WAFL Watch: Bookends hit form
Jack Anthony and Peter Faulks have each faced their challenges since arriving at Fremantle late last year, but the WAFL bookends appear to be discovering their best form at the same time.
Anthony, who has managed one senior game this season since crossing from Collingwood, was named Fremantle’s WAFL player of the round for his four-goal performance against Swan Districts.
It was the 23-year-old’s most productive performance this year and assistant coach Simon Lloyd said the key forward was building in confidence.
“He’s changed his style of game and has really been thinking about his football,” Lloyd said.
“He’s also playing a lot higher, which means he’s a lot more involved in the contest. If he’s not winning his own football it’s a lot easier to influence the contest and apply some pressure.
“That’s something that has definitely changed in his game and if he continues in that form he will definitely be looked at [for senior selection].”
Faulks, who was named in the 25-man squad against West Coast, is yet to debut for Fremantle, but he is also building confidence in the WAFL after a string of dominant performances.
“As the weeks progress and his body is allowing him to do the things he wants, his confidence will keep building,” Lloyd said. “He’s helped Peel with their resurgence.”
Ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium, Lloyd shared his WAFL notes with fremantlefc.com.au.
West Perth 14.11 (95) lost to Perth 19.10 (124)
Josh played as a high forward with some brief bursts on the wing for West Perth and his intent at the ball carrier was evident. He didn’t win a great amount of the footy, but his defensive pressure was there. West Perth has got the bye this week and it’s come at a good time for Josh, it’s his first year of footy and he hasn’t had a break for a while. We’ve been pleased with his progress this year and it’ll be beneficial for him to have a week off.
Jay van Berlo
Jay started well on a wing for West Perth and he was really proactive with his starting points at stoppages. He was involved in a number of links through the corridor and forward 50 entries where he ran some really smart patterns. His kicking was effective, he found space through the corridor and we were really happy with his decision-making. We’ve tried to free him up and let him get his hands on the footy.
Kepler started on a wing for West Perth and then moved on-ball with a short stint in the ruck. He had a really big impact in the first half as a midfielder around the stoppages, gaining a number of clearances through his strength and disputed-ball wins. He showed good hands to set up some early forward entries and he ran well to space. He went forward at one stage and probably needed to show more authority in the air.
Joel entered this game with the mindset to cover a lot of ground for Perth and he worked really hard all day, out-running his taller opponents and out-marking his smaller opponents. He started on a wing and then pushed into the ruck, performing admirably for parts of the first half before going forward. He constantly hit up on leads and took eight marks, with his contested marking a highlight. We were really pleased with his work ethic.
Casey played a game of two distinct halves for Perth. The first half he played well in patches and was potentially damaging, with a 15-minute period of real authority. But he didn’t have as much influence on the game in the second half. He fought hard to lock the ball in and pressure, which is an area he’s working on, and he used the ball intelligently at times. He set up a couple of shots on goal and could have had three shots himself but he dropped a couple of marks inside 50.
Subiaco 20.19 (139) d Swan Districts 6.7 (43)
Jack played forward for Subiaco and was sharp, enjoying a really productive day. He was constantly on the move and his ability to change direction and get off his opponent was good. He had 18 possessions and kicked 4.3, giving off a number of opportunities to teammates. Overall his defensive pressure was excellent and we were very happy with his performance.
Clancee didn’t play with enough physicality in the first quarter, but to his credit he really lifted his run and his work-rate in the next three quarters for Swan Districts. He got a lot more involved with his pressure acts and his hard-ball gets, and he really used the ball well, kicking with good penetration and power. It was a tough day for Swan Districts, but apart from his first quarter Clancee was honest and played with the right intensity.
Clayton played midfield and on a wing for Swan Districts and he took the game on when he had the ball in his hands, which has been a focus for us. There were some really nice pieces of explosive running in the first quarter as a high forward, and he linked up well from defensive stoppages. He kept working through on a tough day for his team.
Peel Thunder 12.8 (80) lost to Claremont 17.18 (120)
Jesse was switched on early for Peel, winning six touches in the first 15 minutes playing a wing/sweeper role. He moved into the midfield and showed an aggressive approach towards the opposition, laying 11 tackles, so we were really pleased with how he approached the contest. Jesse’s hands were good in close, but he struggled to get the ball in space to run and carry, which is something he’s focused on.
Peter played as a key back all day for Peel, predominantly deep and opposed to quality WAFL forward Chad Jones. He was very good with his positioning and his aggressive spoiling, and he only conceded two goals and a handful of possessions to his opponent. The last couple of weeks he’s been really attacking the contest in the air and spoiling aggressively, directing the ball where he needs it to go defensively.
East Fremantle 18.6 (114) d East Perth 17.8 (110)
Ben played as a high half forward for East Fremantle, moving deeper in the second half. He started the game well, pushing up the field and then working back with the play. He kicked a great set shot goal from 50m and he had six possessions in that first quarter. He was presenting in good positions, but he didn’t have as much of an influence in the second term. He showed a lot of energy throughout, kicking an important goal in the last quarter.