WAFL: West Perth coach Bill Monaghan excited about changes ahead of round one

Bill Monaghan at the WAFL press conference on Wednesday.
Bill Monaghan at the WAFL press conference on Wednesday.

ROUND 1 is always a complete unknown, but we’ve been pleased with our pre-season form and we’ve got a fairly healthy list heading into the clash against Claremont at Arena Joondalup on Saturday.

I watched the Tigers in two pre-season games and they played some good football but mixed that with some ordinary efforts. We can’t read too much into that though, because they haven’t had their best team on the park.

I’m sure they’ll be a formidable opponent.

There have been some big changes around the club over the summer, with new senior staff and the opening of our new club rooms.

It’s certainly an unusual experience heading into round 1 with so many staff members having no background in how it’s been done in the past.

But it’s exciting and I’m sure it will be fine.

A new facility means new staff can completely make it their own.

So we’ll leave that up to them and focus on our football.

We hoped to strengthen our list with some top-end tall recruits, as well as adding some pace to the side in the off-season.

Unfortunately, we had difficulties in attracting the recruits that we wanted.

That said, we’re in the fortunate position of having a healthy group coming through this season that is getting up to the 50-80 game mark.

It holds us in good stead to complement the experience of our 100-game plus players like Andrew Strijk, Jay van Berlo, Aaron Black and Shane Nelson.

We feel we’ve got a lot of depth in the mid-size to small players, but could be stronger with our tall stocks.

It means we’ll need a lot to go well with the fitness of our big players this season.

Black is now captain of the club, taking over from Van Berlo.

Jay really wanted to continue leading the side, but because of increased off-field commitments, he decided that it was time to step away.

Luke Meadows is now vice-captain and Blake Wilhelm a deputy- vice.

The coaching and playing group was certain they are our three best leaders.