Ex­cited by fi­nals de­spite heavy loss

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

PART of the men­tal prepa­ra­tion go­ing into any game of football is vi­su­al­is­ing how the game might un­fold and your own role and how that might con­trib­ute to team suc­cess.

It’s rea­son­able to as­sume none of us imag­ined the way the game against Ade­laide would play out on Sun­day.

Ade­laide got away to a flier. We tried to peg them back and were work­ing our way into the game be­fore the Crows kicked it up a gear and went on to win by about 10 goals.

It was re­ally dis­ap­point­ing, but just a hic­cup and might serve as a re­minder that we all need to play our part for the team to play its best. A few blokes played at the stan­dards they have set them­selves over the course of the year, but only a few.

We’ll re­view the game as we al­ways do, take some key learn­ings from it and then fo­cus on our last qual­i­fy­ing game against St Kilda at Su­bi­aco Oval on Satur­day night.

Hope­fully there’s a packed house to sup­port us in the last game and if we can beat the Saints we can still lock down a spot in the top two which would give us a great plat­form lead­ing into the fi­nals se­ries.

We are al­ready guar­an­teed a top four spot but we can do bet­ter than that by fin­ish­ing in the top two, guar­an­tee­ing two home fi­nals and that gives us a great op­por­tu­nity to im­pact the fi­nals se­ries.

We know we have got some work ahead of us, but we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

Hope­fully our fans have en­joyed the ride and get right be­hind us over the next few weeks. There is noth­ing quite like play­ing at home with the West Coast faith­ful throw­ing their sup­port be­hind us. IN terms of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in the AFL, no one stands taller than Nic Nai­tanui.

The first in­take of the Nic Nai­tanui Mul­ti­cul­tural Academy have just fin­ished their 2015 pro­gram, one that in­volved a mix of football de­vel­op­ment train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion work­shops.

This year’s academy par­tic­i­pants were born in 2000 or 2001 and come from a va­ri­ety of non-English speak­ing back­grounds.

On field, the high­light came when academy play­ers show­cased their tal­ent against the Djinda Fal­cons in a cur­tain raiser game held be­fore West Coast’s re­cent clash with Hawthorn.

They also took part in skills and com­bine test­ing and work­shops cov­er­ing strength and con­di­tion­ing, nutri­tion, GPS data anal­y­sis and goal set­ting.

Nai­tanui said he was proud to see the Academy off to a pos­i­tive start.

“It’s a mas­sive thing to have the academy up and go­ing,” he said.

“See­ing kids from all dif­fer­ent back­grounds be­ing in­volved is awe­some.

“The di­ver­sity in our game, from grass roots level to the AFL, is great. Many cul­tures, one game is cer­tainly be­ing lived across our game and our coun­try.

“We’ve got guys from all over the State in­volved in the academy and for us to celebrate a round in the AFL which is ded­i­cated to mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism makes us very, very proud.”

Nai­tanui said the academy pro­vided an ad­di­tional path­way af­ter the All Na­tions Car­ni­val and could lead the teenagers into 15s and 16s de­vel­op­ment squads or WAFL colts pro­grams.

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