Fi­nals worth the long wait

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

IT seems like such a long time ago that we played our last home and away game against Ade­laide, but the break has been good for us.

Some­times when you have mo­men­tum, you would like to keep go­ing with that roll, but they boys all ap­pre­ci­ated the op­por­tu­nity to freshen up lead­ing into fi­nals.

It’s nearly two weeks since we beat the Crows, but we’re get­ting ex­cited about play­ing fi­nals footy again.

We cer­tainly fin­ished as strongly as any­one with wins against Fre­man­tle, Greater Western Syd­ney, Hawthorn and Ade­laide in the last month of the qual­i­fy­ing sea­son, to fin­ish on 16 wins.

Usu­ally that would be good enough to fin­ish in the top four, but not this year.

We’re in sixth po­si­tion af­ter the home and away sea­son and on Thurs­day, we play the Western Bull­dogs, who were sev­enth, in an elim­i­na­tion fi­nal at home.

This has been an in­cred­i­bly even sea­son and while the pre­mier­ship has only been won once from out­side the top four – Ade­laide in 1998 – we do know it’s pos­si­ble. But in the sit­u­a­tion we are in, we have to deal with the chal­lenges week by week.

Be­cause we are com­ing from sixth spot, it means that we will be play­ing sud­den death fi­nals each week. Ob­vi­ously the stakes could not be higher, start­ing with Thurs­day’s game against the Bull­dogs.

If you track back to pre-sea­son in the Perth sum­mer heat, this is why you do all of that work.

It’s about build­ing a fit­ness base, work­ing on your game plan to put your­self in this po­si­tion.

Sure, it would have been great to push up the lad­der, but you have to deal with re­al­ity. All of the boys are in pretty good shape and it will be an hon­our to start the fi­nals se­ries with a home game in Perth on Thurs­day night.

If we win, we will then hit the road for as long as we progress, but we can deal with that too. Hav­ing that week­end off should hold us in good stead and as I said, the boys are all feel­ing pretty good.

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