Player Column – Cory Dell'Olio Round 19

Friday, July 28, 2017 - 12:31 PM by Cory Dell'Olio

IT was a really good game of footy on the weekend. East Perth are a really good side and we have had some good battles of late with them and it was nice to jump out of the blocks early for the first time in a month. 

To East Perth’s credit they came right back and did hit the front. The response from then on was good to see and to run out winners by five goals was a nice result, especially up against some quality AFL players. 

I would be lying if I didn’t say we didn’t talk about our slow starts of late in the lead up. But we didn’t change anything major about our week or the warm up. We just made sure we were ready to go and it showed we were. I think the first half of the year we were actually a really good first quarter side so it’s funny how everything swings around. 

When I look back to our premiership year of 2009 and compare it to this year, it is really hard for myself mainly due to the fact I was just a young kid in the team at that stage as to now being a more of a senior player in the side makes them both completely different eras and teams. Our 2009 team was full of senior stars and we had that aura of knowing we would win and it was special. This year's side is probably a younger team but we have some young stars like TK and Haids who are complementing some of the older lads like Cooky, Higgo, Hocks and then the real real older lads like Hamsy. 

When I'm asked what we need to do to go all the way, my answer is pretty boring and a bit cliché but I don’t see any reason to change anything. I think we will do a good block of training over the next couple weeks to sharpen up our fitness a little and besides that we just keep making sure our training and preparation is where it needs to be. I think most guys know the season is only really about to start and what we have done up to now means nothing.

That premiership obviously remains my highlight. I was only a 19-year-old kid and remember each week never knowing if I would be in the team and luckily played a good second semi-final and cemented my spot for the grand final. I don’t remember much of the game at all but do know I had little impact in the game but was still a special day to be involved in. Myself, Craig White, Scott Thornton and Andrew Siegert all work in an office together and still talk about some of the celebrations and were only talking this week about myself and Sam Hunt colouring in Toby McGrath’s dog. It is fair to say Toby wasn’t overly impressed and actually took it out on a visitors car for the day. 

The 1997 premiership is arguably the most famous flag the club has been involved in and for all the lads to see some of the greats of the club having a beer and celebrating their premiership success 20 years on will be a massive motivation for us current players. I think all footballers play to win flags and when you get to be involved in a reunion, I think it then makes it so much sweeter. 

I know I am old, but most of these lads are even before my time unfortunately. Saying that I have had a lot to do with Marky Atkins over my time and he's an absolute champion and one of the greats to have a beer with also. 

It will be really good to see all those great players having a beer at the reunion, hopefully we can have a win for them and have a couple beers with them afterwards.