EVERY week there are examples of just how tough the competition is in the AFL and last Sunday we experienced it first hand.
When we travelled to Hobart to play North Melbourne we knew we were in for a serious battle. The trademark of the Kangaroos is a combative, contested brand so we were aware of what we were going to face.
Unfortunately, knowing what’s coming and being able to deal with it can sometimes be two different things and to some extent the Roos beat us at our own game.
We also pride ourselves on the contested ball battle, but we certainly lowered our colours against them in that area on the way to a disappointing defeat.
No doubt West Coast fans – just as we were internally – were disappointed we couldn’t put a bit of a space between ourselves and other teams chasing a top two finish, but that’s the nature of this competition.
We have to dust ourselves off and get ready for the next challenge.
It doesn’t get any easier, playing Freo in the derby at Optus Stadium this Sunday, but we will do everything we can to prepare for the match and take our best form into it.
We should get one of our prime movers back with star midfielder Luke Shuey certainly available after returning home early from Tassie last week because of personal reasons. Family comes first and he needed to be home last week. As players – and as a club – we all respect and support that call.
Hopefully I’ll be ready to play as well and will certainly be doing everything I can to prove my fitness.
But we are about being a team that performs regardless of who is in and out of the team. We want players to fill roles when they come into the team, playing at the same level and in the same position as the player they replace.
We didn’t match the intensity of North last week and will be looking to change that this week.
We are all looking forward to the atmosphere at our first home Optus Stadium derby, it should be awesome. We’ll focus on the process of preparing for the contest and then hopefully that plan rolls out as we expect which gets the result we’re looking for.
We won the game early in the year when it was Freo’s day, so hopefully we can do it again.