WAFL Watch: Recruits look to the middle
Fremantle will look to expose new recruits Viv Michie and Josh Mellington to more midfield time in the coming weeks as the young Victorians continue their development in the WAFL.
Mellington played predominantly as a forward with the Murray Bushrangers last year, but the strong-bodied 18-year-old has shown potential around stoppages in recent weeks.
Michie, 19, was particularly impressive as a high half-forward at under-age level, but assistant coach Simon Lloyd said the club would also look to give him more midfield roles as he develops.
“With Viv and Josh we’re going to start looking to get them up through the midfield a bit more now because that’s what we need at senior level,” Lloyd said.
Eleven Fremantle players were involved at WAFL level in round four of the State competition, with Clancee Pearce representing Swan Districts in the Foxtel Cup.
Jesse Crichton continued to push for senior selection and was named the club’s WAFL player of the round for the second straight week.
“Jesse’s doing everything he can to put himself in contention,” Lloyd said.
Ahead of this Sunday’s clash with North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, Lloyd shared his WAFL notes with fremantlefc.com.au.
Swan Districts 2.6 (18) lost to Williamstown 8.7 (55)
Clancee was one of Swan Districts’ better players in the Foxtel Cup match, with 13 tackles and 22 possessions. His work-rate was a highlight, playing in a high forward role and running with real purpose to create opportunities. He played high game time and was strong at the ball.
Perth 12.11 (83) d Subiaco 9.17 (71)
By Jack’s own admission it wasn’t his best outing. He had two shots on goal in the first quarter for Subiaco but missed those opportunities and Casey Sibosado played a tight-checking role on him in the second and third quarters. Jack will keep his head down and keep working on his game and his form will transfer.
Casey defended well and with real purpose. He was composed under pressure, used the ball well for Perth and we were really happy with his defensive positioning. He’s developing with his body-work in marking contests.
Justin is spending a lot of time at the moment working on his game sense and running patterns with Perth, with a greater focus on winning his own contested ball. When Justin’s playing his best footy his work-rate is high, he’s winning his own contested footy and he’s running some really good patterns, so that will continue to be his focus.
Gavin Roberts (reserves)
Gavin played an entire game, coming off for five-minute spells in each quarter. His ball-handling was very clean and he was quick on the short lead. Gavin hasn’t played a lot of footy over the last couple of years, so he’s building up his tank and his endurance and we just need to get games into him. We hope he’ll play league footy for Perth in the next fortnight.
East Perth 12.13 (85) lost to Claremont 20.7 (127)
Zac played the majority of the game as a forward for East Perth and probably played in the ruck for 30 per cent of the match. He jumped well in the ruck and his tap-work was good, but he was caught behind in a number of situations when he was forward and his defensive pressure could have been better.
Hamish predominantly played forward before a stint in the last quarter as a defender. When forward he was opposed to Beau Wilkes and Brett Jones. He took a really athletic high mark to convert early in the game and a courageous overhead mark in the third quarter. Our big focus with Hamish is on his defensive pressure and reaction speed when the opposition wins the ball.
Peel Thunder 12.12 (84) def by South Fremantle 16.17 (113)
Viv played mainly as a half-forward with several stints onball for Peel. He was very dangerous as a forward, kicking two goals, and was important as a link-up player. Viv just needs to continue working on his positioning at stoppages and also his work on defensive transition.
Jesse started on a wing for Peel and made a lot of strong tackles through the game. One of his training focuses has been running and carrying the football over a distance and finishing with a goal, and he kicked his first goal of the game like that, which was terrific. His ball-use was excellent and his defensive skills were right up there.
Peter played at full-back for Peel opposed to Callum Wilson and Paul Mugambwa. It was tough for Peter, with the ball often coming in unpressured, but his closing speed and timing was good once again. We’re developing Peter to provide a bit more offensively, so he can become an attacking defender when Peel has the ball.
East Fremantle 6.16 (52) lost to West Perth 11.9 (75)
Jonathon rucked really well for East Fremantle, winning the hit-outs decisively and setting up wins at stoppages throughout the first half. He also jumped aggressively and imposed himself on his direct opponent, and he spread from contests well. He moved forward and looked dangerous at times and he created opportunities with his pressure.
Josh didn’t have a great impact in the first half for West Perth, but when he moved up the ground and got involved at stoppages he did begin to have an influence on the game. He kicked a really exciting goal from the boundary that got his side going. We’re going to look at getting Josh higher up the ground at times in the coming weeks.