In Their Words – Alex Howard Round 11

Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 8:01 AM by Alex Howard

ONE thing we have talked about as a group is that even though things are tough at the moment, we feel if we can get over the line in one game it will spark something for us. Claremont were in a similar position last season before they went on a run, winning six in-a-row and playing finals. 

We want to emulate that and finish our season off in a similar way. Coming off a game like we just played and having a short break is good. We can just get out there again, put last week behind us and focus on putting everything into beating West Perth. 

Personally even though we haven’t won the games we would have liked and my focus is on the team, I'm enjoying the season I'm having. Tony Notte and I have always had a good bond and we enjoy playing alongside each other down back so that's always fun. We have been able to blood the young boys alongside us, a prime example was the other week when we got Nathan Ireland in and he was outstanding against Perth. We also have other young guys like Denzel More and Tristen Raynor taking on large roles which is going to fast track their growth. Denzel has been great, we are giving him some of the best forwards every week and he's getting the job done. This allows me and Tony to do what we do and help each other out. It makes it a lot easier for our whole mini team in the back-line if we know we can rely on these young guys to do their job. Hopefully we will be able to keep giving them opportunities to grow.

After losing games it's always a flat feeling for the rest of that weekend up until Monday or Tuesday. However, the boys always get around each other and after that we focus on what we need to do to try and win the next week. We go into every week knowing that we have the ability and we have certainly challenged every single team in the competition. So we know that every week whoever we play we can get the job done. Unfortunately we're having a ‘nearly’ season where we just aren’t finishing off all our hard work. . All the boys still have confidence going into every game and that shows because we've been able to start games pretty well. We just need to keep that focus in order to finish off games now.

Most of our games this year have been tight. It's often only a short 10-15 minute period where the other team puts three or four goals on quickly to break the game open. From here we have to fight twice as hard to get back in the game. We never give up and have been able to bring it back to a close contest in most games this season. That's just football, we need to find a way to adjust and be able to stop teams getting on those runs. We need to hold on and grind out those 10 or 15 minutes, which has been a focus point for us for the last four weeks. A good example was the West Coast game where we were able to grind it out for the 15 minutes when they had momentum by creating repeat stoppages and slowing the game down. It ran out the game and we won that one. We just need to find a way to do that more often.

The reality is we are such a young team and we realise that. We know how talented our list is and it's going to hold us in good stead in the future, but for now we just have to keep this same young group around and it will pay dividends in the long run. Every team goes through these ups and downs. Unfortunately we're just having a tough run at the moment but our young kids are still fighting it out and gaining the experience that will help build them for the future years.

We're looking forward to getting back out there on Saturday against West Perth. Last time we played them it was probably our best four-quarter performance we've put in all year. However, we know how dangerous they are and if you look at them since we played them last, they've gone 4-1. They are in a lot better form now and they've learned their new coach's game plan better. We know they will be a tough opponent as West Perth always have been during my career but we know their dangerous players and strengths. We've also identified some weaknesses we can exploit too. We just need to execute our game style and we think we will match up pretty well with West Perth.