Thriller was a fitting farewell to Subi Oval
FINALS NOW OUR FOCUS AFTER SUBI SEND-OFF
SUNDAY was a really special day at Subiaco Oval when the West Coast Eagles played their last game at the ground that has been home for the club for 31 years.
As players we were aware of the plans the club had in place to farewell and celebrate the occasion, but our job was to focus on the game itself.
It was a little different knowing that winning would not be enough and we had to win by more than three goals to give ourselves any chance of playing finals. It was unusual to have a margin in mind but we had to lock into the process of our game plan and worry about the permutations after that.
As soon as Collingwood beat Melbourne the day before, we knew we had a chance and could at least control our own destiny. There was the chance of an additional way through to September with Fremantle playing Essendon, but the Collingwood result had already given us life.
We knew beating Adelaide, who were top of the table, was going to be an enormous challenge, but were confident we could get the job done.
It turned out we won by 29 points and will now go to Adelaide to play Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in a fortnight’s time.
At three-quarter time against the Crows we knew what we had to do and it was only then that we started to think about what we needed to keep our season ticking. If we could win the last quarter we knew we would play finals.
So that was the simple equation. It was still going to be tough and we had to work hard to kick a couple of late goals to get the margin to the level we needed to get our percentage above Melbourne.
Once the siren sounded the players could also enjoy the moment and join in the celebrations with our fans, which was something really special.
The post-game activities on the ground were fantastic and a brilliant way for the club to bring down the curtain on our long history at the ground. I have some great personal and team memories of playing at Subiaco Oval and it will be a little different playing at the new Perth Stadium until we get comfortable and it feels like home.
As a club we will continue to be based at the ground for the next 12 months and will train there throughout 2018 so we won’t be saying goodbye permanently until we re-locate to Lathlain Park in about 18 months from now.