Second quarter lets down Bulldogs v Swans

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 3:56 PM

ONCE again it was one quarter of football that cost South Fremantle on Saturday with Swan Districts taking advantage in the second term to end up beating the Bulldogs by 21 points at Steel Blue Oval.

South Fremantle started the game on fire with the first three goals of the game, but Swan Districts wrestled back the momentum with seven goals to nil in the second quarter and ended up winning 15.12 (102) to 12.9 (81) from there.

It leaves the Bulldogs still winless from four games so far to start the 2013 WAFL season, but once again it was just that second quarter that proved costly.

Outside of that, the Bulldogs kicked the first three goals of the game and still by 12 points at quarter-time. South Fremantle then kicked four goals to two in the third quarter and broke even with three as did Swan Districts in the last.

Between the first, third and fourth quarters, South Fremantle kicked 12.6 to Swan Districts' 8.9 to win those three terms by 21 points, but the disappointing second stanza is what let the Bulldogs down and was behind the eventual 21-point defeat.

Kingsley Smith made the most of his limited opportunities up forward kicking three goals from just five kicks and four marks. John Sgherza also continued to gather some form and fitness coming back from injury with 13 touches, four tackles and three goals.

Paul Mugambwa presented hard up forward all afternoon and finished with two goals from 12 possessions and just the one mark.

Sean Tighe again worked tirelessly in the ruck for South Fremantle and ended up with 19 possessions, five marks, 20 hit outs and a goal.

The midfield had to make up for the absence of 282-game veteran and three-time fairest and best winner Kris Miller, and a host of players stepped up including captain Ryan Cook who had 28 possessions, seven marks, seven inside 50s and a goal.

Mitch Banner and Toby Bairstow both racked up 23 possessions apiece with Haiden Schloithe gathering 22, Mitch Carter 22 and promising young defender Jason Maskos 20.

South Fremantle's reserves lost a nail-biter with Swan Districts ending up winning 12.5 (77) to 10.14 (74). Sam Lowrie and Anthony van Manen kicked two goals each for the Bulldogs with Brendan Verrier picking up 22 possessions, Adam Carter 21, Anthony Collica 21 and Shannon Burnett 19.

The Bulldogs' colts prevailed in another tight affair beating Swan Districts 8.11 (59) to 8.6 (54). Cameron McCarthy kicked three goals with Blaine Johnson adding two and Ben Sokol picked up 21 possessions, Matthew Gundry 18 and Bradley McPhail 18.

SOUTH FREMANTLE                                        5.2          5.3          9.9          12.9        (81)

SWAN DISTRICTS                                             3.2          10.5        12.8        15.12     (102)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Sgherza, Smith 3; Mugambwa 2; Adams, Tighe, Gillespie, Cook.

Best: Cook, Tighe, Carter, Maskos, Schloithe, Banner.

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Ugle 5; Geappen 4; Twomey 2; Robinson, Daly, Neale, Cameron.

Best: Robinson, Ugle, Neale, Geappen, Simpson, Garlett.

By Chris Pike

Round 5 Preview v Swan Districts

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 12:11 PM

SOUTH Fremantle heads to Steel Blue Oval to take on Swan Districts on Saturday with the Bulldogs out for a first win of 2013 and looking to hand Swans a third straight loss in the process.

South Fremantle might have not won a game yet this season, but has shown plenty of good signs in those losses to Claremont, Perth and West Perth with the team's most complete showing last Friday night in a nail-biting three point loss at the hands of the Falcons at Fremantle Oval.

The Bulldogs now hit the road again to make it three of the first four games away from Fremantle Oval when they take on Swan Districts at Bassendean this Saturday.

Swan Districts started the season impressively with a win over last year's grand finalists East Fremantle in Round 1, but since has suffered losses to Claremont and Perth. Two of the teams that the Bulldogs have also lost to so far this season.

South Fremantle does lose veteran midfielder Kris Miller thorough a one-week suspension to take on the black-and-whites but has some important players pressing for a recall.

Experienced swing man Andrew McCarrey was in the wars over the first three games and he missed last Friday's clash with West Perth, but he should be right to return to take on Swan Districts and either fill a key defensive role, or provide another goal kicking option in attack.

Emerging defender Nick Borovac has missed the first three games as he recovers from a thumb injury, but he put in a good performance in the reserves last week with 21 possessions and six marks.

His return could be even more important as it allows McCarrey to have the option of playing forward especially in the absence of reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders.

Warrick Andreoli is also pushing for a return while Anthony Collica is a chance to come back into the side after being out injured since Round 1.

The loss of Miller for the Bulldogs is a big one though. He has been the most consistent performer over the first three games of 2013 in the midfield and the three-time South Fremantle fairest and best winner would likely be leading the count again already.

Remarkably, it will be the first game Miller has missed at South Fremantle since arriving for the 2007 season bringing an end to his run of 129 consecutive matches at the Bulldogs with his time including those three fairest and bests, and the 2009 premiership.

On top of that, the only two games he has ever missed in his entire 282-game WAFL career (which included 153 games at East Fremantle) were the last two of 2006 when he didn’t see eye to eye with those in charge at East Fremantle and left the club.

He has never missed a game through injury or suspension, but that will change on Saturday.

However, it presents a chance for others in the midfield to step up further in the absence of Miller including Toby Bairstow, Alex Grima, Haiden Schloithe, Mitch Banner, Adam Guglielmana, Jacob Martinez and Collica and Andreoli if they are picked in the final 22.

Stopping the run from Swan Districts with the likes of Matt Riggio, Shaun Hildebrandt, Ryan Davis, Graham Jetta, Brett Robinson, Dayle Garlett, Lachie Neale, Aaron Elari and Wayde Twomey will be key to South Fremantle's chance of getting a first win on the board for 2013.

By Chris Pike

Mac Chat – Andrew McCarrey column Round 5

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:58 PM

FOOTBALL by its very nature is a source of a vast array of injuries. During the course of a career, it is near on certain that a player will suffer from some type of injury that may be short term, recurrent, long term or in some cases career ending.

There are a multitude of factors behind injuries in our game. The demands of the game itself leave players potentially vulnerable to injury.

Firstly you have the fact that football is a running sport.  It involves running which is multidirectional in nature and periods of deceleration, acceleration and acute change in direction all whilst carrying and bouncing a ball. Coupled to this, a player then has to kick, often across their body or in a multitude of directions. Then you have the contact component in which players are further vulnerable to injury.

The game of football is also constantly evolving. Throughout my career spanning the last 12 years I have experienced a dramatic change in the way the game is played and the increased demands on the body as a result. One of the biggest changes has been the increased tempo and intensity. There is more emphasis nowadays on a running and carry style of play, moving the ball in waves at high speed from one end of the ground to another.

When I first started out at league level back in 2001, you saw a lot more one-on-one football, kicking the ball from contest to contest around the ground. The increased running load and intensity, coupled with more vigorous training demands, has seen a rise in the number of injuries sustained by players. 

The large and varying demands of football can lead to a multitude of injuries. Some injuries are generalised, some due to individual positions played and some just bad luck! Some players may get through relatively unscathed in their careers whilst some battle ongoing recurrent problems.

Kris Miller for instance has played 282 WAFL games without missing a game from injury. Jarrod Parry on the other hand is only 21 and has missed the last two years of football due to two ACL reconstructions. His determination and commitment to his rehab should be noted and commended. He is invaluable as a positive role model for other injured players.

Genetics as well as biomechanics can play a large part in determining the likelihood of injury particularly with the running component of football. We have seen this in the pre-season with Brendon Gulley having on-going foot pain as well as surgery for Shaun Bewick and John Sgherza, both for osteitis pubis. This year we have tried to address the on-going overuse injuries in the pre-season with a progressive glute strengthening program, which all the players embraced as a potential preventative measure to reduce the incidence of injury.

We also used a screening process to try and identify at risk players that have the potential to develop injuries and have made allowances accordingly. This is something as a player that I have found very useful as it has been able to identify different management strategies for some of my injuries.

Throughout my career spanning over 10 years and over 170 games of WAFL football at two clubs, I have unfortunately been one of those players that have had their fair share of injuries. I remember back to my first major injury when it was my debut season for East Fremantle. I was 18 and yet to physically mature. I had a boy's body up against fully grown men. The game was against Subiaco in Kalgoorlie and I was running back with the flight of the ball and was collected by Subi's full forward and felt all 100kgs go straight through me.

I couldn't breathe and initially thought I was just badly winded and bruised. It wasn't until five minutes later as I was running down the wing that I passed out due to lack of oxygen. I woke up in the back of the ambulance with sirens blazing heading towards the hospital. It turns out I had five cracked ribs and a punctured lung which had totally collapsed. When I got to hospital they had to stick a tube into my lung and reinflate it. A delay of another five minutes and the doctors said I would've been dead.

Since that eventful day and initiation into the world of football injuries, I have accumulated a nice little list. To name but a few I've ruptured two vertebral discs in my spine and consequently had to have surgery to remove them. I've broken four different bones, ruptured two tendons in my fingers ( a very common injury amongst footballers ), broken my nose, had several concussions, smashed my front tooth out, and have had more stitches than I can remember.

I’ve had a frustrating start to this season, suffering from a bruised pubic bone during round one and then a fractured rib in round two. Both of these being unlucky impact injuries. Having rested for the last game against West Perth has given my body time to repair itself and I look forward to having an injury free rest of the season.

Most of my injuries sustained over the years have been a result of heavy impacts and collisions. On the other hand I have been relatively lucky with soft tissue injuries, touch wood, whereas some players may suffer from chronic soft tissue problems. For example a player may continuously tear the same hamstring over and over, something that can be extremely frustrating for them.

Although I have missed a large number of games over the years due to injury I still consider myself very lucky. I have been fortunate enough play 171 games of WAFL league football and counting. Injuries are part and parcel of playing. It is a give-and-take relationship. We must be willing to make this sacrifice in order to experience the many highs and lows our great game has to offer.

By Andrew McCarrey

Captain Cook confident a win is on the horizon

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 2:04 PM

SOUTH Fremantle captain Ryan Cook has always felt like a natural leader and is proud to now be in his second season leading the Bulldogs, but getting a win on the board is his sole focus and he doesn’t feel that is far away.

South Fremantle started the season with a strong first half against reigning premiers Claremont before losing full-forward Ben Saunders with Andrew McCarrey getting hurt and ending up losing by eight goals at Claremont Oval.

It was then a tough and tight loss to Perth in Round 3 before another thrilling three-point defeat at the hands of West Perth last Friday night at Fremantle Oval.

There have been plenty of good signs in all three matches and certainly the last two the Bulldogs were disappointed, and in some ways, unlucky to not come away with wins on both occasions.

That's the way Cook sees it as well, but now the focus is just on taking on Swan Districts this Saturday at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval with the aim of putting together four strong quarters.

"We should be 2-1 to be honest, but the boys are up and about and staying positive. We now play Swans and if we keep up that effort we can go out to Bassendean and get a win. Our effort was there all night and I thought it was fantastic," Cook said.

"Over the first couple of weeks, we only played about half a game but this week it was four quarters. We focused on that all night and even at half-time we said we'd played two good quarters and have two to go.

"We had sustained effort the whole game, which was fantastic, and that's why it hurt so much after the game to not win. Hase said to us after the game that if that effort is there every game things can swing quickly and it won't be long before we start winning games."

Cook has always known of his leadership qualities at whatever level he has played so was thrilled when appointed South Fremantle skipper in 2012 in just his second year with the Bulldogs following his time in the AFL with Collingwood.

However, he really didn’t feel he had to change too much as captain and has continued to lead by example, and has had another strong start to the 2013 season mostly off a wing.

"I have felt that leadership responsibility every year I've played senior footy. I have always tried to lead from the front and that leadership role is something that comes naturally to me," Cook said.

"It's not something I thought I had to do much difference because I had the captain title, it's just something I have tried to do every game I've played.

"I think it's been OK, a pretty good start. I've tried to take my leadership to another level being captain for the second year.

"I obviously think about the team before my own game and try to get all the boys up and about, and look after them. It's been a pretty solid start and hopefully I can have a consistent year, and finish off well."

South Fremantle's midfield has worked well through the start of the season led by veteran Kris Miller with support from Cook, Toby Bairstow, Haiden Schloithe, Reece Adams, Mitch Banner, Jacob Martinez and even Alex Grima and Adam Guglielmana at times.

Miller would likely once again be leading South Fremantle's fairest and best count after three games, but he will miss Saturday's clash with Swan Districts.

That will mark the first game he has missed with the Bulldogs since arriving from East Fremantle for the 2007 season, but with the example he sets Cook and the young midfielders all know the standards and will now look to step up in his absence.

"He just never gives up and he has such high regard for himself, and puts a lot of pressure on himself to play good footy, which is great. The younger boys see that, I see that and it also makes us play well," Cook said.

"He has been fantastic to play with. Our midfield even includes Reecey Adams coming back, Schloithey in there at times and 'Spaniard' as well so they are giving us some youth. We have some pace and the boys who get in and under, and Kris Miller the stalwart has been great dishing it out to us runners.

"We've had a good mix in there and Seany Tighe is doing his role in there perfectly. He's obviously not a ruckman, but he has come over here and is playing that role for us. I think he's been fantastic. We just have to keep working at it and as long as we keep winning the stoppages and get it forward, we can kick some winning scores."

The Bulldogs have a long injury list with Ben Saunders, Jarrod Parry, Lewis Harvey, Shaun Bewick, John Sgherza, Nick Borovac, Andrew McCarrey and Anthony Collica among those to have had interrupted starts to the season.

Saunders, Bewick and Harvey are still fighting their way back, but with young players like Kingsley Smith, Jason Maskos, Tom Vandeleur, Sean Lynch and Jacob Martinez receiving opportunities Cook feels that a bit of short term pain could lead to some longer term success.

"We've just tried to bring the boys in, get the twos putting pressure on the league boys and then play good footy when they get the chance," he said.

"We have a lot of younger guys like Martinez and Schloithe who keep developing and are taking their game to another level. Hopefully then those guys out injured at the moment can come in around the middle of the year and give us some run and fresh bodies."

One reason Cook remains confident of South Fremantle's season soon turning around also is the fact that they are fitter and stronger in 2013 following the appointment of strength and conditioning coach Mike Vegar.

"Mikey Vegar has been great. We are fit and firing, and we've definitely got the legs this year which was something that had a question mark over it last year," Cook said.

"Our enthusiasm and everything is up and about, and we are still building – we know that. Last year we lost about six games by two goals or less, and we just need to find that consistent football."

By Chris Pike

Colts Report - Round 4

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 9:12 AM

THIS week saw our first home game for the year with 11 new faces making their home debut on Fremantle Oval as a colts player.

Congratulations to Billy Collier and Brendan Truss on their first games for the club. With the season well under way the SFFC colts side has recovered from their first round loss to Claremont with two comfortable wins over Perth and West Perth. The opening three games has seen the best and the worst of the new colts group with some scintillating football interrupted by undisciplined careless acts.

Once again we thank our colts sponsors in K Craft Bull bars, MCAS Air Conditioning, Golden Eggs and our new backer Burnback Welding Services. Their contribution has allowed us to maintain the high standards the program has developed over the past two years.

Onto this week's game. I am pleased to report that the notorious slow starts of the past are long gone. A six goal first quarter put to rest any ambitions that West Perth may have had of causing any upset against the reigning premiers. The remaining three quarters continued in the same vein and gave little respite to an undermanned opponent.

With both ruckmen Billy Frampton and Luke Rasmussen giving our midfielders easy access to the ball around the ground Tim Stewart, Blaine Johnson, and Dylan Main were able deliver ball numerous times to our potent forward line.

Jermaine Lewis (two goals), Matty Ahsui (three) and Ben Horsman (two) were the main beneficiaries of the constant supply from up the ground. Blaine and Billy also made the most of their forward ventures kicking six goals between them.

Though our attacking game was dominant our standout players came from our defence. Matty Gundry, Mitch Banks, Brad McPhail and Jacob Dragovich all played prominent parts of the good win, with Jacob taking out the K Craft Bull Bar award for his best on ground performance.

Well done to the playing group for the good start to the year and thank you to all the support group who are continuing the high-quality efforts from the previous campaigns.

Arthur Maskos

SFFC Colts Coach

Bulldogs lose a heart stopper at home to Falcons

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 4:02 PM

SOUTH Fremantle fell agonisingly short of a first win of the 2013 WAFL season losing a thriller to West Perth at Fremantle Oval on Friday night by just three points.

After falling 32 points down by early in the second quarter, South Fremantle showed terrific fight and spirit to get back into the contest with five of the last seven goals of the first half, and then three goals to nil in the third quarter to suddenly be in front by three quarter-time.

However, the Bulldogs couldn’t quite hold on in the last quarter with West Perth ending up winning 13.8 (86) to 13.5 (83).

Without question, it was South Fremantle's best performance of the 2013 season to date, though, and an effort like that against most other opposition would likely bring about plenty of wins this year, so it's all about being able to now maintain it.

West Perth got off to a fast start kicking the first three goals of the game and despite late goals in the term to Jarrad Winter and Dylan Ross, the Bulldogs were still 19 points down at quarter-time.

The Falcons then got as far as 32 points up early in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs rallied with five of the last seven goals leading into half-time, with Adam Guglielmana booted two of those and Haiden Schloithe another at the 32-minute mark, to have the half-time margin just 14 points.

South Fremantle then came out and put on a tremendous third quarter kicking the only three goals of the term through Winter, Guglielmana and third-gamer Kingsley Smith to hold a six-point advantage at three quarter-time.

The Bulldogs had all the momentum heading into the last change, but two early goals to West Perth saw the Falcons regain the lead and be up by 13 points when Rohan Kerr goaled at the 12 and-a-half minute mark.

South Fremantle managed to get back to within three points after a late snap from Alistair Gillespie with over 30 minutes elapsed on the clock, but time just ran out before the Bulldogs could press forward to look for the match-winning six pointer.

Guglielmana finished with four clever goals for South Fremantle with Winter adding three.

Veteran midfielder Kris Miller continued his outstanding start to the 2013 season racking up another 26 possessions in the midfield with Schloithe playing a terrific game with 22 disposals and Toby Bairstow also had it 22 times.

Captain Ryan Cook worked tirelessly and didn’t stop running all night finishing with 21 possessions.

Ruckman Sean Tighe had an intriguing battle all night long with Chris Keunen. Tighe finished with 20 possessions, four marks and 42 hit outs for South Fremantle, and Keunen had 19 disposals, four marks and 42 hit outs for West Perth.

South Fremantle back-line worked hard all night led by Brendon Gulley, Craig White, Mitch Carter, Adam McIntosh and Jason Maskos. Adam Doughty also worked hard and had 17 possessions after overcoming an injury from last week to take his place in the side.

Saturday saw the reserves and colts return to Fremantle Oval and both South Fremantle sides recorded impressive victories.

It started in the morning with the colts cruising to an 18.7 (115) to 5.11 (41) victory. Matthew Ah Siu kicked three goals for South Fremantle with Blaine Johnson also kicking three go with his 22 possessions. William Frampton booted three majors from three kicks and 12 hit outs.

Tim Stewart was terrific with 21 disposals and two goals while Jermaine Lewis and Ben Horsman kicked two apiece. Jacob Dragovich picked up 22 possessions and Ben Sokol 20.

Meanwhile, the reserves beat West Perth as well running out 14.14 (98) to 12.7 (79) victors.

Zachary Strom and James Laurino kicked three goals each for the Bulldogs with Willy Rioli and Sean Lynch adding two apiece. Brendan Verrier racked up 27 possessions, Nick Borovac 21 and Sam Lowrie 20.

SOUTH FREMANTLE                                        2.0          7.1          10.5        13.5        (83)

WEST PERTH                                                      5.1          9.3          9.5          13.8        (86)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Guglielmana 4; Winter 3; Schloithe, Sgherza, Adams, Gillespie, Ross, Smith.

Best: Tighe, Miller, Guglielmana, Schloithe, Winter, Cook, Bairstow.

WEST PERTH – Goals: Johnson 3; Kerr, Crisp, Tsalikis 2; Hutchings, Guadagnin, Mellington, Rodda.

Best: Browne, Hutchings, Black, Kerr, Jones, Rasmussen, Keunen.

By Chris Pike

Round 4 Preview v West Perth

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 11:28 AM

SOUTH Fremantle hosts its first home game of the season tonight and it's the only night fixture of the year at Fremantle Oval up against the so far unbeaten West Perth.

Friday night football has been a popular exercise at Fremantle Oval and while it is the only occurrence of it tonight for 2013, it does present a chance to all South Fremantle fans to come down and support their team as the Bulldogs hunt for a first win of 2013.

The Bulldogs have played away the opening two games going down to Claremont at Claremont Oval in Round 1 and then narrowly losing to Perth at Lathlain's Brownes Stadium last week.

South Fremantle, despite the losses, has shown plenty of good signs in those first two games and if it can string four quarters together, then a win isn’t too far away even if it is against a West Perth side that's beaten East Perth and Subiaco already, and is fresh coming off the bye last week.

South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby has elected to name the same 22 that played Perth last week with Adam Doughty (pelvis) and Andrew McCarrey (ribs) at this stage looking to have overcome their sore bodies to take their place in the side.

Young defender Nick Borovac is on standby, though, for the pair and could come in for his first game of the season after battling a thumb injury with John Sgherza also a chance to return if needed after he returned solidly in the reserves last week after an injury-interrupted pre-season.

Hasleby is looking forward to playing the first game of the season at Fremantle Oval and is looking forward to the challenge that West Perth presents.

"It's good to get our first home game of the season against West Perth who have started well, and seem to be playing a bit of a different brand of footy this year with some class players in there," Hasleby said.

"It's a big challenge for us, but the boys have shown over the first two weeks that when we do apply ourselves we can have a really good result, but the challenge for us now is to be able to sustain it for three or four quarters. When we do that, we will win games of footy."

Not only has Fremantle Oval been a popular venue for Friday night games in the past for players and spectators alike, South Fremantle has also enjoyed some tremendous success on the occasion.

Since 2004, South Fremantle has played 33 night fixtures down at the port and won an impressive 23 of them. That record alone should be enough to suggest that the Bulldogs should look to play more night games at home particularly at this time of year when the weather is conducive to it.

Despite that impressive 23-10 record over the past eight seasons, South Fremantle and West Perth have played just four night games at Fremantle Oval on a Friday in history, and it's the visitors who have had the better of the battles.

West Perth has won three of the four clashes with South Fremantle's only win coming in Round 16, 2010 by a massive 64 points when the Falcons kicked just three goals on the night.

Hasleby himself is a fan of night football and is looking forward to tonight's clash.

"I'm a little bit disappointed it's our only Friday night game of the season. It gives the opportunity for the players to have some weekends free and everyone loves playing under lights," Hasleby said.

"We normally get a good crowd down there on a Friday night in the middle of Fremantle Oval as well, so it would have been nice to have a few more games."

By Chris Pike

Hasleby focuses on getting four quarters from Bulldogs

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 8:11 PM

SOUTH Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby again saw enough good signs last Saturday against Perth to remain confident that a win isn’t too far away for the Bulldogs early in 2013 with playing well for a whole four quarters the focus.

South Fremantle dominated the first quarter against Perth and led by 19 points at quarter-time but fell 19 point down by early in the third term.

However, the Bulldogs continued to fight hard and scores were level heading into time-on following Mitch Banner's three goals in five minutes, but in a see-sawing last quarter the Demons held on for a 13-point victory.

Hasleby liked parts of what he saw at Brownes Stadium, but knows the Bulldogs need to sustain their efforts for a full four quarters.

"I thought we didn’t take the most of our opportunities inside the forward 50 in that first quarter. We went inside-50 16 times to their four but we were only three goals up and that probably wasn’t a good representation of how the game was played," Hasleby said.

"It was then a complete reversal in the second quarter when they did exactly what we were trying to do, and they pressured more than us and they used the ball a lot smarter. We need to be able to get the momentum back when it's going against us and that's the challenge for the group when things aren’t going our way."

Hasleby did find himself frustrated leaving Lathlain on Saturday, but confident that a win isn’t too far away given the form that the Bulldogs have shown at times during both their first two matches against Claremont and Perth.

"I was very frustrated by the end of the game, but at the same time we did play some good footy for the majority of the game," he said.

"We just had that very poor second quarter when we had a lapse of concentration and all of those things can be rectified easily, so that's the challenge for the group. We will train hard, work on some specific things and front up against West Perth and give it our best this week to see what we can do."

While South Fremantle's defence was still without Nick Borovac and lost Adam Doughty in the first half, Brendon Gulley made a tremendous return after missing Round 1.

He kept West Coast's Fraser McInnes scoreless and Hasleby was delighted with much of his game.

"He is an extremely good athlete and gives 100 per cent every time he goes out. He has to just tidy up a few areas of his game, but he knows how to play on the big guys and he can also play on the smalls, and gives us a fair bit of run and is one of the best spoilers in the competition," Hasleby said.

"He's only going to keep getting better because he's in his second full year of footy so we look forward to him becoming a really good WAFL footballer."

Banner showed strong pre-season form for the Bulldogs on the ball after arriving from Port Adelaide, and as a result has been tagged in both his first two games in the WAFL while in the midfield.

However, when forward he has kicked three goals in both those two games and his coach is happy that he is still finding ways to make a strong contribution.

"He got tagged the first week by Byron Schammer who is one of the best taggers in the league, but on the weekend he had a different role across half-forward and with 19 possessions and 3.2 it's a pretty good effort from a half-forward," he said.

"As a coach, you can't ask for much more than that as coach and obviously we will continue to talk about some of his defensive efforts, but he's improving and six goals in the first two weeks of footy is a pretty good effort from a recruit."

In the absence of Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa was outstanding as South Fremantle's main forward target finishing with 12 possessions, seven marks and 3.1.

"Gumby has had a great start to the season. He had surgery over the break so it's a really good comeback from him and he is the most elite forward pressure player in the competition," he said.

"He just gives everything and we are seeing that he can take a few marks, and his kicking was terrific on the weekend. It was one of the most complete all-round games I've seen from him.

"If we can get John Sgherza and Ben Saunders back in as well, it's only going to help him as well and he is a very important player for us, and a very good leader around the club."

Hasleby is hopeful that both Doughty and McCarrey will pull up OK to take on West Perth at Fremantle Oval this Friday night with John Sgherza, Kaiden Matera, Sam Lowrie and Brendan Verrier also putting pressure on the league side for spots after solid efforts in the reserves against Perth.

"Doughty's not as bad as we first thought. It looked initially like he could have had a crack in his pelvis, but it looks like it might now just be a knock so fingers crossed he might be OK for this week, or at least in the next week or two. Andrew McCarrey also got a few injuries during the game so that made it even more difficult for us particularly when some of Perth's forwards were on fire," Hasleby said.

"We want to create a culture where you are banging the door down in the reserves to get a game so that when you come in you are ready, and chock full of confidence. That was Sam Lowrie's first game of the season and it was a great return after he's had a bit of osteitis pubis over the break.

"'Freshy' Verrier just continues to get the footy so that's a great attribute that he has. There's a few things to work on with him, but he should get his opportunity before too long."

By Chris Pike

Red and WHITE – Craig White column April 3

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:41 PM

I RECKON night games at Fremantle Oval are great. The season started pretty early this year on March 16 so as long as the weather is permitting and it's not freezing, the night games tend to work.

They work well with the facilities as well with the TAB and bar upstairs, so the fans enjoy that part of it as well.

The players like it because you get an extra day's break and get to enjoy a Saturday afternoon which is rare during the footy season. The more we can play on a Friday night the better, but obviously we have to work in with the WAFL's fixturing and all of that.

All the boys enjoy getting out there for a night game when the weather is good like it always is at this time of year. The lights are good, it's a quick ground and in dry conditions it's a really good night for the players out there, but the fans watching on also.

It's a little disappointing that this week will be the only Friday night game we have for the year. A few seasons back we had four or five and we never lost too many of them on a Friday night so we obviously loved it. Obviously it's out of our hands how many night games we get and it is tough on the volunteers who have to come back on Saturday for the colts and reserves, but from a player's point of view we would like to play as many of them as we can.

They are also the conditions that we train in every night so that probably gives us a bit of an edge. That gives us a good feel for how the ground plays at night and it can be a little fluky with the breeze, but generally if it's a still night the conditions are great.

There are quite a few Friday night games that we've played down here that stick out as well.

There was a game against East Perth in Round 1, 2010 when we came in undermanned and we lost some players early to injury and had a lot of young guys cramping by the end, but we held on to win and Kyle Hams played really well that night.

There was one against Subiaco back in 2006 when both teams were up and flying, and sharing premierships, that we lost but it was a high-scoring game and really high-quality football. It was 19 goals each in the end and they just won, and it was one of the best games I've played in. Daniel Gilmore played really well for us and Brad Smith was up and going for them, and there were just so many quality footballers going at each other all over the ground on a Friday night. There was a good crowd and atmosphere.

It's also always good when we have a night game here during country week and they try to always have the Upper Great Southern game here before we play, and that ties in well because we have a lot of country boys here and those are always good nights. We do tend to win most of our night games here for whatever reason and it's a good opportunity for the country boys to get out and play in front of some of the fans who don’t get to come up to the city too often.

There is a bit of talk about the lights for night games in the WAFL as well, but as a player our lights here are really good. There is one pocket on the far side that gets a little bit dark near the trees, but generally the lights are really good. I went along last Friday to Leederville and it looked like those lights have dimmed, but our lights here are really good and the more we can get out there, the better.

As for the game itself, we definitely need to get our season on track ASAP. It's definitely going to be a tough road back with Perth having a two-game head start on us, West Perth are up and going and Peel are showing they are tougher as well. We really need to start pulling our fingers out and start winning some games, and there's no better time to start than a Friday night game at home.

By Craig White

Bulldogs narrowly go down to Demons

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 9:31 PM

SOUTH Fremantle started in dominant fashion and finished strongly but in the end it wasn’t quite enough with Perth coming away with a 13-point win over the Bulldogs at Brownes Stadium.

South Fremantle completely dominated the first quarter and led by 19 points at quarter-time, and it could have been more, but fell 26 points down by midway through the last term.

The Bulldogs kept fighting, though, and closed to within seven points in the dying stages but Perth ended up steadying with a late goal to win 16.9 (105) to 14.8 (92).

Despite playing his 281st WAFL game, Kris Miller is showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down and picked up a team-high 27 possessions for the Bulldogs to go with six marks and seven entries inside the forward 50.

Captain Ryan Cook gathered 19 disposals to go with nine marks and five inside 50s. Defender Adam McIntosh had 18 disposals as did Alex Grima with Jacob Martinez finishing with 17 touches, Reece Adams 16, Mitch Carter 15 and Toby Bairstow 15.

Brendon Gulley returned after missing Round 1 against Claremont to strengthen the defence and was tremendous keeping West Coast's young big man Fraser McInnes scoreless and to just 11 possessions and three marks.

Sean Tighe once again worked hard in the ruck up against both Christian Eyres and Mitchell Lleyendekkers, and finished with 13 possessions, eight marks and 20 hit outs.

Meanwhile up forward in the absence of Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa was outstanding every time the ball came near him. While that didn’t happen enough after quarter-time, he still looked likely to mark it each time the ball was in his vicinity.

Mugambwa's kicking was also strong as he booted three goals and the one shot he missed he still struck it well and only narrowly missed. He had 12 possessions and seven marks to go with his three goals.

Mitch Banner and Adam Guglielmana both kicked three goals each as well with Alistair Gillespie adding two.

South Fremantle's midfield, fed by ruckman Tighe, completely dominated Perth in the first quarter and the likes of Miller, Cook, Adams, Bairstow and Grima continued to drive the ball forward with Andrew McCarrey and Mugambwa providing strong marking targets.

In fact, Perth took almost 10 minutes to even go inside their forward 50 and 23 minutes for their only goal of the opening term as South Fremantle booted four to lead by 19 points at the first change.

When Guglielmana booted his second goal early in the second quarter the Bulldogs were still in control and 18 points up, but momentum began to swing Perth's way when a dubious goal was paid to Simon Donovan despite it clearly appearing to cross the face of goal and go through for a behind.

However, the goal was paid and the Demons went on to kick the last five goals of the half to lead by 13 points at the main break.

South Fremantle worked its way back into the contest midway through the third quarter thanks to three goals in five minutes to Banner, who only minutes previous had missed a shot directly in front.

He more than made up for it with his three quick goals to bring scores back level, but Perth again steadied to lead by 12 points by three quarter-time and as much as 26 midway through the final quarter.

South Fremantle wouldn’t go away, though, and two quick goals to Gillespie and Guglielmana's third for the afternoon late had the margin just seven points, but that's as close as the Bulldogs got.

South Fremantle's reserves also narrowly went down to Perth by 13 points. Kaiden Matera kicked three goals with John Sgherza making a strong return from injury kicking two to go with 15 possessions.

Eric Moody also booted two goals with Brendan Verrier gathering 26 possessions, Sam Lowrie 22 and Simon Panizza 16 to go with a goal.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs colts scored a resounding 68-point win over Perth to start the day.

Ben Sokol kicked four goals from 23 possessions with Blaine Johnson also kicking four from 21. Cameron McCarthy and Matthew Ah Siu both booted three goals as well with Ben Horsman adding two.

Dylan Main gathered 31 possessions with Matthew Gundry also picking up 19, Tim Stewart 16 and Sheldon Taylor 16.

SOUTH FREMANTLE                        4.4          5.6          9.7          14.8        (92)

PERTH                                                   1.3          7.7          11.7        16.9        (105) 

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Guglielmana, Mugambwa, Banner 3; Gillespie 2; McCarrey, Carter, Smith.

Best: Miller, Mugambwa, Gulley, Grima, Tighe, Banner, Cook.

PERTH – Goals: Bevan 6; Reimers 4; Donovan 3; Boyle, Lleyendekkers, Bateman.

Best: Bevan, Butler, Smith, Reimers, Moody, Hodge, Sinclair.

By Chris Pike