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

THE qual­i­fy­ing rounds of the AFL sea­son have been very sat­is­fy­ing, but now it’s about mak­ing the most of the op­por­tu­nity we have cre­ated.

It was great to fin­ish in sec­ond place, which guar­an­tees us two home fi­nals, but for us that is just the start­ing point for the next, ex­cit­ing phase of the sea­son.

By win­ning 16 games and draw­ing one, we have cre­ated a great plat­form to launch into Septem­ber, start­ing with Hawthorn at Su­bi­aco Oval on Fri­day night.

Af­ter a cou­ple of years where our sea­son has come to an end at this stage of the year, it’s great to be play­ing in Septem­ber and we’ll just suck up the at­mos­phere, en­joy what’s ahead of us and do ev­ery­thing we can to cre­ate some­thing spe­cial to­gether.

When you start pre-sea­son and put in the hard slog over sum­mer, this is why you do it. So you should cher­ish the op­por­tu­nity and do ev­ery­thing you can to cap­i­talise.

But again, this re­ally is the stage where you take it match by match. I know ‘one week at a time’ is a cliche, but that’s ex­actly how we have to look at it. You can’t get caught up in all the ‘what if?’ sce­nar­ios.

That’s why for us, against St Kilda, we kept it pretty sim­ple. As long as we beat the Saints we would lock down sec­ond spot, but we had to fo­cus on play­ing our game and the rest would take care of it­self.

Now that we’re into a fi­nals se­ries, we know the in­ten­sity will lift, es­pe­cially first up against the Hawks. We have the ben­e­fit of hav­ing played them a few weeks ago, but we know this game will lift a notch or two.

We’re ready and can’t wait to play.

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