Colts Corner with Beau Wardman | RD10

Subiaco colts coach Beau Wardman has led his young side to a 5-4 start and 5th position heading into the state round bye week.  SFC caught up with the colts main man after the sides narrow loss to league leaders East Freo. 


Q. Going up against the top side was always going to be tough, were you proud of your Subiaco Colts side putting a real fight up to the very end?
Beau Wardman: Whilst we were pleased with our response in the final term, however our consistency across games has cost us opportunities to win games. We recognise the strength of East Fremantle and the even contribution of their players, especially after half-time. We are developing a strong culture and pride ourselves on our competiveness and work-rate – this dropped off for about 20-minutes and East Fremantle consolidated.
Q. Saturday certainly was a game of momentum, what did you feel had the bigger impact on the final result, not capitalising when your boys had the run of the play in the first half or not being able to contain East Fremantle in the third quarter?
Beau Wardman: The boys application in the first half was terrific. The pressure on the ball carrier and then our ball movement opened up some scoring opportunities in tough conditions. Max Dennis and Liam Hickmott really led from the front in the middle, and Che Wyatt was dangerous up forward early on. However, we didn’t capitalise on this dominance due to the defensive work of East Fremantle at times, something we continue to search to overcome. In the third term we didn’t compete hard enough physically, this allowed East Fremantle to win a large proportion of the ball on the outside and go inside 50 without much pressure. Again in the final term when we had the running we weren’t able to capitalise in front of goal.
Q. Were there any key takeaways or lessons for the boys from that third quarter where you conceded 3.5 and were held scoreless?
Beau Wardman: The lesson for our players is really around consistency in work rate. It is up to our leaders to really stand up with support from our senior players, and at times our physical efforts at the contest really dropped off and we got beaten at the stoppages in particular with our spread and positioning. We will continue to learn from these things in review and continue to improve.  
Q. Given you lost three pretty important players to your team for State 18s duties, were you happy with the way the bulk of the side stepped up, given it did appear a pretty consistent team effort?
Beau Wardman: We have emphasised to the players in the squad that it is a long year and opportunities will present throughout and you need to be ready. We have a really inexperienced list at colts level, however with a focus on skill fundamentals and playing to a basic game plan the boys who get their opportunity over the coming weeks will deserve it and perform well. We were happy with the majority of the players who came in on the weekend, Scott Mews really competed well in defence taking his opportunity.
Q. To highlight a couple of really big efforts, Max Dennis had 10 tackles and Liam Hickmott had 12 tackles, really impressive defensive efforts for young footballers who seemed to thrive given the added responsibility?
Beau Wardman: Max and Liam were terrific on the weekend. Both are members of our leadership group and they stood up on the weekend. Liam has been really consistent across half-back in the early rounds, but with an opportunity to play through the midfield this week he showed great adaptability and both boys were strong in the contest and kept us in the hunt for long periods of time. It is no coincidence they are two of the hardest workers at training which is reflected in their consistency on field.
Q. Che Wyatt and Mitch Hughes each kicked two goals, but if there was one area that you would look to improve on in the second half, it is your goal kicking, six goals won’t win many games of footy?
Beau Wardman: The conditions early on, being wet and an 8.25am start wasn’t conducive to high scoring, however we do need more consistency from our forwards and ability to hit the scoreboard. Richard Dennis, our forwards coach, has been working on our structures and ball movement at training and we are confident this will yield positive results in the coming weeks. When we are presenting up at the ball and creating a contest with constant movement we are dangerous.
Unfortunately Nathan French went down with what looked like a fairly serious injury, would you forecast many more changes coming out of the bye and another big challenge against Peel?
Beau Wardman: Nathan has been really good coming into the team over the last couple of weeks. Our squad has developed some great depth and the boys are having to train at a consistently high level to get an opportunity and this culture is creating a healthy competitiveness which hardens the players to perform on match day. To lose Nathan early in the third term wasn’t great for us, however the prognosis looks ok and may be available for the Peel game.
We will have a young kid, Jacob Buckley from Esperance come up to get an opportunity against Peel. He trained a few times with the colts group over the pre-season and played in the scratch match against Claremont and showed great work ethic and competitiveness. It will be great to get him up and involved at this level.  
Do the plans for the boys or your coaching staff change with the state game bye this week?
Beau Wardman: We will have our normal recovery and review session on Monday. The week gives us an opportunity to take stock of what we have achieved and realign our short-term objectives. This is a busy time of the year with school exams and representative football, we have a few boys in the 18s and 17s state teams which is a great reflection of our program. Our leadership group will have a debriefing meeting and we will also conduct a team building session.  


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