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Red and WHITE – Craig White column April 3

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:41 PM
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I RECKON night games at Fremantle Oval are great. The season started pretty early this year on March 16 so as long as the weather is permitting and it's not freezing, the night games tend to work.

They work well with the facilities as well with the TAB and bar upstairs, so the fans enjoy that part of it as well.

The players like it because you get an extra day's break and get to enjoy a Saturday afternoon which is rare during the footy season. The more we can play on a Friday night the better, but obviously we have to work in with the WAFL's fixturing and all of that.

All the boys enjoy getting out there for a night game when the weather is good like it always is at this time of year. The lights are good, it's a quick ground and in dry conditions it's a really good night for the players out there, but the fans watching on also.

It's a little disappointing that this week will be the only Friday night game we have for the year. A few seasons back we had four or five and we never lost too many of them on a Friday night so we obviously loved it. Obviously it's out of our hands how many night games we get and it is tough on the volunteers who have to come back on Saturday for the colts and reserves, but from a player's point of view we would like to play as many of them as we can.

They are also the conditions that we train in every night so that probably gives us a bit of an edge. That gives us a good feel for how the ground plays at night and it can be a little fluky with the breeze, but generally if it's a still night the conditions are great.

There are quite a few Friday night games that we've played down here that stick out as well.

There was a game against East Perth in Round 1, 2010 when we came in undermanned and we lost some players early to injury and had a lot of young guys cramping by the end, but we held on to win and Kyle Hams played really well that night.

There was one against Subiaco back in 2006 when both teams were up and flying, and sharing premierships, that we lost but it was a high-scoring game and really high-quality football. It was 19 goals each in the end and they just won, and it was one of the best games I've played in. Daniel Gilmore played really well for us and Brad Smith was up and going for them, and there were just so many quality footballers going at each other all over the ground on a Friday night. There was a good crowd and atmosphere.

It's also always good when we have a night game here during country week and they try to always have the Upper Great Southern game here before we play, and that ties in well because we have a lot of country boys here and those are always good nights. We do tend to win most of our night games here for whatever reason and it's a good opportunity for the country boys to get out and play in front of some of the fans who don’t get to come up to the city too often.

There is a bit of talk about the lights for night games in the WAFL as well, but as a player our lights here are really good. There is one pocket on the far side that gets a little bit dark near the trees, but generally the lights are really good. I went along last Friday to Leederville and it looked like those lights have dimmed, but our lights here are really good and the more we can get out there, the better.

As for the game itself, we definitely need to get our season on track ASAP. It's definitely going to be a tough road back with Perth having a two-game head start on us, West Perth are up and going and Peel are showing they are tougher as well. We really need to start pulling our fingers out and start winning some games, and there's no better time to start than a Friday night game at home.

By Craig White