Brendon Ah Chee will not be taking his foot off the pedal during the AFL shutdown as he strives to build on the momentum he generated in West Coast’s season opener.
The 26-year-old told SportFM’s Drive program that he would be training as hard as ever in a bid to retain his spot in the Eagles’ starting line-up following an impressive performance against Melbourne on Sunday.
Ah Chee kicked two goals from 12 disposals, applied 11 pressure acts and produced six score involvements in his first round one appearance since 2016 that came about due to a pre-season positional switch.
“To be able to play round one was good knowing that I put the hard work in over the summer and the coaches saw something in me in the forward line,” Ah Chee said.
“A couple years ago I was coming over (from Port Adelaide) as a midfielder and that was 2018 with a premiership-winning midfield, so it was hard to crack in. The last couple of years I’ve been trying to plug away in the WAFL to get into that group, but we’ve got a really talented group of players in there so it’s always hard to crack in.
“This pre-season was more of a focus on a forward line role. It was good; it just gave me something to really focus on knowing that I had this spot available and up for grabs and it was actually achievable.
“I put my mindset on preparing as best as I can for that and I think I managed to do a bit during the pre-season to show I can play. It was good reward.”
West Coast’s entire squad was instructed to maintain their standards in case of a quick return to the playing arena before departing the club on Tuesday.
Ah Chee said the cohort was committed to nailing their remote training programs.
“We had a few exit meetings before we all left the club earlier on in the week saying in two months’ time you have to be ready to go, you can’t slack off,” he said.
“We had a good chat as a playing group and the coaching staff. We all sat down together and said we would hold each other accountable to doing the program by ourselves as best we can because there are boys that still want to win a premiership. I am one of those players.
“We’ve got to maintain all the gains we made over the summer and the pre-season because it doesn’t take long to lose them.”
When he’s not busting his gut at a local park or his home gym, the musically-inclined Ah Chee said he planned to learn the piano.
“I’m a bit of a music man and I’ve got a few instruments at home that keep me occupied,” he revealed.
“I sort of said to myself that now I’ve got this couple of weeks block that I’m going to try and teach myself piano. That’s something that’s been on the bucket list for a very long time.
“It’s probably perfect timing actually, because at the moment I’m terrible, so it will give me a lot of time to at least be able to play in the right key.
“I’ve just got one lying around at home. It’s probably going to be Youtube tutorials to be honest. I might have to go online and get some sort of book, but it might just be a lessons online number.
“I’ll just sit down and repeat, repeat, repeat until I get good at it. I’m actually looking forward to it.
“I’ve always admired from afar people who can play the piano. It’s so different to the guitar, which is my main instrument. It’s going to be fun.”