From a desperate tackle to a high flying hanger, Andrew Brayshaw saw Freo’s hard work on the training track have a big impact in their rollercoaster eight point win against Port Adelaide on Sunday at Optus Stadium.
With 10 minutes to play, a huge Brayshaw running effort was enough to affect a turnover with a tackle on the Power’s Jeremy Finlayson, which turned a certain inside 50 into the ball going the other way and leading to a Lachie Schultz goal.
Freo’s 40-point lead had been whittled down to nine at that moment, and Brayshaw’s act changed what could have seen Port pull within three points back into a 15-point advantage.
Brayshaw spoke about the mentality behind the importance placed on each individual moment.
“We’ve trained really hard all pre-season and throughout the whole year, just to get a fingernail in,” Brayshaw told 6PR.
“We do it for each other, there’s guys that have worked so hard…it’s just the team mentality.
“When one guy goes, it gives you the confidence to go. We’re 22 role players at the end of the day, no one player is bigger than the other, we just give 100 per cent commitment all the time.”
Earlier in the game, Hayden Young took one of the marks of the season with a screamer on the wing, sending the ball back inside 50 where James Aish eventually goaled.
While high flying marks grab the headlines more than tackles, Brayshaw said these things still take work – often as extras after training has finished.
“With Youngy’s mark, there’s a few boys that practice that stuff at the end of training,” Brayshaw said.
“It’s all bag work, trying to get up and take those grabs. (Assistant forwards coach) Jaymie Graham is usually the one on the bag.”
In his post-match media conference, Justin Longmuir had particular praise for Brayshaw.
"He just never gives up. His fitness is at a level that allows him to run at high speed for long periods of the game," Longmuir said.
"We needed a big effort there because it looked like it was going to be a certain goal and he managed to turn the ball over and we got a good look back the other way.
"I thought he had a few efforts like that in the last quarter and really stood up for us."