Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Round 5

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 4:13 PM by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the Round 5 WAFL victory over the West Coast Eagles heading into the State Game break.

QUESTION: For the second week in-a-row you have dominated your opposition pretty much the whole game, you must be happy with the way you are heading into the State Game break?
To be 4-1 at this stage we're really happy. There's a lot of things still to get better at and a lot of room for improvement for us, but West Coast traditionally started their games really well so we knew it would be pretty hot early. It was important to start well and I thought they did that.

Q: The pressure you were able to apply the whole game and all over the field was impressive?
It's hard to plan and play for a team that has so many changes each week, but fortunately they had a few blokes go out of the side from last week. But our pressure was pretty good for the most part even though there was a couple of little patches there where we thought we dropped off with our intensity. But for the most part we were able to maintain our pressure on the ball which was good.

Q: The chance was there for Dragovich and Florenca to grab in the midfield this year, and they couldn’t be doing any better with that?
They've been really going well for us. Dragovich has been playing for a couple of years now and has played his bit parts for us inside, but hasn’t played in there the majority of time so he's really grown. Jake has been waiting for an opportunity and he has been good. Then you bring in guys like Haydon and Dent, and you have Pearson and Noah who have jumped up further. Chris Ah Siu got the chance to play again too so that's two in-a-row for him and then you have Dion Munkara, Brendan Verrier and those guys who have come in. They are all playing their role really well so that's all we can ask.

Q: Mason Shaw got the reward on the scoreboard with six goals and he looks like he is thriving now on being the main forward target?
And he is one of our leaders but he got hurt before half-time last week and he was still touch and go right up to the bounce of this game. So for him to not only play but play with a significant impact is important from one of your leaders, and it showed a fair bit of grit.

Q: Shaun Bewick was always a wingman in his career up until about 18 months ago, but he was terrific down back last year and now this year he is thriving on being that pressure forward?
He is just a fantastic person who prepares well and is super fit, and will play whatever role you ask him. He's played half-back, wing and forward this year already, and been able to play his role wherever he goes. He is a pleasure to coach because if you need someone to do something you can always ask him and the job will get done. His last 18 months have been the best footy that he's played since I've been here and he is continuing to improve. I think he's improved again this year and he's going well.

Q: Has he surprised you because it was probably three years ago where he felt the writing was on the wall that his career could be done, but he's rejuvenated himself so well?
Not really because he works probably harder than anyone to prepare. He worked really hard two summers ago to make sure that he would have a go as a half-back and now it's fantastic for him because we have the confidence to play him anywhere. He's a great teammate and he is in great form, is kicking the ball well and he is going well.

Q: Given the change to the group over summer, are you pleasantly surprised how well you've started the season?
The good thing is that most of the young guys who have come in have been in our system for two or three years so that makes the transition easier. You never really know over summer how you're going compared to the other clubs, we know we've lost some experience but there was opportunity that would create and that's exciting. I might be pleasantly surprised, but 4-1 from five games is probably a fair reflection on how we've played. We probably pinched the one against Swans and were a bit unlucky against Perth. Being 4-1 is probably pretty fair.

Q: Are you expecting all your players in the State squad to play next Sunday and is there anyone you'd consider unlucky?
Higgins withdrew from the squad which leaves Dragovich, Pearson, Kade and Schloithey as our players in the squad and hopefully for their sake they all get a go. I think Noah Strom and Blayne Wilson were pretty unlucky because our defence has been so strong, but there's a lot of teams and players so you can't pick everyone.

Q: Higgins is carrying such a big workload for you and doing it so well, did he just need a break?
He is at the stage where he needs to manage himself and he's learning to do that. It's a pretty hard surface there as well and he was the one who quickly made the decision, and we firmly support our guys decision whether it's to play or not.

Q: Big game now in two weeks against Subiaco after a bit of a time to review the first five games?
We'll review the first five weeks and you are always looking ahead. It's a good chance to review and a good couple of weeks to freshen up and also it gives us some time to practice some stuff that we think we still need to improve on. We'll use the break to refresh mentally and physically a bit, but then start planning for Subi. It's always about moving forward.