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"I am learning new things all the time"

Rhys Dickinson  June 16, 2017 2:45 PM

AFL 2017 Round 13 - West Coast v Geelong

Nathan Vardy played one of his best games of the year against Geelong

He tried to treat it like any other game, but Nathan Vardy was particularly satisfied with West Coast’s 13-point victory over his former club.

Vardy spent seven seasons at Geelong, but he only managed to muster 25 games in the navy and white hoops after battling with a series of long-term injuries.

The 25-year-old packed his bags and headed west in search of more opportunities during the off-season and he certainly proved what he can do when fit and firing on Thursday night.

“There’s a little bit of added satisfaction there,” Vardy joked.

“It’s just another game; that’s how I wanted to look at it. But once it got a little bit closer there in the last few minutes there I wanted us to hang on badly.”

Ironically, Vardy was a key architect of Geelong’s downfall at Domain Stadium.

The budding ruckman dominated at the centre bounce and stoppages for the majority of the match, winning 33 hit outs and six clearances against his old firm.

In spite of his solid round 13 performance, Vardy reckons he's still got a long way to go to become a bona fide ruckman.

“It’s a work in progress for me each week,” he said.

“This is my first year playing as a ruckman and I’d like to think I’m getting better each week, but new opponents present new challenges and reveal new techniques and tactics that I need. I wouldn’t say my performance this week was any better than my previous ones, but I am learning new things all the time.”

A humble Vardy believed the Eagles’ on-ball unit made him look good against Geelong.

He said Mark Hutchings and Elliot Yeo’s tags of Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield helped the Eagles half the contest in the middle of the field.

It also allowed the rest of the unit to play to their strengths.

“Obviously those guys – Selwood and Dangerfield – are a big part of that team. I think they are in the middle pretty much the majority of the time, so for those boys (Hutchings and Yeo) to do a job on those guys was massive to us,” Vardy said.

“We just concentrated on ourselves a little bit more as a result. We focused on what we do well and played to our strengths. We tried to maximise them and in the first half it worked.”