19 games that year at Subi and then West Perth knocked us off in the grand final. That then sprouted a rivalry and West Perth won 16 of the next 17 games against us after that and then it flipped the other way when Subi won nine in-a-row in the late 2000s.

It was probably West Perth who was our biggest rival at Subi so that was the closest I got to a derby-type rivalry, but it still wasn’t close to being on the same level. Before that when I first started there was a fair bit against East Fremantle because they were a good side and then through the late 1980s and early 90s Claremont was really successful.

The derby is unique, though, and I'm sure if you go back 25 or 30 years he passion at either a Fremantle or Perth derby was immense, and it's good to see that it has continued to a large degree.

From a players and coach point of view I don’t see anything noticeably different leading into a derby, but you do get a sense from people around the club like Vic Carbone, our team manager, and Bart DeVito, a long-time trainer, who walk around with more spring in their step. The board and supporters always send through messages and you even walk down the street and bump into friends and family who talk about the derby coming up.

You notice it a bit on the outside, but as a coach and player you are so focused on getting things right and on the processes and structures, and all those words that coaches trot out, that you get so absorbed in your work that it doesn’t have a big bearing on your week. The answer is that no it doesn’t affect us in preparation. We understand it happening around us, but it doesn’t take our focus off preparing right for the game.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

TSALIKIS NAMED AAMI WAFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 2:34 PM

VETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis continued his terrific form in Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup and as a result has been named the AAMI WAFL Player of the Week for his efforts.

Tsalikis put in a terrific performance to help the Falcons to the 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory over Perth and has been named the AAMI WAFL Player of the Week to earn $250 for the Ocean Ridge Junior Football Club and $250 for himself, and he goes in contention for the overall $5000 AAMI WAFL Player of the Year Award.
The 30-year-old is enjoying a tremendous season with the second-placed Falcons so far having kicked 16 goals in the eight games to be equal on the club's tally with Josh Mellington.
He certainly is no stranger to that as a five-time West Perth leading goalkicker having kicked 49 goals in 2005, 58 in 2006, 42 in 2010, 39 in 2011 and 22 in 2012.
Tsalikis has now kicked 290 goals in his 158 games with West Perth, and his form this season has been as good as ever including his 16 possessions, 10 marks, four inside-50 entries and three goals in last Saturday's win over the Demons at Arena Joondalup.
West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is delighted with the way Tsalikis is travelling this season as well where he is still kicking goals, but also enjoying the freedom of getting further up the ground to use his pace and strong marking ability to full effect.
"He had a really good pre-season and was really keen to finish his career off on a high note whether that be this year or next year," Monaghan said.
"He looks after himself, he's working really hard and is getting good reward for that. He is enjoying the freedom of being up the ground as well where he can use his pace.
"I have been involved in WAFL footy for a long period of time and I don’t think I've seen anyone with better hands than him in terms of when he marks the ball. He isn’t a pack mark, but on the lead at pace his ability to catch the ball is as good as anyone's in the competition."
By Chris PikeVETERAN West Perth forward Anthony Tsalikis continued his terrific form in Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup and as a result has been named the AAMI WAFL Player of the Week for his efforts.

Tsalikis put in a terrific performance to help the Falcons to the 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory over Perth and has been named the AAMI WAFL Player of the Week to earn $250 for the Ocean Ridge Junior Football Club and $250 for himself, and he goes in contention for the overall $5000 AAMI WAFL Player of the Year Award.

The 30-year-old is enjoying a tremendous season with the second-placed Falcons so far having kicked 16 goals in the eight games to be equal on the club's tally with Josh Mellington.

He certainly is no stranger to that as a five-time West Perth leading goalkicker having kicked 49 goals in 2005, 58 in 2006, 42 in 2010, 39 in 2011 and 22 in 2012.

Tsalikis has now kicked 290 goals in his 158 games with West Perth, and his form this season has been as good as ever including his 16 possessions, 10 marks, four inside-50 entries and three goals in last Saturday's win over the Demons at Arena Joondalup.

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is delighted with the way Tsalikis is travelling this season as well where he is still kicking goals, but also enjoying the freedom of getting further up the ground to use his pace and strong marking ability to full effect.

"He had a really good pre-season and was really keen to finish his career off on a high note whether that be this year or next year," Monaghan said.

"He looks after himself, he's working really hard and is getting good reward for that. He is enjoying the freedom of being up the ground as well where he can use his pace.

"I have been involved in WAFL footy for a long period of time and I don’t think I've seen anyone with better hands than him in terms of when he marks the ball. He isn’t a pack mark, but on the lead at pace his ability to catch the ball is as good as anyone's in the competition."

By Chris Pike

WARRIOR GUADAGNIN EARNS FALCONS' LIFE MEMBERSHIP

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 8:54 AM

MATT Guadagnin has been the ultimate warrior for West Perth over the past decade and now the tough and courageous midfielder becomes a life member of the club when he plays his 150th game for the Falcons in Monday's derby against East Perth at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.

It hasn’t always been an easy road for the farmer from Southern Cross who endured a knee reconstruction during the premiership year of 2003 and a badly broken leg in 2011 that he has only now just gotten on top of, but when on the field there has been no more respected West Perth player.
Guadagnin made his league debut with the Falcons in 2002, missed all of 2003 and ever since has been a mainstay of the Falcons' midfield brigade as one of the best in and under ball winners in the competition but also a skilful user of the ball when he's out in some space.
Now his terrific career reaches a significant milestone in Monday's Foundation (WA) Day derby against East Perth.
The 29-year-old also played his 100th game on the same day in a loss in 2010 so he hopes for a different result this time around, but even more so he's tremendously proud to now become a life member of the West Perth Football Club.
"I got to play my 100th against them as well and we went down that day so to get to play my 150th against them is a massive day, and hopefully we can get over them," Guadagnin said.
"It's something that I will definitely treasure and from a personal standpoint it will be the highlight of my career at this stage."
While finals success is the one thing left for Guadagnin to accomplish given he missed the 2003 premiership win meaning he is yet to play in a winning final in his career, his passion for West Perth is obvious with the way he plays and that's why life membership means so much to him.
"You just imagine the names who are amongst the life member group at the club and to now be a part of that is a massive honour. It's taken me a fair while to get there, but that makes it even more worthwhile. I can't wait to get out there," he said.
"It's always something in the back of your mind, but I never really thought about finishing up just yet.
"I just love it at the club and seeing young guys coming through makes it worthwhile to keep playing because they keep you enthused, and you get a different mix of players. I'm loving football and can't wait for next week now."
Right throughout his career Guadagnin has seen neither West Perth nor East Perth be able to gain an ascendancy over the other for any period of time so that's why he is fully aware that the Royals will again provide stiff opposition on Monday despite the Falcons having beaten them by 75 points in Round 1 at Arena Joondalup.
"We did get over them in Round 1 and it was a bit of a surprise how much we beat them by, but my gut feel is that the longer the year goes the better they will get and the better they will gel," he said.
"No matter what, though, when it's a derby it's on for young and old and like most games the start is going to be very important. Whoever settles first will get a big advantage so we will be ready, but I'm sure they will be as well."
Guadagnin's form is building nicely this season as well. He struggled throughout most of 2012 with complications continuing from his broken leg of 2011 and as a result had a limited pre-season.
That helped his body freshen up and allowed the stress fractures in his leg to go away, and now his form is showing the benefits including his 22-possession effort in last Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.
"I definitely had a slow start to the year and that was to be expected because I didn’t really do a big pre-season so I could get my body right," Guadagnin said.
"After breaking my leg a few years ago I've had a few niggling problems so I really didn’t start running until February so I thought I would have a slow start. It was a little frustrating, but now I'm building momentum and hopefully I can have an even bigger impact come the business end."
Following that win over Perth following a three-week break since beating East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval, the Falcons moved a game clear in second place on the ladder with a 6-2 record, and Guadagnin is delighted with the first half of the campaign so far.
"We couldn’t really be happier with the season so far. In the Claremont game we did a lot of things right and didn’t quite have the polish, and against Swans we controlled the game but again our foot skills let us down and then in the last 10 or 15 minutes we let them run over the top," he said.
"That was very disappointing but overall if you could have told me we'd be 6-2 at this stage of the year you would take it every time. We are fit. Last year we had a bit of interruption with our fitness guys and had two or three different ones, which didn’t help but this year we are fit and strong, and had a really good pre-season.
"We are thinking about the way we defend a lot more as well and we are doing well turning the ball over, which can make you look a bit quicker on the counterattack when you have more space to use the ball in. it's a good feeling amongst the boys at the moment that's for sure."
With exciting youngsters like Aaron Black, Shane Nelson, Nick Rodda and Matt Johnson continuing to emerge and experienced campaigners like himself, Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew, Anthony Tsalikis, Dan Hunt, Michael Pettigrew, Chris Keunen and Andrew Strijk still leading the way, Guadagnin is happy with the mix at the club at the moment and is excited about the future as well as 2013.
"We do have a healthy list, which we probably haven’t had the last couple of years. The depth we have is good too and we have six or seven young blokes coming through who probably deserve to play, so that holds us in good stead for the future," Guadagnin said.
"The depth is there and that's why everyone keeps playing well so they hold onto their spot. Those middle tier of players have really stepped up and Blacky has been outstanding, and Nelly has been really good and they have taken on leadership roles as well. You can't ask for much more than that from guys who are only 20 or 21. Over the next couple of years they are going to be dynamite."
BY CHRIS PIKEMATT Guadagnin has been the ultimate warrior for West Perth over the past decade and now the tough and courageous midfielder becomes a life member of the club when he plays his 150th game for the Falcons in Monday's derby against East Perth at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.

It hasn’t always been an easy road for the farmer from Southern Cross who endured a knee reconstruction during the premiership year of 2003 and a badly broken leg in 2011 that he has only now just gotten on top of, but when on the field there has been no more respected West Perth player.

Guadagnin made his league debut with the Falcons in 2002, missed all of 2003 and ever since has been a mainstay of the Falcons' midfield brigade as one of the best in and under ball winners in the competition but also a skilful user of the ball when he's out in some space.

Now his terrific career reaches a significant milestone in Monday's Foundation (WA) Day derby against East Perth.

The 29-year-old also played his 100th game on the same day in a loss in 2010 so he hopes for a different result this time around, but even more so he's tremendously proud to now become a life member of the West Perth Football Club.

"I got to play my 100th against them as well and we went down that day so to get to play my 150th against them is a massive day, and hopefully we can get over them," Guadagnin said.

"It's something that I will definitely treasure and from a personal standpoint it will be the highlight of my career at this stage."

While finals success is the one thing left for Guadagnin to accomplish given he missed the 2003 premiership win meaning he is yet to play in a winning final in his career, his passion for West Perth is obvious with the way he plays and that's why life membership means so much to him.

"You just imagine the names who are amongst the life member group at the club and to now be a part of that is a massive honour. It's taken me a fair while to get there, but that makes it even more worthwhile. I can't wait to get out there," he said.

"It's always something in the back of your mind, but I never really thought about finishing up just yet.

"I just love it at the club and seeing young guys coming through makes it worthwhile to keep playing because they keep you enthused, and you get a different mix of players. I'm loving football and can't wait for next week now."

Right throughout his career Guadagnin has seen neither West Perth nor East Perth be able to gain an ascendancy over the other for any period of time so that's why he is fully aware that the Royals will again provide stiff opposition on Monday despite the Falcons having beaten them by 75 points in Round 1 at Arena Joondalup.

"We did get over them in Round 1 and it was a bit of a surprise how much we beat them by, but my gut feel is that the longer the year goes the better they will get and the better they will gel," he said.

"No matter what, though, when it's a derby it's on for young and old and like most games the start is going to be very important. Whoever settles first will get a big advantage so we will be ready, but I'm sure they will be as well."

Guadagnin's form is building nicely this season as well. He struggled throughout most of 2012 with complications continuing from his broken leg of 2011 and as a result had a limited pre-season.

That helped his body freshen up and allowed the stress fractures in his leg to go away, and now his form is showing the benefits including his 22-possession effort in last Saturday's 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

"I definitely had a slow start to the year and that was to be expected because I didn’t really do a big pre-season so I could get my body right," Guadagnin said.

"After breaking my leg a few years ago I've had a few niggling problems so I really didn’t start running until February so I thought I would have a slow start. It was a little frustrating, but now I'm building momentum and hopefully I can have an even bigger impact come the business end."

Following that win over Perth following a three-week break since beating East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval, the Falcons moved a game clear in second place on the ladder with a 6-2 record, and Guadagnin is delighted with the first half of the campaign so far.

"We couldn’t really be happier with the season so far. In the Claremont game we did a lot of things right and didn’t quite have the polish, and against Swans we controlled the game but again our foot skills let us down and then in the last 10 or 15 minutes we let them run over the top," he said.

"That was very disappointing but overall if you could have told me we'd be 6-2 at this stage of the year you would take it every time. We are fit. Last year we had a bit of interruption with our fitness guys and had two or three different ones, which didn’t help but this year we are fit and strong, and had a really good pre-season.

"We are thinking about the way we defend a lot more as well and we are doing well turning the ball over, which can make you look a bit quicker on the counterattack when you have more space to use the ball in. it's a good feeling amongst the boys at the moment that's for sure."

With exciting youngsters like Aaron Black, Shane Nelson, Nick Rodda and Matt Johnson continuing to emerge and experienced campaigners like himself, Jason Salecic, Ray Bartholomew, Anthony Tsalikis, Dan Hunt, Michael Pettigrew, Chris Keunen and Andrew Strijk still leading the way, Guadagnin is happy with the mix at the club at the moment and is excited about the future as well as 2013.

"We do have a healthy list, which we probably haven’t had the last couple of years. The depth we have is good too and we have six or seven young blokes coming through who probably deserve to play, so that holds us in good stead for the future," Guadagnin said.

"The depth is there and that's why everyone keeps playing well so they hold onto their spot. Those middle tier of players have really stepped up and Blacky has been outstanding, and Nelly has been really good and they have taken on leadership roles as well. You can't ask for much more than that from guys who are only 20 or 21. Over the next couple of years they are going to be dynamite."

BY CHRIS PIKE

2013 MAJOR CLUB RAFFLE RESULTS

Monday, May 27, 2013 - 5:42 AM

The 2013 West Perth Football Club Major Club Raffle was drawn at the West Perth vs Perth home game on Saturday 25 May during the President's Luncheon.

The winner of the amazing first prize was Colin O'Malley who will enjoy a brand new home theatre entertainment package. In extraordinary circumstances, Colin was also lucky enough to pick up 4th prize and will enjoy $100 cash to spend as well! Congratulations to Don Valentino and Kay Lee who have also won $100 cash to spend. All winners have been notified and informed of how to collect their prizes.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported the raffle and helped to raise valuable income for the West Perth Football Club. We raised over $13,000 for our football department which is a fantastic achievement by all involved.

WEST PERTH 2013 MAJOR CLUB RAFFLE RESULTS

1ST PRIZE

HOME THEATRE ENTERTAINMENT PACKAGE 

VALUED AT $6,016


Changhong 55" 3D FULL HD SMART LED LCD TV

Panasonic Smart Network 3D Blu Ray Player

Marantz Slim 3D AV Surround Receiver

Jamo 5.1 Home Theatre Surround Sound Speaker Pack

KD Furniture Igloo Entertainment Unit

WINNER: TICKET NUMBER 06192  COLIN O'MALLEY

2ND PRIZE – $100 CASH

WINNER: TICKET NUMBER 05210 - DON VALENTINO

3RD PRIZE – $100 CASH

WINNER: TICKET NUMBER 03150 - KAY LEE

4TH PRIZE – $100 CASH

WINNER: TICKET NUMBER 06199 - COLIN O'MALLEY

If any members have their raffle book unsold, we would kindly ask that you still return the book to the West Perth Football Club for our final reconciliation.

Thanks again to all of our members for your generosity and support of this raffle.

FALCONS SECURE SECOND SPOT

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 11:09 PM

Second spot on the ladder was up for grabs when the Falcons took on the Demons at the Arena Joondalup on Saturday.

An impressive four quarter effort by West Perth saw them run out comprehensive thirty six point victors and finish the round with a 6-2 record. The Falcons midfield provided the forwards with plenty of opportunities and this was rewarded with five of them kicking two or more goals.

Paul Bevan was very busy for the Demons early kicking their first two scores. Their seven point lead was reduced to just one after Anton Saylor took advantage of some good work by Anthony Tsalikis to score from forty. Consecutive behinds to the Falcons gave them the narrowest of leads before Fraser McInnes got clear to score a major. Each side took it in turns kicking goals in the first term and Josh Mellington continued the trend with a strong mark and conversion from forty. It was the first of three for the day in a strong display that included time in the midfield. Ashley Smith kicked a long bomb from sixty before Anton Saylor scored his second after taking the ball off hands. It was no surprise when Perth scored the next but the last for the term went to Anthony Tsalikis who marked and scored from fifty. “Slick” kicked three for the day and took ten marks in an impressive display. It was an even first term and at its end the Falcons held a one point lead; 4.3 (27) to 4.2 (26).

West Perth went a long way towards setting up victory with a three goal to none second quarter. They controlled the term for large periods and the defence combined to pressure the Perth forwards out of scoring opportunities. Behinds were the order of the day until the twelve minute mark when West Perth led by three. At this point in time Josh Mellington kicked to big man Nick Rodda who scored from thirty. Shortly after Marc Crisp received a free twenty out and converted. The last goal of the half went to Nick Rodda who scored his second from forty five. A dominant quarter saw West Perth lead by twenty one at the main change; 7.8 (50) to 4.5 (29).

Josh Mellington got the ball rolling in the third quarter when he ran onto the ball and scored on the run from fifty. Paul Bevan then bobbed up with his second and Perth’s first since the twenty six minute mark of the first quarter. West Perth then iced the game by kicking the next five goals and taking the lead out to fifty two after eighteen minutes. It was an impressive display of team football. Anthony Tsalikis scored from thirty, a terrific intercept by Jordan Jones set up Josh Mellington for his third, “Slick” marked outside fifty, played on and kicked his third and Jason Salecic took advantage of great forward line pressure to hit the scoreboard. Welcome back “Sala”!

The final goal in the run went to big man Chris Keunen who showed his skills by intercepting a kick out of defence and running into goal from thirty. The last three goals of the quarter went to dangerous Perth forward Brennan Stack. Up to this point he had been held to just one possession. At the final change West Perth held a six goal advantage; 13.11 (89) to 8.5 (53).

Matthew Johnson scored from thirty within two minutes to extend the lead but Brennan Stack kicked his fourth in a quick reply. Matthew Johnson then soccered his second from the square in a hectic start to the final term. The teams continued to trade goals with a second to the Demons Michael Florio, Matt Guadagnin then took the footy from a spillage to kick accurately and take the lead out to forty three.

The next two goals went to Perth and the lead was reduced to thirty with just minutes to go. Jay Van Berlo kicked the last for the game after an assist from Anthony Tsalikis. The teams had fought a draw in the last quarter but it was enough for the Falcons to record a six goal victory. Final scores were; 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79).

It was an impressive victory to the Falcons who appeared refreshed after their two week break. Players to receive awards included Anton Saylor, Chris Keunen, Josh Mellington, Anthony Tsalikis, Dan Hunt who is in wonderful form and best was Jordan Jones whose use of the footy set up many attacking moves.

The Reserves recorded a very good victory against top side Perth. It was just reward as they have been very close to victory on a number of occasions. Best players included Cameron Branch, Matt Fowler, Kris Shannon, Steven Potente, Laine Rasmussen and best was Brayden Antonio. All of these players and a number of others are ready to make the step up to league footy when the opportunity arises. Another tough round of football starts next week with the WA Day Derby at Medibank Stadium on Monday. Be there to help get the boys over the line.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS DOWN PERTH TO MOVE CLEAR IN SECOND

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 3:28 PM

WEST Perth showed no signs of rustiness after a three-week break in between games moving clear in second position on the ladder after a commanding 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

Both the Falcons and Demons came into the clash with identical 5-2 records and it was West Perth who moved a game clear in second spot and to remain in contention with the unbeaten Claremont by recording an impressive 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory.
West Perth last played on Saturday May 4 and recorded an also impressive 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a high-scoring shoot out that day, and despite the weeks without a game in between carried on that momentum on Saturday against the in-form Perth.
Perth had lost just two games this season to Claremont and East Fremantle by a combined seven points so the Demons were always going to prove a big test for West Perth, and in the end it was one the Falcons passed with flying colours.
West Perth came into the game having lost Mark Hutchings to West Coast but captain Jason Salecic returned from a hamstring injury for his first game since Round 2.
Laine Rasmussen also went out of the side that beat East Fremantle with the Falcons opting for two ruckmen as Frank Stockley came into the side to battle Perth's big men.
While the Falcons midfield and forward-line had terrific days as well, it was the home side's back-line that really stood out against the Demons.
Trent Manzone was given the big job on former Western Bulldogs forward and WA representative from this year Brennan Stack, and the pair had an enthralling battle.
While Stack kicked five second half goals, Manzone kept him very quiet in the first half and there was little he could have done on a lot of occasions with Stack isolated deep in attack. The Queensland recruit also did well running off with 19 possessions and seven marks for West Perth.
Meanwhile, veteran key defenders Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt were rock solid ensuring that Perth big forwards Haydn Busher and Fraser McInnes, and the resting ruckmen had no impact.
Jordan Jones continued his outstanding defensive form while also racking up 29 possessions and taking 12 marks. Luke Tedesco was outstanding in defence with 19 disposals and seven marks with Andrew Strijk having another 21 disposals and 10 marks.
State wingman Aaron Black continued his strong form for West Perth with another 31 possessions with Steven Browne also racking up 24 disposals, Ray Bartholomew 22, Matt Guadagnin 22, Marc Crisp 21 and Jay van Berlo 18.
Up forward, Josh Mellington kicked four goals to go with his 23 possessions and 12 marks. Anthony Tsalikis was also terrific with 16 disposals, 10 marks and three goals with Matt Johnson and Anton Saylor adding two majors apiece.
It was a terrific first quarter of football from both teams with each kicking four goals and with the game going from end to end with good skills, and quick ball movement.
There were eight lead changes in the first quarter alone with West Perth going into quarter-time one-point up, but it was all the home side in the second term. The Falcons kept Perth goalless with Mellington, Crisp and Nick Rodda kicking goals to make the half-time margin 21 points.
West Perth then turned on some scintillating play midway through the third quarter with their running game and skill level on full display. The margin got out to as much as 52 points before Perth showed some fight just before three quarter-time with three goals to Stack.
Two quick goals to Johnson to start the last quarter steadied West Perth again, though, and the Falcons went on to cruise to the 36-point win.
The West Perth reserves also recorded a 10-point victory against Perth on Saturday at Arena Joondalup with Matt Fowler kicking five goals from seven kicks.
Max Alexander also kicked two goals with Joel Latham racking up 25 possessions, Brayden Antonio 22 and Rasmussen 21.
The Falcons colts went down, though, to the Demons by 54 points despite three goals from Thomas Wells and 20 possessions to Joel Brown, and 18 to Ashley Smith.
WEST PERTH 4.3 7.8 13.11 17.13 (115)
PERTH 4.2 4.5 8.5 12.7 (79)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 4; Tsalikis 3; Saylor, Johnson 2; Rodda, Keunen, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Crisp, Salecic.
Best: Jones, Black, Mellington, Hunt, Browne, Guadagnin, Pettigrew.
PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Bevan 3; Florio 2; McInnes, Ashley Smith.
Best: Ashley Smith, Jacobs, Bevan, Hodge, Stack, White, Sinclair.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth showed no signs of rustiness after a three-week break in between games moving clear in second position on the ladder after a commanding 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

Both the Falcons and Demons came into the clash with identical 5-2 records and it was West Perth who moved a game clear in second spot and to remain in contention with the unbeaten Claremont by recording an impressive 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory.

West Perth last played on Saturday May 4 and recorded an also impressive 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a high-scoring shoot out that day, and despite the weeks without a game in between carried on that momentum on Saturday against the in-form Perth.

Perth had lost just two games this season to Claremont and East Fremantle by a combined seven points so the Demons were always going to prove a big test for West Perth, and in the end it was one the Falcons passed with flying colours.

West Perth came into the game having lost Mark Hutchings to West Coast but captain Jason Salecic returned from a hamstring injury for his first game since Round 2.

Laine Rasmussen also went out of the side that beat East Fremantle with the Falcons opting for two ruckmen as Frank Stockley came into the side to battle Perth's big men.

While the Falcons midfield and forward-line had terrific days as well, it was the home side's back-line that really stood out against the Demons.

Trent Manzone was given the big job on former Western Bulldogs forward and WA representative from this year Brennan Stack, and the pair had an enthralling battle.

While Stack kicked five second half goals, Manzone kept him very quiet in the first half and there was little he could have done on a lot of occasions with Stack isolated deep in attack. The Queensland recruit also did well running off with 19 possessions and seven marks for West Perth.

Meanwhile, veteran key defenders Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt were rock solid ensuring that Perth big forwards Haydn Busher and Fraser McInnes, and the resting ruckmen had no impact.

Jordan Jones continued his outstanding defensive form while also racking up 29 possessions and taking 12 marks. Luke Tedesco was outstanding in defence with 19 disposals and seven marks with Andrew Strijk having another 21 disposals and 10 marks.

State wingman Aaron Black continued his strong form for West Perth with another 31 possessions with Steven Browne also racking up 24 disposals, Ray Bartholomew 22, Matt Guadagnin 22, Marc Crisp 21 and Jay van Berlo 18.

Up forward, Josh Mellington kicked four goals to go with his 23 possessions and 12 marks. Anthony Tsalikis was also terrific with 16 disposals, 10 marks and three goals with Matt Johnson and Anton Saylor adding two majors apiece.

It was a terrific first quarter of football from both teams with each kicking four goals and with the game going from end to end with good skills, and quick ball movement.

There were eight lead changes in the first quarter alone with West Perth going into quarter-time one-point up, but it was all the home side in the second term. The Falcons kept Perth goalless with Mellington, Crisp and Nick Rodda kicking goals to make the half-time margin 21 points.

West Perth then turned on some scintillating play midway through the third quarter with their running game and skill level on full display. The margin got out to as much as 52 points before Perth showed some fight just before three quarter-time with three goals to Stack.

Two quick goals to Johnson to start the last quarter steadied West Perth again, though, and the Falcons went on to cruise to the 36-point win.

The West Perth reserves also recorded a 10-point victory against Perth on Saturday at Arena Joondalup with Matt Fowler kicking five goals from seven kicks.

Max Alexander also kicked two goals with Joel Latham racking up 25 possessions, Brayden Antonio 22 and Rasmussen 21.

The Falcons colts went down, though, to the Demons by 54 points despite three goals from Thomas Wells and 20 possessions to Joel Brown, and 18 to Ashley Smith.

WEST PERTH 4.3 7.8 13.11 17.13 (115)

PERTH 4.2 4.5 8.5 12.7 (79)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 4; Tsalikis 3; Saylor, Johnson 2; Rodda, Keunen, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Crisp, Salecic.

Best: Jones, Black, Mellington, Hunt, Browne, Guadagnin, Pettigrew.

PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Bevan 3; Florio 2; McInnes, Ashley Smith.

Ashley Smith, Jacobs, Bevan, Hodge, Stack, White, Sinclair.

BY CHRIS PIKE