Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Round 23

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 10:25 AM by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the Round 23 victory against Peel Thunder in Mandurah and looking ahead to this Saturday's WAFL qualifying final against the same opponent at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

QUESTION: This was always going to be an interesting in games in terms of nothing riding on the result, but if you can keep playing well and beat the team you are playing the next week in a final it's never a bad thing?
It's a funny one with how to approach when you don’t have much to gain and we were a bit sluggish early but I thought in the second half we played some pretty good footy and we are going into the finals in pretty good shape.

Q: Did you treat it just like any other game or how did you approach it?
We obviously wanted to win and we've been pretty consistent so realistically the result takes care of itself if you play the right way. There were a few areas we identified in the first half we could get better at but the second half was better.

Q: It's been a trend now where you can put teams away when you get on a roll and you did that again in that second half?
I think we defend better than maybe those outside give us credit for and generally a lot of your scoring comes from where you defend and how you can hit them on the counterpunch. We probably left a few opportunities out there as well, especially in the third quarter, as well.

Q: You mention the defence, was it important for Josh Pullman and Blayne Wilson to get this run into them before the finals?
We were confident in both. Blayne Wilson would have played last week if it wasn’t a bye and he's been doing some really good training and the same with Josh. It will be pretty tight for selection no doubt but they will have different personnel so we'll have a look at that and how they are going. Unfortunately there will be some stiff boys but we'll just pick the team that we think gives us the best chance to win.

Q: Your forward-line gets a lot of the accolades but your back-line continues to deliver and especially this week without Jason Maskos and Marlion Pickett, Chad Pearson was one guy to step up?
He has played six in-a-row now and he is really smart with the footy. He will certainly play a lot of footy for us going into the future. As with most teams now, you defend as a team and move the ball as a team, and we've worked pretty hard on that so hopefully we'll be alright.

Q: How do you sum up the continued form of Tim Kelly and Haiden Schloithe?
The real area of growth for both of them is that they bring their teammates into the game. They get a lot of kudos for the really strong, consistent seasons that they've had and there's no doubt about that, but they've got a pretty good support cast around them. Dylan Main has become a really solid, consistent inside midfielder and then there's Shane Hockey, Jarrod Garlett, Ryan Cook and other guys who run through there at times. They've become quite a consistent and strong outfit who really work well together. 

Q: Brock Higgins as their ruckman gives them a big hand obviously too, is he OK after copping a bit of a knock?
He can't really remember it but he copped a bit a knock early in the game and we just didn’t want to take any risk with nothing really riding on the game. So we just took him out of the game but he should be fine now.

Q: Do you take much from this game or do you write it off when you are preparing for this Saturday's qualifying final?
Confidence comes from repeated good behaviour and habits, and we've been pretty consistent all year. We lost three out of four in a patch in a middle but before that and after that we've been pretty consistent. It's a really driven group and they drive their own standards, and that's where confidence comes from consistently doing what is expected and earning the respect of your teammates.

Q: You are entering the finals in virtually the same situation as last year from second spot preparing for a home qualifying final, but do you feel a better team 12 months on?
It's hard to tell really, we won one more game than we did last year and this time last year the majority of the group wouldn’t have played in a final. But now they know what it's like to win and lose finals, and the disappointment that comes at the end of that. They probably have a fair idea of how important it is to take your chances. Every team rocks up to the first week of pre-season training with the aim of playing finals and the more times you do the work and earn the right to play finals, the more chance you have to win. We've worked really hard which is great, the group has been super and what they have done is earn the right to have a double chance. We started with nine teams, there's five left and of those only three have a double chance. We are really pleased and excited about the month ahead.

Q: Do you feel like you couldn’t be much better placed having won nine straight and with virtually a full list to pick from?
Every team is the same and you firstly want to qualify and if you do, you want your best players available. We'll have close to everyone available and in good shape so we're well-placed but it's a whole new season at the same.

Q: Playing at home might not have much impact on the result, but it is a good reward for the effort you've put in?
It's good for our supporters and good for our footy club, and it's good reward for effort. It's familiar for the players and it's our home ground so we are really pleased to be able to play a final at home. We are super keen to kick it off with a win.