Player Column – Adam McIntosh Round 8

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 10:03 AM by Adam McIntosh

I DID enjoy the week off that we've just had. Personally I probably needed it because I didn’t do much of the pre-season as I spoke about in my first column and I think everyone could have used a bit of a rest after those first six games and two practice games. 

Everyone is refreshed now and ready to go against Perth on Saturday at Lathlain Park.

I'm a little surprised to be honest that I was able to play all of those first six games just because of my preparation due to my leg. But it has been feeling really good on game day, it just takes a while longer to recover and it's still sore early in the week. But each week it's getting stronger and once that continues to improve, my training will get better and my form on game day will pick up in the second half of the season as well.

Player Column – Adam McIntosh Round 2 

I wanted to take this chance to look at our defence though. We take great pride in the back-line we are building and we might not get the attention of the flashier players up the field, but we like to think we are going pretty well as a unit.

Going back to last year first of all, once I went out with my injury I didn’t really notice much change with the back-line. They did throw Stevie Edwards down there and he can play back and forward now, and he provides that bit of extra run but not much has changed over the past 12 months. We all train the same way, we all know the game plan and it's all one team down there. It was an interesting experience watching them on last year but the system all stayed pretty much the same.

We call ourselves 'The Posse' and Arthur came up with that term for us group of backs in both the ressies and league team. We've now had the same sort of six or seven blokes who have played together for a while now so we do have a pretty good bond and we know how each other plays. It is really like a team within a team down there, and we enjoy when one of us plays well and if anyone else is struggling, we try to get around them.

My role within the backs has changed a bit over the years as I've got older. My job is now to provide that voice and try to get the structures done early. I'm still expected to provide a bit of run but with Marlion down there, we leave it to him a fair bit and Stevie Edwards now as well. My role is to get the structures right, play as a third tall every now and then and then the main job is to use my voice to get our communication up.

Marlion is one of those players who when we look back on our careers he will be a guy who you say with pride that you played with. He is a special player. A couple of years ago he probably hadn’t found his position and struggled a little bit with his structures at WAFL level, but since he's gone down back the play is in front of him and he just has to get the ball. Even now we can throw him forward or in the ruck and he can change the game for us. He's a pretty special player.

Blayne Wilson saves a lot of goals for us by reading the play so well and taking those intercept marks of his. He always manages to get a lot of the ball as well and I'm not sure how all the time, I don’t know if he mans up too much, but he is our main general down there. He's played the most footy down back in our team and he might not be as loud as the rest of us even though he can be, he just reads the play well and sets everyone up.

I was actually pretty surprised at the start of last year when Josh Pullman and Zac Strom swapped their spots from forward to back, and I wasn’t sure how Pullers would go down back. But he came in straight away and he can just read the ball so well in the air and he's very strong, so he can take a good grab. He has fitted in perfectly and obviously he's one of our leaders, so his voice from behind is up there with the best.

Luffy has taken Pullers' spot for now and I love playing alongside him. He has some good sledges out on the field as well and he is just a guy that you love having around the club. You always know he will give you his all when he's out there too.

Maskers is probably in career-best form at the moment and he thrives on the challenge of playing on some of the opposition's best players. He is showing that now and he's played a fair bit of footy, and he's starting to give a bit more offensively as well which might have been what he needed to work on. But when he gets a role you know he'll give it 100 per cent and he wins most of the jobs he gets given. Earlier in the year he kept Leroy Jetta to four touches and even last year in the prelim final, he kept Shane Yarran pretty quiet which I struggled to do. He thrives on those big jobs.

Brendan Verrier has been spending some time down back with us lately. That's good for us because he's very fit so can provide a lot of run and he has been manning up well also. Kyle Russell was doing well there too earlier in the season settling into Gunners' spot from last year while he's out injured at the moment. Jarrod Garlett spent some time there last week and he's another exciting player who can provide some run for us.

It has taken some time and we've been through some tough periods as a group, but I think we all learned from guys like Toby McGrath who was playing down back when I first started. I also learned a lot off Craig White and Googs last year. It's a pretty special core group we've built down there. We all know our role and we all just do our job. There's no egos down there and we just worry about going about our business and getting the job done.