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A FALCONS REBOUND THE FOCUS FOR NELSON IN MILESTONE

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 10:31 PM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth star midfielder Shane Nelson might be celebrating his 100th game with the Falcons on Good Friday but his sole focus is on helping deliver a redeeming performance against Peel Thunder.

West Perth opened the season with two solid performances in the first two games with a win over East Perth and narrow loss to Subiaco, but what happened on Saturday against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval left a sour taste in the mouth of everyone at the Falcons.

The 103-point defeat was West Perth's biggest in five years. That's why Nelson's focus isn’t on his 100th game this Friday, it's on helping the Falcons bounce back strongly.

The challenge ahead of West Perth is taking on the reigning premiers Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium on Good Friday.

While Nelson's form has been outstanding in the opening three games leading into his 100th game averaging nearly 36 possessions this season, all he wants is a big performance from the Falcons as a team after the horror show against the Bulldogs.

"Personally I won't focus on the milestone too much, I just want to win and that doesn’t change if it's a milestone or not," Nelson said.

"I don’t think Bill will say too much about it this week either, I'm sure his focus is on us playing our best footy and getting back to the things that we were doing right in that first game and made us competitive in the second. We'll be focusing on getting back on track and playing the footy that we know we can play."

Walking off the field after Saturday's loss to South Fremantle is a feeling Nelson doesn’t want to experience again. It was only a 119-point defeat to Claremont back in 2012 that he can remember it comparing to.

Nelson hopes that he and his teammates can turn how badly that felt on Saturday into bouncing back strongly on Friday in Mandurah.

"It was a pretty low feeling especially in the rooms after the game. A lot of the boys were pretty upset and we spoke about it and realised that we didn’t show much respect for the jumper, the club and each other," he said.

"We let ourselves down and I've only really been part of one thrashing like that against Claremont back when I was starting out. It's not a great feeling when the opposition's on top of you like that, but we just have to try and get over it now and move on to this week and try to rectify what happened."

Nelson made an interesting revelation about last week's game that West Perth tried something different against South Fremantle in an attempt to turnaround the three losses against the Bulldogs in 2016 including in the qualifying final by 52 points.

The fact that the end result was a 103-point loss for the Falcons, those plans they tried won't be seeing the light of day on Good Friday against the Thunder.

Nelson is fully aware that it's going to be a significant challenge for the Falcons up against the reigning premiers who themselves have lost their last two games. 

But he's confident of a strong response by West Perth and the fact that it just happens to be his 100th game is an added bonus.

"We go into every game confident that we can win and last week we threw everything out the window and tried to do something that didn’t work for us," Nelson said.

"This week we'll go back to the basics and get back to the team footy that we want to play. Hopefully we can put in a competitive performance and match it with Peel who are obviously last year's premiers. It's another tough week but we'll be looking to take it up to them."