Port win sets stan­dard for sea­son

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport - With Josh Kennedy

IT’S amaz­ing how much more en­joy­able a flight home to Perth can be af­ter a win.

Ob­vi­ously some vic­to­ries are more sat­is­fy­ing than oth­ers, par­tic­u­larly when the qual­ity of the op­po­si­tion is taken into ac­count. For the last cou­ple of sea­sons, Port Ade­laide has been one of the best teams in the com­pe­ti­tion and were just one kick away from a spot in last year’s grand fi­nal.

We re­spect what they have achieved in that time, so it was sat­is­fy­ing to with­stand the pres­sure of a big game at Ade­laide Oval in front of a hos­tile crowd and leave with four valu­able premier­ship points.

We might have sur­prised a few peo­ple with that per­for­mance, but we didn’t sur­prise our­selves. We went in with gen­uine be­lief in our abil­ity to win the game.

We showed a week ear­lier against GWS that when we ap­ply our pres­sure and in­ten­sity, we can play at a very high level and we are aim­ing to take that into ev­ery game.

Against Port, we had ev­ery player con­tribut­ing in their var­i­ous roles.

When play­ing in games of that na­ture – tight, hard, phys­i­cal con­tests – there are al­ways big mo­ments in the game and we were prob­a­bly a lit­tle bet­ter in those match-defin­ing mo­ments.

Our back­line con­tin­ues to stand tall de­spite the ab­sence of Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown, and they were out­stand­ing.

Again our young guys stood up, but in the mid­field, Mark LeCras, Matt Prid­dis, Luke Shuey and Chris Mas­ten were great.

We’ve been build­ing the last cou­ple weeks and will con­tinue to aim for that level on a con­sis­tent ba­sis for the rest of the year. THE West Coast Ea­gles squad split into groups and vis­ited ju­nior clubs al­lo­cated to the nine WAFL club’s zones last week, tak­ing part in foot­ball clin­ics and Q&A ses­sions across the metropoli­tan area.

Cap­tain Shan­non Hurn, Mark LcCras, Scott Lycett and Pat McGin­nity were at Wem­b­ley Ju­nior Foot­ball Club, while Shar­rod Welling­ham, Kane Lu­cas, Cal­lum Sin­clair and Brad Shep­pard ven­tured to Bull­creek Leeming.

At the Carine Ju­nior Foot­ball Club, a part of the Subiaco Li­ons Dis­trict, Ea­gles stars Matt Prid­dis, Scott Sel­wood and Luke Shuey took part in the train­ing ses­sion, with ev­ery­one thor­oughly en­joy­ing the ses­sion.

For Prid­dis, a Subiaco prod­uct, it was great to re­turn to where it all be­gan.

“I re­mem­ber play­ing at this ground (play­ing for Sor­ren­toDun­craig) when I was younger,” he said.

“This is where it all started for me, so to come back is al­ways fan­tas­tic.”

Sel­wood, who is work­ing his way back to full fit­ness af­ter an an­kle in­jury, said the clin­ics were a great way to de­velop footy in WA, as well as mak­ing some chil­dren’s days.

“When I was younger, AFL play­ers com­ing to our footy club was some­thing you never for­get,” he said.

“So to come here and take them through some drills, and just an­swer any ques­tions they have is great.

“They were re­ally great kids to spend time with and we can’t wait to come back again soon.”

Other Ea­gles play­ers out and about in­cluded ris­ing star Jeremy Mc­Gov­ern (Ar­madale), Luke Shuey (Edge­wa­ter-Wood­vale), El­liott Yeo (Rock­ing­ham), Chris Mas­ten (Gos­nells), Matt Rosa (Mt Law­ley, In­gle­wood) and Nic Nai­tanui (Kala­munda).

At Carine, the Ea­gles play­ers watched over some of the drills im­ple­mented by the coach of the 10-year-olds and they re­ported there was some ex­cit­ing tal­ent on dis­play.

With par­ents and sib­lings watch­ing on, there was a strong con­tin­gent at the club’s fa­cil­ity at Carine Open Space. The young­sters gained some valu­able first-hand in­sights into de­vel­op­ing their skills as they aim to live their own dreams of a fu­ture at the elite level.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group is an af­fil­i­ated part­ner of the West Coast Ea­gles.

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