Football: first Western Derby at Optus Stadium to be a cracker, says Eagle Kennedy

Josh Kennedy tackles Kade Simpson of the Blues. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Josh Kennedy tackles Kade Simpson of the Blues. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

FOOTBALL always offers a different experience and that’s one of the reasons it’s great to be involved.

After playing at the MCG last weekend, which is always fun, we return to Optus Stadium this week for what will be something new for us at the Perth stadium.

We will play Fremantle in our first derby at the ground, so instead of being packed to the rafters with West Coast fans it will have a heavy Fremantle bias.

I have played only the one game at Optus Stadium, a great win against the Gold Coast Suns, but I’m really looking forward to this game. It should be a cracker too, with both teams coming into the match in good form.

After being beaten by Sydney in the opening game of the season we have strung together four good wins, our confidence is high and we have seen some exciting young players emerge and have an influence on our form.

Fremantle are also coming into the game in good touch with a 3-2 win-loss ratio and they were very impressive against the Western Bulldogs last weekend.

We know we are going to need to be at our best to beat the Dockers and as usual there will be plenty of attention on the game.

Both teams have introduced some young talent this year so for many of them it will be their first experience of playing in a derby. It will be different for them and usually there is a little step up in the intensity, with a finals-like pressure being applied.

The senior players at our club always look to share our past experiences and hopefully we can help prepare the young guys for what Sunday will bring.

Having said that, it isn’t a lot different to any other normal home and away fixture, but it might be two or three percent up on another games.

Last week’s clash with Carlton was good preparation because it was a tough, contested-ball encounter and this will probably be similar.

MORE: Eight boys arrested after series of incidents across Perth, including alleged stealing and threatening with axe

MORE: Aged care staff to receive mandatory flu vaccinations to combat influenza outbreaks

MORE: Metronet: State Govt announces tender for 41 trains over next decade