Round 4 Preview v West Perth

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 11:28 AM

SOUTH Fremantle hosts its first home game of the season tonight and it's the only night fixture of the year at Fremantle Oval up against the so far unbeaten West Perth.

Friday night football has been a popular exercise at Fremantle Oval and while it is the only occurrence of it tonight for 2013, it does present a chance to all South Fremantle fans to come down and support their team as the Bulldogs hunt for a first win of 2013.

The Bulldogs have played away the opening two games going down to Claremont at Claremont Oval in Round 1 and then narrowly losing to Perth at Lathlain's Brownes Stadium last week.

South Fremantle, despite the losses, has shown plenty of good signs in those first two games and if it can string four quarters together, then a win isn’t too far away even if it is against a West Perth side that's beaten East Perth and Subiaco already, and is fresh coming off the bye last week.

South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby has elected to name the same 22 that played Perth last week with Adam Doughty (pelvis) and Andrew McCarrey (ribs) at this stage looking to have overcome their sore bodies to take their place in the side.

Young defender Nick Borovac is on standby, though, for the pair and could come in for his first game of the season after battling a thumb injury with John Sgherza also a chance to return if needed after he returned solidly in the reserves last week after an injury-interrupted pre-season.

Hasleby is looking forward to playing the first game of the season at Fremantle Oval and is looking forward to the challenge that West Perth presents.

"It's good to get our first home game of the season against West Perth who have started well, and seem to be playing a bit of a different brand of footy this year with some class players in there," Hasleby said.

"It's a big challenge for us, but the boys have shown over the first two weeks that when we do apply ourselves we can have a really good result, but the challenge for us now is to be able to sustain it for three or four quarters. When we do that, we will win games of footy."

Not only has Fremantle Oval been a popular venue for Friday night games in the past for players and spectators alike, South Fremantle has also enjoyed some tremendous success on the occasion.

Since 2004, South Fremantle has played 33 night fixtures down at the port and won an impressive 23 of them. That record alone should be enough to suggest that the Bulldogs should look to play more night games at home particularly at this time of year when the weather is conducive to it.

Despite that impressive 23-10 record over the past eight seasons, South Fremantle and West Perth have played just four night games at Fremantle Oval on a Friday in history, and it's the visitors who have had the better of the battles.

West Perth has won three of the four clashes with South Fremantle's only win coming in Round 16, 2010 by a massive 64 points when the Falcons kicked just three goals on the night.

Hasleby himself is a fan of night football and is looking forward to tonight's clash.

"I'm a little bit disappointed it's our only Friday night game of the season. It gives the opportunity for the players to have some weekends free and everyone loves playing under lights," Hasleby said.

"We normally get a good crowd down there on a Friday night in the middle of Fremantle Oval as well, so it would have been nice to have a few more games."

By Chris Pike