What were your thoughts on the match?
We knew it was going to be a fair ask to come away with a victory, and the first quarter we succumbed to their style, their pressure, our fundamentals, but I thought for the most part after that, and I know we got blown away late, we had some little wins throughout the day, with the team we had. We lost ‘JK’ (Josh Kennedy) late in the week, youngest team for a long time, and we just saw some growth. We’re here to win, don’t worry about that, but second quarter supply, front half turnovers, contest, pressure, tackles, all the things that I think our fans want to see, if you don’t win, they want to see effort. And I think, sounds a bit silly, we lost by a pretty big margin, but just like last week, I thought the effort was there.
Going into a match missing 11 of your best 22, can you talk about that challenge as a coach?
Missing 11 players from your 22, it’s a balance. We don’t want to make excuses but it’s a reality, we’re obviously looking to play some youth, get to the draft, looking for a new identity as a club in terms of the way we want to play. So all those things make it challenging when you don’t have your best team on the track. I don’t know how many guys Melbourne were missing, they were missing a couple, probably not 11. I think that everyone who was available to play this week, played. So I thought overall they’ve stood up and given it their all anyway. Fundamentals cost us in the end, in terms of trying to be more competitive, but overall we’re pretty – not satisfied – but we thought we got a bit of growth today.
Connor West’s performance, quite encouraging?
West, I think we got at the mid-season draft last year, so he hasn’t even been 12 months with us. (Greg) Clark’s the same. I thought Tim Kelly stood up for us tonight, and (Jack) Redden for his 250th, going against a pretty good outfit in the midfield. A young ruck in (Callum) Jamieson and Bailey (Williams). Learnt so much today, obviously we’re missing (Dom) Sheed, (Elliot) Yeo, (Luke) Shuey, (Nic) Naitanui, there’s probably one or two others there that I’ve missed, so some youth in that midfield’s good.
Where are Xavier O’Neill and Luke Edwards at with their injury?
Xavier O’Neill hurt his knee last week, so he’s out for a while. He’s (Edwards) just has a bit of a groin issue at the moment, so he’s unavailable for a little while. So unfortunately we’ve probably got six or seven injuries that aren’t short term. So that’s going to put a bit of pressure on our list.
These injuries have come at a time you want to be pumping games into young midfielders?
If you’re available to play, you’re playing at the moment. So, it’s not a plan, but we’ve exposed some youth, everyone’s in it together. I spoke to the boys just before, it’s not like we’re rolling out 25, 26 of the same players every week, 43 players have played this year. So they’ve all had exposure that hopefully pays us back down the track.
How are Liam Ryan and Luke Foley?
I know Liam’s hamstring was enough to get subbed out and Luke went under the concussion protocols, so he’ll be unavailable next week. So those two are the two we’ve got at the moment.
How is Josh Kennedy?
Him and Shannon (Hurn), they’re just warriors for our footy club, they’ve put their hand up every week out of necessity and I’m not surprised it’s tipped to the point where they need a rest. He’s been carrying the knee all year, got to the point, he’s got to be pretty sore, ‘JK’, not to play. So, he came to me yesterday and said, ‘I can’t come up,’ I don’t think it’s a longer term issue, but enough for him not to play this week.
Are Shannon Hurn and Andrew Gaff a chance to play next weekend?
‘Gaffy’s’ half a chance, was a slight quad issue last week, trained Saturday okay, so Luke Shuey will be available, not sure about ‘Yeoy,’ I don’t have enough time to go through everyone on the list, there might be two or three that we get back next week, but we might lose a couple today, as well.
Does Foley seem okay?
He looked alright, early days and we’ve got to do all the right things by him, but he walked off the ground and obviously he’s a little bit rattled, but it’s okay.
If Liam Ryan escapes injury, there was a bump?
Not sure, I couldn’t tell you, but the tribunal will look after that. We’ll see how we go.
With a group of senior players on the brink of return, how much does the WAFL come into play for them?
It’s a good question, because at the moment we don’t have anyone available. So, if someone is available, it’s hard not to play them in the seniors, we’ve got to work through that. Someone like Elliot, he’s played one-and-a-half games all year, he’s gone into COVID protocols, he’s been in isolation, he’s coming off of two weeks of concussion. So, we don’t want to set them up to fail, but we’ll work through it.
Shuey, Yeo and Gaff all in the mix for AFL next weekend?
They’re in the mix as of today, that’s exciting for us, but we won’t know until later in the week.
Did you speak to Port Adelaide about the potential of Charlie Dixon playing in the WAFL?
I think it was mentioned but I don’t think it got any traction, whether it was the right thing to do for the WAFL, and I think it was a bit too difficult. We’re going through a fair bit as a club at the moment, it was something we probably just weren’t tin the position to deal with at the moment.
How are you marking the forwards when there’s gaps between supply in games?
It’s a challenge, what did we have today, 35 inside 50s? That’s actually pretty good at the moment for us, so we’re trying to reduce opposition entries and get more supply ourselves. I thought there was some signs today we actually set the ground up a bit better and it’s hard to take the positives when you have such big losses, but I feel like the game was on our terms for longer than it has been in a while. So now it’s about dealing with the front half and entries, and how we can not just keep it in there, but score. Traditionally we’ve been very good at that, at at the moment with personnel and the way we want to play, it’s a challenge, we’ve played some bloody good sides the past couple of weeks as well, so that will be ongoing.
There was a drama with the train lines, which affected the crowd?
Seven thousand, I know, one thing that I do know is we’ve had some really good periods as a footy club, we’re just coming out of a really good era, so we really hope our fans stick by us in challenging times. We really appreciate their support. I know it’s been disappointing so far this year, but we like their support, we appreciate the crowds, it would’ve been 60,000 tonight except for those bloody trains.
Are you looking to address your starts?
It’s hard to assess our scoring with personnel, we played two WAFL players last week, we played 23 players who are available this week, so we want to be better, we want to score more, we want more supply, we want a style of play that stands up, but it is a challenge to try and give you that with what we’ve got in front of us. So, we’re trying to be as positive as we can and pragmatic, so we anticipate getting better in that area, but at the moment it’s a challenge.