Select grade below

Round 5 Preview v East Perth

Friday, April 30, 2021 - 4:38 PM by Chris Pike

SWAN Districts deserve to be feeling good about their start to the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season but they can't afford any sort of let up against East Perth on Saturday.

There has been plenty to be encouraged about with the start to the 2021 season for Swan Districts. It did start with a narrow loss to Claremont but emphatic wins since against Perth and the West Coast Eagles have meant there's plenty of positivity around Steel Blue Oval.

Last Saturday was going to be a fascinating challenge at home against reigning premiers South Fremantle but the snap three-day West Australian lockdown meant that round's action had to be postponed.

So now instead, Swans are preparing to take on East Perth this Saturday at Leederville Oval having had two weeks in between their last game of beating the West Coast reserves team by 39 points at Steel Blue Oval.

While the start to the season has been impressive in the first three games from Swan Districts, a lot of that good work could be undone without continuing the momentum against East Perth on Saturday.

The Royals come into the game having started the season having lost to Subiaco by 28 points, Peel Thunder by 105 points and East Fremantle by 25 points.

At this stage there is just the one change to the Swan Districts team from the one that beat the Eagles two weeks ago to the one that will take on East Perth on Saturday.

Dual AFL premiership star Lewis Jetta has overcome a calf injury to return to the line-up while Seb Bright is the only exclusion at this point.

And for East Perth, Thomas Edwards-Baldwin, Nick Robertson, Jack Cooley, Jack Hindle and Shaquille McKenzie all come into their squad from the team that lost to the Sharks. Jordan Hayden is the only player officially to be out at this point.

Swan Districts coach Adam Pickering has rightfully been pleased with the start to the season from Swan Districts and with the impact the new faces have made, and he's not too fussed if they seem to be flying under the radar provided they keep performing.

"It has been a more positive than there has been the last couple of years so to be 2-1 after the three games is pretty good, and we were challenging Claremont in Round 1 for the most part of the day. It has been a really good start," Pickering said.

"We've probably got some guys who are new to the competition and nobody knows too much about like Jesse Palmer and Chris Jones, and even Frank Anderson and Sam Fisher going back to last year, and we're just going about our business and they are pretty good players.

"If everyone wants to keep pumping up everyone else, that's fine, we'll just go about our business and try to get the job done each week and see where we sit at the end of the year."

One glaring area Swan Districts needed to improve for 2021 was finding an avenue to goal and Jesse Palmer has surpassed all expectations so far, and Pickering is hoping he can continue to provide a strong target in attack for the black-and-whites.

"Jesse has been great. He's a really crafty, clever forward and he's one of those guys who I describe as lucky but they seem to be lucky a lot those type of forwards. They end up being in the right spot out the back or front and centre, or all on their own inside-50 a lot," Pickering said.

"He has been really impressive and he had 10 shots on goal against West Coast and he kicked 4.4, and he's been getting a lot of the ball in the forward 50. That's something that we have been lacking in my time at Swans is a real good focal point who can put a score on the board. So he's been fantastic so far."




Livestream: The West Australian