WAFL Watch: Hot Mellington
It was a pleasing round of WAFL matches for Fremantle, with recruit Josh Mellington immediately bouncing back to form, rookie Clancee Pearce continuing to flourish as a forward, and Ben Bucovaz playing his first game for 10 months.
Mellington, Fremantle’s third selection at the 2010 NAB AFL Draft (No. 56 overall), had just two possessions in a disappointing game in round five, but he bounced back superbly for West Perth last Saturday.
The strong-bodied 18-year-old booted 4.4 for the Falcons and assistant coach Simon Lloyd said he had responded well to last week’s disappointment.
“He put his head down and worked on what he needed to work on, so it was pleasing,” Lloyd said.
Bucovaz, who was placed on the club’s rookie list this season after two injury-interrupted years on the senior list, pulled up well after his return match.
Lloyd said the 20-year-old had returned leaner and fitter and was physically capable of playing as a high half-forward.
“If you look at the types of players that play that role in the seniors, that’s the way you need to be,” Lloyd said.
“No doubt it’s been a challenging period for Ben, but he’s shown strong resilience and worked through the situation and probably learned a fair bit about his body as well.”
Clancee Pearce was named Fremantle’s WAFL player of the round for his outstanding 33-possession effort against Perth.
Ahead of this week’s fixtures, Lloyd shared his WAFL notes withfremantlefc.com.au.
Subiaco 16.11 (107) d East Perth 13.13 (91)
Jack led frequently in the first half and covered a lot of territory for Subiaco. We were really happy with his some of his repeat efforts and both of his goals in the first half were from long-range kicks. His efforts to chase, harass and tackle were still present, and that’s an area of his game that has been at our benchmark for the past two weeks.
Hamish started the game forward for East Perth and was strong in the marking contests. There were four solid hit-up leads through centre half-forward and he took around four contested marks in the first half. He was moved into the ruck in the second half and did a really good job opposed to Michael Rix. His tap-work was good and he had five clearances for the half. We felt he was the catalyst for getting East Perth back into the game.
West Perth 20.20 (140) d Peel Thunder 7.6 (48)
Viv showed real urgency and effort and ran hard both offensively and defensively as a permanent midfielder for Peel. It was good to see him put into practice some key focus points that he’s been working on with the coaches and his movement at stoppages was good. He rested forward at times and looked sharp there.
Josh kicked 4.4 for West Perth, attacking the footy hard and reading the ball off the boot to out-position his opponent as a deep forward. It was really pleasing to see Josh enjoying his footy and playing creatively. He got some of his teammates involved as well at stoppages.
South Fremantle 14.18 (102) d East Fremantle 10.13 (73)
Jon played a large chunk of the first half up forward for East Fremantle and went into the ruck for 10-12 minute bursts each quarter. His tap-work was very good, but his focus needs to be on getting used on more occasions when spreading from stoppages. We also want him to focus on attacking the ball in the air when he’s forward.
Ben Bucovaz (reserves)
Ben looked really lively early in his return match, adjusting quickly and running hard as a high half-forward for East Fremantle. His fitness looked better and he came alive in the last quarter with some good efforts in the air. It was great to see him come back and get through his first game.
Swan Districts 18.12 (120) d Perth 10.11 (71)
Clancee played as a high half-forward for the entire game to great effect for Swan Districts. He won a good mix of the ball through the corridor and working wide to the flanks, finishing with 33 possessions. He attacked the contest well and his contested ball and tackling pressure was excellent. He had a very strong game.
Casey played a defensive role for Perth on Tim Geappen and had a solid game, conceding two goals. He showed some good defensive positioning and held his own in contested situations. It was more of a defensive game from Casey and there wasn’t a great deal of offensive run.
Justin started the match at half-back for Perth, opposed to Clancee Pearce, and was then moved to a back-pocket for the rest of the first half, attacking the contest well on two occasions in the second quarter. He played predominantly across half-forward in the second half but had little impact, missing two shots on goal. We’re keen to see his drive off half-back in the coming weeks, but his defensive positioning needs to be a continued focus.