WE’LL be fairly close to full strength for our first match of the WAFL season against East Perth this week.
Steven Browne has a back issue, which we think will take a couple of months to get right, so we won’t see him until mid-year.
We’ll be easing Matt Guadagnin back into football. He is still recovering from hamstring issues he had at the end of last season after returning from a knee reconstruction.
Unfortunately, one of our recruits Jarrhan Jacky, who was formerly on the Adelaide Crows list, told us last week he had to move to the north of the State for work. It was a shame because we thought he had exciting potential for us.
Our VFL recruit Scott Simpson will make his debut as will midfielder Shane Nelson’s younger brother Scott.
Not playing in the first round gave me the opportunity to check out East Perth against Peel at Leederville Oval on Saturday night.
While it wasn’t a pretty game to watch, I thought the Royals were excellent defensively, which led to them giving up only seven goals. They forced turnovers and pressed hard so it’s going to be big test for us at Arena Joondalup on Sunday.
In a special touch to the match, we’ll be playing for the inaugural Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer Shield in tribute to the football legend who represented both sides.
We had a number of experienced footballers leave in the off season, but that means the next tier of players needs to step up, like Kris Shannon, Brayden Antonio, Corey Chalmers and Mitch Peirce. We’ve also welcomed back Mitch van Berlo, who played a handful of league games before having last season off.