Derby a fi­nals taste

The Advocate (Perth) - - WORK PLACE - With Josh Kennedy

EV­ERY week, re­gard­less of the op­po­nent or the venue, we pre­pare the same way.

We do know that der­bies prob­a­bly mean a bit more for our fans – and it’s al­ways nice to win them be­cause of that – but win­ning on Sun­day was im­por­tant for the play­ers and coach­ing staff be­cause it is an­other tick in the “W” column.

We will never lose sight of what it means for our mem­bers and sup­port­ers and un­der­stand their con­ver­sa­tions around the cof­fee ma­chine on Mon­day morn­ing were a bit more en­thu­si­as­tic and that’s im­por­tant.

In­ter­nally it’s about get­ting the job done. We put a lot of work into plan­ning how we at­tack each game and it’s so sat­is­fy­ing when it comes to­gether.

The first part of the week is fo­cused on re­cov­ery, then we train and by the mid­dle of the week we look to es­tab­lish the tweaks we will need to make to our game plan to get the re­sult we’re after.

The coaches spend a lot of time analysing the strengths and weak­nesses of the op­po­si­tion and that is com­mu­ni­cated to the play­ers.

So with so much go­ing into the prepa­ra­tion for ev­ery game, it is a great feel­ing when it comes to­gether.

Against the Dock­ers, we knew it was go­ing to be a tough game. I’ve played in a lot of der­bies and they are al­ways pretty in­tense. That’s why we like play­ing in those games so much. In terms of a qual­i­fy­ing game, it’s as close as it comes to play­ing fi­nals footy.

With so many young play­ers in our team, they will only ben­e­fit from the in­ten­sity of the con­test as they con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion.

We had three first-year play­ers in the win­ning team, in­clud­ing debu­tant Jack Petruc­celle, who had some spe­cial mo­ments in the game, but we ex­pect he will grow from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Win­ning the game means we have now strung to­gether five in a row after a dis­ap­point­ing round 1 loss to Syd­ney and we cur­rently sit in sec­ond spot on the lad­der.

So we are mak­ing good progress towards out first goal.

We keep it pretty sim­ple and it’s about win­ning as many games as quickly as pos­si­ble as we strive to play fi­nals. His­tory sug­gests you prob­a­bly need to win 12 games to achieve that tar­get.

Pic­ture: Innespho­tografix – John Innes

Ben Stronach leads the su­per­bike divi­sion after Round 1 of the State Road Rac­ing Cham­pi­onships.

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