Finals worth the long wait
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.