Fans take Eagles to a new level
WHAT an amazing atmosphere at Optus Stadium last Saturday night.
We knew it was going to be something special with close to 60,000 mostly West Coast Eagles fans in the stadium, but it really was an awesome experience.
The fans were a factor with their huge support, getting behind us when we were behind at three-quarter-time and then taking it to another level when we hit the front in the last quarter.
When you’re in the moment, playing in a big final like that against Collingwood, you don’t think about the level of the game.
But talking to people since, they reckon the intensity and pressure around the ball made it really absorbing.
As a professional player it’s difficult to be sitting out injured when your mates are going out every week and doing their best to give us a shot at playing finals football.
It’s tough to not become impatient and try to get back a bit sooner.
But with the meticulous programs set by our medical and strength and conditioning teams, it’s important to stick to the guidelines they set down.
They are the experts and are outstanding at what they do.
It was also highlighted by Collingwood bringing in Tyson Goldsack, my opponent on the night, who had not played all season after a knee injury in pre-season, and midfielder Adam Treloar, who had missed a couple of months with a hamstring issue.
They came back and performed really well despite long absences.
After winning the qualifying final against the Pies, we will now start preparing for our preliminary final at Optus Stadium on Saturday week, against either Hawthorn or Melbourne.
We’re really looking forward to it.
I reckon our fans might even get there in bigger numbers than they did for the Collingwood game and hopefully set another new attendance record. ALL-INCLUSIVE hockey team Perth Pythons won gold at the 2018 Gay Games in Paris in a sudden-death shootout.
The Pythons claimed victory against the undefeated London Royals after a 1-1 draw in regular time and scored three from three goals in the one-on-one shootouts.
The tournament was part of the 10th Gay Games that are held every four years to promote acceptance of sexual and gender diversity.
It was the Perth Pythons’ first appearance at the games.
Coach and captain Reid Smith said it was remarkable what the team had been able to achieve in such a short period of time.
“Some of our players hadn’t held a hockey stick 12 months ago, now they are international champions,” he said.
“Up against some quality and experienced opposition, we just went into the finals with a positive attitude and a feeling that we had nothing to lose.
“I am beyond proud of each and every one of my teammates.”
Perth Pythons player and committee member Leo Nelson said it was his first sporting competition.
“I never felt confident enough to participate in sporting competitions growing up and when the opportunity to compete with the Pythons came up, that little voice told me I couldn’t do it,” he said.
“But playing with the Pythons for the last two years has given me the confidence to quell that voice and competing and winning in Paris with my best mates is one of the proudest moments.”
More than 800 athletes represented Australia and a record 10,000 people competed in the games from around the world.
The Perth Pythons was established in 2016 as an all-inclusive sporting team and is planning Perth’s first Pride Sports Festival on November 17, which will involve five local LGBTI sporting groups to celebrate Pride month.