Ready for the fi­nals

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

The South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club is into the WAFL fi­nals for the second con­sec­u­tive year and are ready to go as far as pos­si­ble into Septem­ber.

FOR the second con­sec­u­tive year, the South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club have stamped them­selves as one of the strong­est teams in the com­pe­ti­tion.

With their ninth con­sec­u­tive win over the week­end, and hav­ing won 16 of their 20 games this year, the second-placed Bull­dogs are well po­si­tioned for a se­ri­ous crack at this year’s flag.

Last year’s pre­miers Peel Thun­der, the team that knocked them out of the 2016 fi­nals in the penul­ti­mate game, stand in their way in this Satur­day’s qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal.

South Fre­man­tle foot­ball man­ager David Depane said the play­ers had put in the added mile this year through ex­tra train­ing sessions, higher stan­dards and stronger lead­er­ship, which had helped them fin­ish second and se­cure the cov­eted dou­ble chance.

“Our abil­ity to play to team struc­tures has been our big­gest as­set and we have al­ways felt that if we play our way, fol­low the game plan and ev­ery­one per­forms their role for the team, the re­sults will look after them­selves,” he said.

“There is no doubt our for­ward line has func­tioned very well dur­ing the sea­son. We are very lucky that we have some po­tent for­wards who all have the abil­ity to kick bags of goals on their given day and the good thing is when one has a quiet day, another pops up and per­forms well.

“Our mid­field group share the load and while we have a cou­ple of play­ers who ac­cu­mu­late dis­pos­als, it is the whole group who have per­formed well through there and our de­fence is an un­her­alded group who go about their busi­ness from week to week and re­bound the ball with pre­ci­sion when re­quired.”

He said their goal at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son was to win 12 games, which would qual­ify them for the fi­nal, and while they were pleased with how the sea­son had played out and where they had fin­ished, they would take the fi­nals as they come.

“We are there at least, that’s the first box ticked,” he said. “All five sides that made the fi­nals are very ca­pa­ble of play­ing good foot­ball on their day.

“We believe that our best foot­ball is as good as any­one’s and the key for us is to produce our best foot­ball dur­ing Septem­ber. If we can do this then we are a con­fi­dent we can have a suc­cess­ful fi­nals cam­paign.”

The re­serves side will also play fi­nals after fin­ish­ing top of the lad­der.

South Fre­man­tle take on Peel Thun­der at home in the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal from 2.10pm, Septem­ber 2.

Haiden Schloithe, Brock Hig­gins, Tim Kelly and Shane Hockey are ready to play in the 2017 WAFL fi­nals.

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