Coach Post Match – Todd Curley Qualifying Final

Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 11:08 AM by Chris Pike

WHAT South Fremantle coach Todd Curley had to say following the WAFL qualifying final victory over Claremont and now looking ahead to the second semi-final this Sunday against Subiaco at Leederville Oval with a Grand Final spot at stake.

QUESTION: Even though it got a bit tight in the end, you'd have to be happy with that?
We certainly played some good footy at times. Then late, they probably didn’t have a lot to lose and they were rolling the dice a bit and a couple of things came off. We made a couple of poor errors late which gave them some score, but I thought we hung in there with a really young group. They'll learn a lot from the game and we are pleased to move on.

Q: Does the last 10 minutes take any shine off the win?
We're really happy. I don’t know how many goals they kicked last week, I think it was 23, so we kept them to nine and we are really happy with that. We missed a few chances but maybe they did as well but in finals it really doesn’t matter how much you win by, you just have to win. We have a lot of young guys that certainly would have learnt a lot and Dent didn’t play and will be close next week, and the same with Zac Strom. They are pretty important to us and if they're ready, we'd love to have them back.

Q: Take out the first and last 10 minutes and you controlled the game for the most part, which is about as good as you could hope in a final?
And to be honest I thought we were pretty even. There was no standout stuff, it was just everyone playing their part. I thought the first 10-15 minutes was a bit of an arm wrestle which you'd expect, but then we were able to get on top and get some scoreboard pressure which was important. And at the end of the day, you come to win and it doesn’t matter how much by, and you progress to the next stage. We really look forward to going to Leederville next week now and playing against a very good team. But it's a team we beat there earlier in the year.

Q: You would have to be happy with the way the young players continue to stand up?
It's certainly a very new group after we had a lot of retirements at the end of last year. And not a lot of people talk about it, but Parker went to St Kilda and Marlion went to Richmond, and Steven Edwards left along with all those guys who retired like Hams, Dell'Olio, Cook, Hockey, Saunders. But that brings opportunity and a lot of the young blokes have really grabbed it, and it's good that a big group of them have come through together. But I thought we were pretty even and didn’t rely on anyone. They all played their part.

Q: Josh Collard is another one who is playing a bit of a new role up forward but is making the most of it?
There's no doubt that over the last 18 months he has really worked out the work on fitness that he's got to put in to play league footy. He played early in the year in that role and did a great job for us, but then got hurt. But he really worked his absolute bum off to make sure that he was in position to come back and have another crack of it. He played a couple back in the twos, but I thought he really trained and played at the level of a senior footballer. It's really pleasing, he has worked really hard and he is a good kick too. He is pretty hard as well and he chases, and he's fit, so he is a lot going for him.

Q: How close was Zac Strom to play and do you expect him back against Subiaco?
He was really close to playing, but he's important to us and in finals we didn’t want to play anyone we weren’t quite sure of. Even Zac Dent ran on Thursday and will now probably put his hand up for next week as well.

Q: What's the feeling like knowing you are one win away from a Grand Final?
It's always exciting to play at this time of year. You forget that they work full-time and train from late November to get to this period. We are really big on making sure they enjoy playing in these big games because that's really why you do all the prep work. The home and away stuff is just about qualifying and then you just have to be the best team for quite a small period. We embrace it and we enjoy it, and we are really big on enjoying our footy. That's why we're here. We want to win and be competitive, and do all those things, but we want to enjoy it at the same time.

Q: Looking forward to the challenge of Subiaco now?
Absolutely we are looking forward to it. They are a great team and have been for a long time. We are obviously a team that has changed a lot in the last 12 months but we are improving all the time so why can't we go there and give it a crack.