Colts Corner with Beau Wardman | RD18

Beau Wardman and his young colts suffered another loss but are still well and truly in the finals mix. With a host of young and exciting players developing the last quarter of the seasons looms as a big opportunity for the Subiaco Colts. 
Q: A sense of déjà vu about this one. Yet again your side was very good matching one of the strong WAFL colts sides for a half, and yet again the third quarter was a big letdown, what changed between the first and second half of this game?
I’m not sure it was a big let down. Peel were able to capitalise on some forward opportunities which extended the margin. The game opened up a bit more in the second half and Peel certainly increased their pressure. We have been giving some players some different roles and opportunities for their development, that may cost us some results but understand that is going to be best for the players development going forward.   
Q: Obviously stats can be used to prove or disprove anything, but to have half the side, 11 players, fail to reach double digit possessions probably speaks to having too many passengers in this game?
It wasn’t a high possession game, the same could be said of a number of Peel players. We really don’t focus on individual stats, what we are looking for is the impact of the players in understanding positioning, and skill execution. Our team focus for the game was to kick the ball and gain filed position into space, unfortunately we didn’t execute this as well as we would have liked. Something we will review and learn from to improve going forward. We showed when we moved the ball by foot to predictable positions we were effective going forward and hit the scoreboard.  
Q: Any concern of negative habits being picked up with this loss being similar in substance to the one against Claremont a week ago?
There was some real positives in improvement from the Claremont game, our stoppage structures were much improved, we executed some good body work and our effort was really strong.   
Q: You mentioned last week about needing to play a full team brand of football for the full 100 minutes, will this be the message again to the boys or do you think it is a different message going out of this game?
We set the players a couple of focus areas each around their own development – if they can execute these we know they are improving and it should assist the team in having a total performance. 
Q: On the positives, another two debutants with Zane Shellabear-Healy and Jaxon Bilchuris playing their first game for the Lions and showing some promising signs, happy with the first up efforts of Zane and Jaxon?
We have given opportunity to 56 players this year. That is difficult to manage sometimes, but understanding this level is about exposure and gaining knowledge for the players to take their games to the next level. Zane has had to wait a long time for his opportunity after injury kept him out for a significant part of the season but he showed the training and education has really assisted him in a strong performance. Jaxon, a 16s player this year came in and also performed strongly up forward. His body work in marking contests and repeat efforts were strong, that’s what we are after from him.  
Q: Liam Hickmott likewise continues to back up week after week, another standout performance in the middle, has the improved consistency of Liam taken you by surprise?
I think Liam has been terrific. He works really hard at training, particularly on his touch, which is evident in games. So from that side of things it is not a surprise. He has a leadership role within the team and he continues to grow in confidence with this role and is certainly leading from the front.  
Q: Probably that has been the biggest letdown over the past two weeks, you really haven’t had enough support for Liam in the midfield, is this just a learning experience for your midfield group or is it a case of using other players to get the mix right?   
We have given some different opportunities to players through a number of different positions, that will affect our consistency at times but the greater outcome is the development of players in understanding a mix of roles to best prepare them for senior football.   
Q: For your boys it does not get any easier, after two losses you have to take on the top of the table East Fremantle who seem to have found a bit of form in the last month, its another big challenge for your team, first to find form and second to beat the top side?
It is an exciting opportunity again to give players another opportunity to practise their skills.
Q: Another one of the positives of this year is that you have beaten every side except East Fremantle and East Perth, would be nice to tick off East Fremantle and East Perth before the end of the year?
It has been pleasing to show that we are competitive amongst the competition and the work we have done to improve this year is evident of that. We really just want to focus on what we can control – self improvement. Everyone enjoys a win but development is deeper than just wins/losses.
Q: In a tight season, two losses has really dropped you back to the chasing pack, do you have any long term vision of the last five games and who might finish where, or is the focus primarily on next week against East Fremantle?
Our focus is simply on continued improvement, that’s not going to be linear but having the players understanding what they can improve on and work towards that over a period of time. Whether that is playing colts games or back at community level, the focus is on improvement and enjoyment.

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