WAFL Watch – Lower lifts
Fremantle development coach Steve Grace subbed in for Simon Lloyd this week, as the assistant coach breaks for the bye week.
Subiaco 9.10 (64) Perth20.14 (134)
Nick Lower (P) – 32 disposals (19 kicks, 13 handballs), 4 marks, 3 goals
After an excellent 2011 season, hard-at-it midfielder Nick Lower hasn’t been able to break into the Fremantle team so far this season because of injury and suspension early in the season.
But the 24-year-old former Port Adelaide player showed he was on track, winning Freo’s WAFL Player of the Round award.
Lower had 32 possessions, including eight clearances and three goals for Perth.
Freo development coach Steve Grace said the most pleasing thing with Lower was not just his statistics, but his ability to spread on the day.
“For Nick, the most important area we want to see with him is how he spreads both ways and covers the ground,” he said.
“It’s an area he’s been working hard on, so it’s a credit to Nick that he’s been able to do it, and do it with style on the weekend.
His work inside at clearances was strong and hard, which is what we’ve come to expect from Nick.
But for him to be able to respond quickly and spread offensively and defensively was very pleasing.”
Grace shared his notes on all the Fremantle players who took part in the recent round of WAFL and Foxtel Cup action.
Reserves – Subiaco 7.6 (48) Perth 15.17 (107)
Gavin Roberts (P) – 16 disposals (11 kicks, 5 handballs) 6 marks
Gavin played as a high half-forward for Perth reserves, increasing his game time this week. This allowed him to get involved more in the game. He showed he is a class act with the ball with some very smart ball use and some strong spurt running. Gavin will continue to improve as he works on his defensive game.
Peel Thunder 7.9 (51) East Fremantle 21.12 (138)
Sam Menegola (EF) – 26 disposals (12 kicks, 14 handballs) 5 marks
Sam has shown that he is consistently improving week to week. He was one of East Fremantle’s best players in a strong win. Sam played mostly as a wing and a half-forward, gathering 26 disposals. But the key aspects of Sam’s game that he has been working on are his contested ground balls, which he won six of on the day, and his work to spread, which is always honest. He has worked hard to refine his running patterns. His ball use was generally clean, and another strong part of Sam’s game was his contested marking. He is also showing an improvement in his commitment at the ball.
Cam Sutcliffe (EF) – 16 disposals (14 kicks, 2 handballs) 4 marks, 1 goal
Cam played on the wing for East Fremantle this week. He was a little bit quiet early but responded with some really good ball use. He showed poise with the ball under pressure. Each week, he is showing improvement with his ground ball efforts and he displays a touch of class with his use of the ball.
Lee Spurr (PT) – 18 disposals (12 kicks, 6 handballs) 4 marks
Lee played a serviceable game for Peel in trying circumstances, with East Fremantle beating them convincingly. There was a lot of defending to do on the day and he did it very well. He showed poise, good ball control and decision-making coming from outside the back 50. His efforts to help out and win contested ball were excellent.
Anthony Morabito (PT) – 16 disposals (11 kicks, 5 handballs) 5 marks
Anthony took another step forward, slightly increasing his game time again. He showed the trademarks that we’ve come to expect of him, with his hard running evident. What was really pleasing was his attack on the ball, his strength on the contest and his ability to get involved. We are looking forward to building upon his game time this coming week.
Swan Districts 18.12 (120) South Fremantle 15.16 (106)
Paul Duffield (SF) – 34 disposals (19 kicks, 15 handballs) 5 marks,
Paul played with South Fremantle for the first time in a long time and he acquitted himself well. He gathered 34 disposals in a losing side but once again was set the task of playing as an inside midfielder, which is a different role. He was really keen to improve his contested ball and work hard at the stoppages, and he certainly did that. His inside hand-use to set up play and transition was done very well. In the second half of the game, he started to play more of an attacking midfield role. It was a pleasing effort from Paul.
Haiden Schloithe (SF) – 23 disposals (4 kicks, 19 handballs) 2 marks, 7 tackles
Haiden played as an inside-mid, sharing duties with Paul Duffield. Both of them combined very well for South and helped to almost cause an upset out at Swan Districts. Haiden’s maturity shone through on the weekend. He generated offensive spread by quick, clean gives and getting involved in a number of chains himself, resulting in score opportunities We are really happy with Haiden’s development.
Michael Walters (SD) – 16 disposals (14 kicks, 2 handballs) 6 marks, 2 goals
Michael took another step forward to his ultimate goal of senior selection. His work rate up the ground and hard surging back was a highlight of his game. He took two very good contested marks with smart, intelligent use of his body and, as always, when the ball hit the ground he was extremely dangerous. He knows with a little bit more poise and finish, a big bag of goals is just around the corner for him.
Reserves – Swan Districts 13.11 (89) South Fremantle 17.10 (112)
Alex Forster (SD) – 14 disposals (8 kicks, 6 handballs) 4 marks
Alex had his second game back with the reserves after injury. He really improved his position as a half-back, and had more confidence in himself to position to the ball and respond to where the ball was rather than his opponent. Three of his four marks where cutting off inside 50s and he also got involved in counter attacks. His intelligent positioning and generally clean use of the ball is a sign of things to come.
East Perth 13.13 (91) Claremont 13.12 (90)
Jayden Pitt (EP) – 16 disposals (13 kicks, 3 handballs) 6 marks
Jayden played for East Perth as a wing and high half-forward. He had 16 disposals in very difficult and windy conditions. His ball commitment improved on the day and his four inside 50s resulted in a number of goal assists. We think it was a big step forward for Jayden.
Dylan Roberton (EP) – 14 disposals (10 kicks, 4 handballs) 4 tackles
Dylan played mostly as a midfielder but also had stints on the wing and across half-back. He didn’t have the influence throughout the game that he would have liked, but he stood up in the last quarter when the game was on the line. He showed great commitment and was strong over the ball. That type of mindset, where he knows he can influence a game, is positive and we look for him to do it throughout a game.
Alex Silvagni (C) – 11 disposals (8 kicks, 3 handballs) 5 marks
Alex played for Claremont as a key defender and had a significant influence on the game by keeping Josh Smith, one of the competitions key forwards, relatively quiet. He showed commitment in the air with five strong marks. He is continuing to work on his kicking and, in a very difficult day for disposal, we felt Alex used the ball really well. It was a solid game for Alex.
Foxtel Cup – Werribee 10.7 (67) defeated West Perth 6.10 (46)
Jay van Berlo (WP) – 8 disposals (5 kicks, 3 handballs)
Jay travelled to Melbourne for West Perth’s Foxtel Cup game against Werribee at the MCG. Unfortunately, he was injured early, but we are hopeful he will return to WAFL football in the next two weeks. It was a disappointing injury for Jay as he was hoping to build on his best-on-ground performance from last week.