WAFL: East Perth Royals ready to take on reigning premiers

Kyle Anderson (co-captain), Jeremy Barnard (head coach) and new recruit Angus Scott. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d492031.
Kyle Anderson (co-captain), Jeremy Barnard (head coach) and new recruit Angus Scott. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d492031.

THE ROYALS are raring to go for their 2019 WAFL season.

East Perth will take on their Leederville Oval ground-mates and 2018 premiers Subiaco in round one.

Head coach Jeremy Barnard said the team was looking forward to the challenge.

“You’re never going to get a better measure than how you are against last year’s premiers,” he said.

“You can train for as long as you want and have as many practise games as you want, but there’s nothing like playing footy.”

Barnard said East Perth’s players had responded well to season preparation, and the team was focused on reinforcing club culture and a ‘never say die’ attitude.

“We’ve got some really exciting players and experienced players – co-captains Patrick McGinnity and Kyle Anderson, Tarir Bayok, we’re really impressed with how he’s gone and he’ll be into the midfield, and we’re looking forward to Ajang Ajang having some real opportunity to lead our ruck,” he said.

“We’ll see Angus Scott and Rohan Kerr in the wings, and we think they’ll be really good for us.”

Barnard encouraged new spectators to come and join the ranks of their local club.

“I’ve spent 14 years in Victoria, and Western Australia has beaten Victoria and South Australia in the last two state games,” he said.

“This is the second best competition in Australia.

“You get far more access both to the players and the coaches in the WAFL. Just being able to come down, listen to the coach, watch your favourite players, let your kids have a kick on the ground.”

Barnard said East Perth will also be doing something a bit different to most clubs – they will be allowing members into the change rooms to have a listen to post-match speeches.

“We’re really bullish about how we’re going to go. We’re not quite sure, but what we do know is that with our East Perth culture and attitude, we’ll give ourselves every opportunity,” he said.

“We’re is looking to win every game.”