Game Day Round 1, 2024 : West Coast v Port Adelaide - 1.00pm Sun 17/3 @ Adelaide Oval (A new era begins)

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Dawn of a New Era

A process that tentatively started at the end of the 2021 season reached a tipping point over the 2023/24 off season. What had been a subtle shift became undeniable and after two years of obfuscation the club has now fully embraced the fact they are in a rebuild. Some would (quite rightly) say it’s stating the obvious

How much as the club changed?

Here’s a list :

• Of the 44 listed players in 2024, a full 50% have come to the club following 2021. Only 22 of the 42 players from 2021 remain
• At the start of 2024, 22 players were aged 21 or younger and just 5 were over 30 transforming us from one of the oldest lists to one of the youngest
• With the retirement of Luke Shuey, Liam Duggan and Oscar Allen were appointed new co-captains
• Whilst Simpson remains head coach, Luke Webster is the only line coach remaining from 2021. Jaymie Graham, Adrian Hickmott and Daniel Pratt have all departed, replaced by Jarrad Schofield, Matthew Knights and Luke Shuey
• Our S&C/high performance department has been completely overhauled. Mathew Inness, Mark Kilgallon and Paul Turk have joined following the departures of Glenn Stewart, Jordan Stares and Warren Kofoed who had all been at the club for over 10 years
• We have a new list manager in Matthew Clarke from Richmond and a new recruiting manager, Duane Massey, who was promoted from within. Rohan O’Brien who’d held those roles left after 30 years at the club
• And the small matter of Trevor Nisbett standing down as CEO after spending 25 years in that role and another 10 as football manager. Don Pyke has sizeable shoes to fill but brings the energy and acumen needed to oversee the clubs next phase

It’s a new look playing group looking to forge it’s own identity as it begins the long climb to further success

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Preseason is Over
It’s been a long, hot summer and a gruelling preseason. After two injury cursed seasons there was a renewed focus on building durability into the playing group.

There’s been a significant increase in contact work and a focus on repeat high speed running in a plan to prepare the players for the season ahead

This strategy hasn’t come without some casualties but the club as articulated by Pyke has acknowledged that if you push the players to their limits, sometimes you can go too far

As it stands, 36 of 44 players are available for selection and overall the group looks bigger and stronger


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The Port Challenge

On Sunday, we get an audit on what difference, if any, all that hard work over summer has made

In the corresponding game last year we managed one of our more respectable losses going down by 40 points, 16.13(109) to 10.9(69). Outside of a 6 goal to 1 second quarter we held our own through the other 3 quarters and Jai Culley earned a rising star nomination for his 4 goals

This game won’t be any easier. Our practice match form doesn’t give cause for great confidence against a Port side that comfortably accounted for Fremantle


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The Likely Lads

Team selection is still to come and according to Simpson there’s 6-7 players fighting over the last 3 or so spots

My likely starting 18 is :

FB: Cole Barrass Hough
HB: Duggan McGovern Ginbey
C: Gaff Kelly Hunt
HF: Cripps Darling Brockman
FF: Long Allen Waterman
R: Williams Yeo Reid
INT: Jamieson Witherden Chesser Petruccelle
SUB: Jones
EMER: Maric Edwards Barnett

Gaff has probably just done enough over preseason to keep his spot on the wing but he’s far from a lock. Waterman I have ahead of Maric for now but that’s close to line ball.

The rest of the starting 18 are self explanatory although Brockman still has to be declared fit at training on Thursday

The interchange bench is tricky and depends on team balance/strategy

1) Bailey will ruck but needs a backup. They could use Waterman as a pinch hitter as they did at times last year or go with a bigger body like Jamieson, Barnett or possibly Jack Williams. I suspect they’ll use Jamieson who can also be used as a defender. If they use Waterman then Maric will play as the spare forward
2) Jones and Witherden are likely competing for the 7th defender role. For whatever reason, Jones seems slightly out of favour and didn’t play in the firsts in either practice game. On that basis I think Witherden, who played well on Fogarty v Adelaide, gets the nod
3) Two spots to be raffled between Chesser, Edwards, Petruccelle and possibly Hall as a wildcard debut having gotten over his ankle sprain. I’m leaning to Chesser and Petruccelle mainly due to their pace

Potential Port Lineup

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I don’t think it matters who Port select, just know that they’ll field a strong side so I’m giving zero hecks who plays for them

What are we searching for

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1) Spirit

It’s been a word thrown about extensively over preseason, that they want to play with spirit as a starting point. Be strong in the contest and have a crack

If they do that over four quarters then that’s a pass mark provided they also play with a bit of dare and take the game on. Mistakes are inevitable and acceptable if they’re trying to move the ball quickly. Coughing up the ball because a dinky little 20m sideways/backwards chip pass misses it’s target isn’t

2) The back page hero

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Harley Reid, the most hyped player to arrive at West Coast since the last No.9.

It’s been a pretty wild summer for young Harley who’s had more front/back page appearances in the West Australian shitrag than Dark Sharks has reused jokes

There’s no doubting his quality but it has to be remembered he’s still only 18 and will be playing his first AFL game. I have no doubt Port will target him so it will be up to the senior players in the midfield especially to protect him and fly the flag for him when required.

We’ll all be watching and watching

3) The other Young Guns

It’s not just Harley we should be watching though. Hough, Long, Chesser, Ginbey and Brockman are all exciting talents who will be a big part of push to returned success in the coming years

They’ve all had a taste so know what to expect and I look forward to see how they play

4) The Cripples

Safe to say we’ve had issues getting our senior players on the park in recent seasons. But if we’re to be competitive our leaders have to stand up - McGovern, Yeo, Kelly, Barrass, Cripps, Darling, Gaff and our two new captains need to set the standard for the young guys to follow

5) A Semblance of a Game Style

Along with spirit, Identity has been the new buzzword. This side is miles from the finished product, and we don’t expect them to be but it’d be nice to see signs of what the coaching group is trying to implement

Bold Prediction

9ED002A0-C080-44CC-849B-0E70CF15336C.gif

Well there’s always a chance, Sportsbet are paying $9.20 for anyone that’s interested, but a win is unlikely

If we can keep the margin to under 5 goals that would be a mighty effort

Danger game

West Coast win with a goal after the siren by Jack Darling
 
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Unlucky for Harley Reid. I do not think there is a more difficult team for Harley Reid to matchup on.

You have deal with bulls JHF and Rioli and wines

Then if you get past those two you have quick rozee and butters. Just lucky spp isn't playing.

Will be a tough learning experience and his most difficult game for the season.

If he does somehow carve up port then all lids are off. Time commision his photo at every hungry jacks out there
 
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Really keen to watch how the boys go Sunday. Not expecting too much, but agree if we can get within that line of 47.5 I will be relatively happy.

Want to see more good signs from young players - Long, Ginbey, Hough - See some improvement from Chesser and or Edwards if they are selected and obviously want Harley to play well.

Brockman I feel will add much needed class around the footy, a low possession - high impact player is what I am imagining and something we have really missed the last few years.

Intrigued with the old guys - Gov, Yeoy, Crippa, TB and even Jack and Gaffy. Unfortunately we are still reliant on these guys to hold up strong if we are going to be half competitive.

All in all a new season brings new hope, if we can stay within 8 goals and come out again injury free then it is a positive step forward.
 
View attachment 1926324

Dawn of a New Era

A process that tentatively started at the end of the 2021 season reached a tipping point over the 2023/24 off season. What had been a subtle shift became undeniable and after two years of obfuscation the club has now fully embraced the fact they are in a rebuild. Some would (quite rightly) say it’s stating the obvious

How much as the club changed?

Here’s a list :

• Of the 44 listed players in 2024, a full 50% have come to the club following 2021. Only 22 of the 42 players from 2021 remain
• At the start of 2024, 22 players were aged 21 or younger and just 5 were over 30 transforming us from one of the oldest lists to one of the youngest
• With the retirement of Luke Shuey, Liam Duggan and Oscar Allen were appointed new co-captains
• Whilst Simpson remains head coach, Luke Webster is the only line coach remaining from 2021. Jaymie Graham, Adrian Hickmott and Daniel Pratt have all departed, replaced by Jarrad Schofield, Matthew Knights and Luke Shuey
• Our S&C/high performance department has been completely overhauled. Mathew Inness, Mark Kilgallon and Paul Turk have joined following the departures of Glenn Stewart, Jordan Stares and Warren Kofoed who had all been at the club for over 10 years
• We have a new list manager in Matthew Clarke from Richmond and a new recruiting manager, Duane Massey, who was promoted from within. Rohan O’Brien who’d held those roles left after 30 years at the club
• And the small matter of Trevor Nisbett standing down as CEO after spending 25 years in that role and another 10 as football manager. Don Pyke has sizeable shoes to fill but brings the energy and acumen needed to oversee the clubs next phase

It’s a new look playing group looking to forge it’s own identity as it begins the long climb to further success

View attachment 1926329

Preseason is Over
It’s been a long, hot summer and a gruelling preseason. After two injury cursed seasons there was a renewed focus on building durability into the playing group.

There’s been a significant increase in contact work and a focus on repeat high speed running in a plan to prepare the players for the season ahead

This strategy hasn’t come without some casualties but the club as articulated by Pyke has acknowledged that if you push the players to their limits, sometimes you can go too far

As it stands, 36 of 44 players are available for selection and overall the group looks bigger and stronger


View attachment 1926330


The Port Challenge

On Sunday, we get an audit on what difference, if any, all that hard work over summer has made

In the corresponding game last year we managed one of our more respectable losses going down by 40 points, 16.13(109) to 10.9(69). Outside of a 6 goal to 1 second quarter we held our own through the other 3 quarters and Jai Culley earned a rising star nomination for his 4 goals

This game won’t be any easier. Our practice match form doesn’t give cause for great confidence against a Port side that comfortably accounted for Fremantle


View attachment 1926331


The Likely Lads

Team selection is still to come and according to Simpson there’s 6-7 players fighting over the last 3 or so spots

My likely starting 18 is :

FB: Cole Barrass Hough
HB: Duggan McGovern Ginbey
C: Gaff Kelly Hunt
HF: Cripps Darling Brockman
FF: Long Allen Waterman
R: Williams Yeo Reid
INT: Jamieson Witherden Chesser Petruccelle
SUB: Jones
EMER: Maric Edwards Barnett

Gaff has probably just done enough over preseason to keep his spot on the wing but he’s far from a lock. Waterman I have ahead of Maric for now but that’s close to line ball.

The rest of the starting 18 are self explanatory although Brockman still has to be declared fit at training on Thursday

The interchange bench is tricky and depends on team balance/strategy

1) Bailey will ruck but needs a backup. They could use Waterman as a pinch hitter as they did at times last year or go with a bigger body like Jamieson, Barnett or possibly Jack Williams. I suspect they’ll use Jamieson who can also be used as a defender. If they use Waterman then Maric will play as the spare forward
2) Jones and Witherden are likely competing for the 7th defender role. For whatever reason, Jones seems slightly out of favour and didn’t play in the firsts in either practice game. On that basis I think Witherden, who played well on Fogarty v Adelaide, gets the nod
3) Two spots to be raffled between Chesser, Edwards, Petruccelle and possibly Hall as a wildcard debut having gotten over his ankle sprain. I’m leaning to Chesser and Petruccelle mainly due to their pace

Potential Port Lineup

View attachment 1926337

I don’t think it matters who Port select, just know that they’ll field a strong side so I’m giving zero *s who plays for them

What are we searching for

View attachment 1926344

1) Spirit

It’s been a word thrown about extensively over preseason, that they want to play with spirit as a starting point. Be strong in the contest and have a crack

If they do that over four quarters then that’s a pass mark provided they also play with a bit of dare and take the game on. Mistakes are inevitable and acceptable if they’re trying to move the ball quickly. Coughing up the ball because a dinky little 20m sideways/backwards chip pass misses it’s target isn’t

2) The back page hero

View attachment 1926346

Harley Reid, the most hyped player to arrive at West Coast since the last No.9.

It’s been a pretty wild summer for young Harley who’s had more front/back page appearances in the West Australian shitrag than Dark Sharks has reused jokes

There’s no doubting his quality but it has to be remembered he’s still only 18 and will be playing his first AFL game. I have no doubt Port will target him so it will be up to the senior players in the midfield especially to protect him and fly the flag for him when required.

We’ll all be watching and watching

3) The other Young Guns

It’s not just Harley we should be watching though. Hough, Long, Chesser, Ginbey and Brockman are all exciting talents who will be a big part of push to returned success in the coming years

They’ve all had a taste so know what to expect and I look forward to see how they play

4) The Cripples

Safe to say we’ve had issues getting our senior players on the park in recent seasons. But if we’re to be competitive our leaders have to stand up - McGovern, Yeo, Kelly, Barrass, Cripps, Darling, Gaff and our two new captains need to set the standard for the young guys to follow

5) A Semblance of a Game Style

Along with spirit, Identity has been the new buzzword. This side is miles from the finished product, and we don’t expect them to be but it’d be nice to see signs of what the coaching group is trying to implement

Bold Prediction

View attachment 1926348

Well there’s always a chance, Sportsbet are paying $9.20 for anyone that’s interested, but a win is unlikely

If we can keep the margin to under 5 goals that would be a mighty effort

Danger game

West Coast win with a goal after the siren by Jack Darling
I'm so sick of this club sitting on their hands and never trying anything new FFS.
 

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Finally! The day has arrived - the 1st thread for the 1st game of the new season!
And a ripping yarn the opening post was, noice one..I thought 'Spirit' and 'Semblance of a gameplan' nailed it.
Hoping to see what Brockman brings, if he plays. Eyes on Reid of course.
A last minute wild card - Hall?
Now to settle in for the looooong haul...
 
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