School’s in at Aquinas for Rick’s Rook­ies

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

with Josh Kennedy CON­SIS­TENCY is the hall­mark of a qual­ity team and at the West Coast Ea­gles, we’re still build­ing to­wards it.

Part of that is mak­ing sure there is lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween the way we play at Su­bi­aco Oval and what we pro­duce when we travel.

So far this sea­son we have not been able to repli­cate our best form on road trips to the MCG to play Hawthorn or to the SCG last Satur­day when we played Syd­ney.

But we are work­ing on it and the ef­fort against Syd­ney was an im­prove­ment.

We gave our­selves a chance against the Swans when we led by a cou­ple of points in the mid­dle of the third quar­ter, but got stuck on seven goals for about the last 40 min­utes of the game de­spite go­ing in­side the at­tack­ing 50 reg­u­larly.

Ob­vi­ously we have to give credit to Syd­ney for the way they played in that pe­riod. They were prob­a­bly a lit­tle tougher in the clinches and made more of their op­por­tu­ni­ties.

It was dis­ap­point­ing to lose, but we will take some lessons on board and use them to get bet­ter.

We still have a lot of young play­ers in our team who are learn­ing their craft and the im­por­tant thing for us is that we keep build­ing. No doubt we will ben­e­fit from play­ing at a unique ground like the SCG, which is a saucer shape and pretty short from goal-to-goal.

That said, we need to play our way re­gard­less of where that might be. MORE than 600 West Coast Ea­gles mem­bers flocked to Aquinas Col­lege on Mon­day for a school hol­i­days coach­ing clinic.

The en­tire West Coast squad were on hand for the chil­dren’s clinic, the first of three Rick’s Rook­ies events for 2016.

Stars Matt Prid­dis, Luke Shuey, Josh Kennedy and Eric Macken­zie were among sev­eral play­ers who helped the 512 year olds im­prove their kick­ing, hand­balling, mark­ing and tack­ling skills.

Nic Nai­tanui – who drew the event’s big­gest crowd – had kids hang­ing off his ev­ery word at a spe­cial ruck­ing and mark­ing sta­tion.

Ex­pe­ri­enced de­fender Will Schofield got into the spirit of the fun school hol­i­days event by en­cour­ag­ing his young pro­teges to chase and tackle Ea­gles goal sneak Josh Hill, who was forced to re­treat to Aquinas Col­lege’s lower oval on sev­eral oc­ca­sions.

Af­ter the clinic con­cluded, Rick’s Rook­ies mem­bers took ad­van­tage of an op­por­tu­nity to fill their au­to­graph books be­fore they were en­cour­aged to travel to Su­bi­aco and en­joy the club’s open train­ing ses­sion.

At least half of the clinic’s young par­tic­i­pants made their way down to train­ing to see how their heroes ex­e­cuted the skills they had taught them just hours ear­lier

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

Jeremy McGovern talks tac­tics with young Ea­gles mem­bers at the hol­i­day clinic.

All-Aus­tralian mid­fielder An­drew Gaff fires a hand­ball to a young fan.

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