IT’S always difficult preparing for clashes against Peel given their list is influenced by selections at the Fremantle Dockers.
It’s even harder on this occasion given the Thunder didn’t play last week and there are a number of injuries to players at Fremantle.
When I watched Peel’s last match against Swan Districts, they had about eight footballers who I had not seen play before.
We guess they could have anywhere from three to eight AFL-listed players this week.
Having said that, I’d say about 75 to 80 per cent of our preparation for a game focuses on what we do, not the type of opposition we are facing.
We’re respectful of all opposition, we look for chinks in their armour but our main focus is on ourselves and making sure we’re mentally ready.
We saw in the finals last year, when Peel were depleted with a lot of players called up to the Dockers, they caught us off guard with a really good first quarter.
I think the players took them a little lightly on that occasion.
We can’t have a similar situation on Saturday at Rushton Park.
We’ve got ourselves in a strong position two games clear in third after beating East Fremantle last weekend.
We could also field one of our stronger sides in recent weeks with Nick Rodda and Kody Manning a chance to return from injury, having been out for a number of rounds.
Andrew Strijk will also return after missing the Sharks game with shoulder soreness.
It was terrific to see the offensive side of our game work so well in the 17.20 (122) to 7.10 (52) victory at Arena Joondalup.
We did not plan to play a particularly attacking brand of footy, but it all came together.
Hopefully, that means the players are beginning to find their rhythm.