Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Round 18

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 12:51 AM by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following Saturday's Round 18 WAFL win over West Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval as he discusses Ashton Hams' milestone, Shane Hockey, Noah Strom, Andrew Strijk and much more.

QUESTION: That was an important win for a number of reasons against an in-form West Perth?
ANSWER: It was probably less about the day and more about the importance of us getting back to playing our brand of footy, and what's made us a pretty consistent team the last few years. I thought we did that and our pressure was right back up. To have more possessions, more tackles and keep them to less than 40 inside 50s is much closer to what it looks like when we are playing at our best.

Q: After losses to Subiaco and Peel, it was important to bounce back?
We were just trying to get back and play our way. It's important for the whole group that when you haven’t been going that well, you can forget what it feels like when you do play well. We had some real energy from the start, our pressure was pretty good and we definitely left a few opportunities out there in the second quarter and should have been further in front at half-time. But they're a good team and they've had a really good run. It was good to get the four points for us and to get the feeling like we're back on track.

Q: Also good to win in a milestone game like Ashton Hams' 200th game?
Milestone games are probably more important when you finish your career to look back on, but one thing I remember is that you remember milestones if you win. If you get beaten then you don't remember them as fondly. It was a great effort for Ash and his family, and to have a little bit of an impact on the result late was great for him. I'm sure Seaton Thompson in his first game will have fond memories as well of playing in Hamsy's 200th game.

Q: It was late in the game when he really showed his experience and smarts to go back behind the ball and win a couple of important contests?
To be honest I thought all our senior leaders bounced back and played some strong roles at important times. He reads the game as good as anyone so it was important what he did late and I thought we were pretty even across the board.

Q: Shane Hockey's game was remarkable not only for 41 possessions and 19 tackles, but his presence around the contest and on the opposition?
He has been a great player for us in the time he's been at the club but he copped a pretty significant knock earlier in the year and it's probably taken him a bit of time to get back. But he was pretty good this week in those clinches and certainly got the ball going our way. He's an important part of our midfield when we're playing well. Regardless of the conditions, if you are playing in and around midfield and you go to play inside at stoppages then conditions don't mean as much because you still have to win the ball at the contest. He did that really well and I thought as a group we did a great job taking away their time and space with the ball. They've been a high uncontested possession team the last few weeks and we were able to take some of that away from them, which was the most pleasing them.

Q: Was it good to do so well in the contested and tackling areas considering you were missing Dylan Main and Steve Verrier?  
It's rare that you ever have your best team available at any one time, so it's important that whoever is in there plays that role. I thought Schloithe, Suban and Marlion Pickett, who got closely followed, all had an enormous impact on the game and in the contest. Add in Hocks as well and they only went inside-50 37 times so that puts them under a lot of pressure if you're playing in your back half for a lot of the game.

Q: What did you make of the Jason Maskos battle with Andrew Strijk?
He's been a fantastic player for a long time and I was lucky enough to coach him when he first started, and he's always been a super player one-on-one. His ability to mark for a player his size and use the ball is elite. I think he probably should have got more opportunity to play at the high level to be honest, but that didn't happen. For Jase, he is as good a small to medium defender as there is in the competition. It was a great battle and one that was good to watch.

Q: Noah Strom did another great defensive job on the Bernie Naylor Medal leader Tyler Keitel too?
He certainly is getting plenty of credit within the club for the season he's having. He's been fantastic as a first-year player and continues to grow playing on some good players. Keitel and Strijk are the top two goalkickers in the comp at the moment so it was a big task. Noah just keeps doing his job and he's been a real bonus for us with the way he's progressed.

Q: This win might mean you end up finishing second but was it more important to get back to playing the way you want to play?
That's been our focus. Even against Peel during the second and third, and early in the last, quarters we were pretty good but the first quarter put us under so much pressure and we had to come from so far behind that it just wears you down. That's probably as close to a good four quarters that we've played. We talk about how we want to play all the time, but it's good to be able to see it and for some of them to feel what that's like. Hopefully that will be a catalyst to continue.