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2018 Starlight Purple Haze total

11:23pm  Apr 21, 2018

Team song: Fremantle

11:07pm  Apr 21, 2018

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Freo delivers on a difficult night

Ross Lyon spoke of the importance of putting the result into perspective

2:16am  Apr 22, 2018

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12:35am  Apr 22, 2018

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Lyon post-match Q & A: Rd 17 v Eagles  July 16, 2017 3:58 PM

Ross Lyon spoke to the media after Sunday's loss to West Coast.

Was your ball use and goal kicking where you went wrong?
It's pretty astute I would think, without being facetious. There's a lot to like with what we did today though. We can talk about profile and that; I think we were the youngest team for the round, one of. And they were the oldest. In saying that, it's about winning, but within that the dual narrative (of growth). To come and compete in the way we did, we sort of dominated entries and opportunities, but that connection piece. I thought just their smarts, and a bit of quality at times really hurt us. A couple of 50s obviously we gave away. Just that connection piece, running in and missing opportunities to hit a target, or finish the goal; we just couldn’t put any of that scoreboard pressure on. But we feel where we have improved is the possession gained entries, with 37 to 26 or something. That’s been the last few weeks - and our stoppage work was really good and entries. So we had plenty of opportunities. And they are quite good at what they do, but I thought of their 11 or 12 intercepts off our entries, we had open entries and missed that targets and kicked it to them. That's frustrating and that gives us something to work on, but we were unyielding in the way we went about it today. We didn't yield, with a young group. We've got Sean Darcy and Brennan Cox carrying the ruck, less than 12 games between then, versus Vardy and Petrie, so it's pretty good isn't it? I thought our senior midfielders stood up again, but there is some. Connor Blakely at half back and Lachie Weller had some opportunities we would have liked him to take, Luke Ryan went forward, Darcy Tucker's playing, so there is a real brightness in the way we are looking at this result today. We're all incredibly frustrated, we all feel gutted and all credit to West Coast, they were professional and got it done. But we walk away thinking gee whizz we had a chance to win that game and lots of opportunities. So it's clear what we need to work on, it's that connection piece and seeing targets. When you have two free out, don't kick it to a contest. When you need to go to a contest, go to it. When you need to role on, see Michael Johnson and hit him. Without banging on with all of the examples, you guys saw it and we saw it and the players know it and West Coast would know it. Winners and grinners. And you don't need alibies when you win and we're not offering any as losers. We know what went wrong, but there is a lot to like.

What goes through your mind with the missed shots and from guys who would normally kick it?
I don't know about the normally piece. But sometimes just guarding the mark properly and getting off the mark. Sometimes it's as simple as that. We're frustrated. You know you're playing quality and you need to make them pay. There's been grand finals won and lost on accuracy, let alone a home and away game. Where we are at and what we're trying to do, I couldn’t be more pleased. Except for our execution.

Do you feel like it's a step forward today?
We went forward and won the possession gained entry battle, the clearance entrance battle, but they marked it too many times from our entry when we had free players. Yes, we did win a lot of the KPIs, but they built it up pretty well at times. They were composed. They hit Kennedy, they blocked for Kennedy, those sorts of things. But we're going forward thinking we're on the right path here.

Do you know how Stephen Hill is?
I haven’t had a medical. I did see him come off, it was sort of in a stop play, so I didn't really see to the side what happened. But he came off with a dislocated shoulder I think.

You'd be hoping he's ok?
Yes, he came back on, but it's something to assess. I don't really enjoy doing the medical side now, but if we must we will.

How do you get more from your forward line?
I wouldn’t pot the forwards, they were out and they were clear. At some point the small forwards have to hit the other forwards and the mids have got to hit them. It’s not like they weren’t in the right spot.

Are you concerned about Shane Kersten?
I couldn’t be more pleased that he is growing. He is launching, he is playing with an incredibly youthful forward line. We will continue to build there. I thought Griffin Logue after quarter time showed some signs. Jack Darling, Drew Petrie, Josh Kennedy and Mark Le Cras are pretty experienced which is good, that’s fine but I think when you look at Logue, Connor Blakely and Luke Ryan they have played about 40 games between them so there is some pretty good stuff down there. (Joel) Hamling is young, but (Michael) Johnson is experienced, I wouldn’t have thought Shane Kertsen was an issue.

Does Cam McCarthy come straight back in?
I don’t have automatic ins unless you have played for a long period of time. We’ll look at the balance of today’s game. I was actually thinking before if his suspension was up. It is up, so it’s been two weeks. It’s something we will look at.

How did you think Michael Walters handled the tag today?
If you kick 2.1 and you’ve kicked 44 for the year it’s pretty good. He did a lot of selfless stuff, it was all part of that entry piece. I thought he was pretty good. Obviously not as free-wheeling that he has been but that’s okay. I thought the others stepped up, I thought Lachie Neale, Nat Fyfe, Bradley Hill, it was a pretty good battle.

What are you looking to get out of the younger kids for the remainder of the season?
Bang games into them and continue to grow. You’ve seen this amount of youth go down by 80-100 points. I am really enjoying it, the coaching panel and senior players are enjoying it. We will continue on with the strategy and integrity in selection. It was a tough day out at Leederville yesterday but there were some players there pushing. We wont ignore that. It’s just not all about birth certificates. There are still some people to give opportunities to and force for spots, we are trying to strike that balance.

Matt Taberner has had two really big weeks in the WAFL, do you have a look at him again?
Well that’s where it’s all debatable. I was there yesterday and what you think are big weeks and what I think are big weeks are often different. But again I will discuss that with our development team. If you just go on raw numbers, goals kicked then you would say they were big weeks but there’s a lot of other things to come into play. Matt is growing, he is a fierce preparer. We will have a look at it though.

What did you make of Harley Bennell’s return?
It was emotional wasn’t it? I left him alone, it’s been a big 18 months for him. It was a step in the right direction, there is plenty to go yet. I was really nervous watching it, because I thought if that calf was to go again we would have to pick up the pieces. It was a positive step and he had a lot of support there from the club and a lot of family. I think his quality just shone through, it was frightening what we saw in patches. He has a fair bit of work to do, but it’s been a tough road. He is working his way through with great character and great resilience. I can tell you I would have crumbled, I would have been out of the system by now. I would have flicked the bails. He has great mental toughness, he is a better man than me. 

How did he pull up today?
I haven’t spoken to him. He got the all clear, but we will be really cautious. This is a really slow build here. Harley will be desperate to play AFL senior football but there is no rush from me here. In context he played 60 minutes, seven on, seven off, that’s pretty gentle. He was explosive and clean and a showed a little bit of razzle-dazzle at some point. It’s a good step, without going over the top about it.

Are we a chance to see him at AFL level in the next six weeks?
I’m not equipped to deal with that now, it’s a small step, we’ll take another one next week then we’ll build it up. We have kept you fully informed all along and once we get to that point we’ll let you know. But we are hopeful.