Select grade below

Keitel stands tall as West Perth learn from loss

Monday, July 8, 2024 - 2:38 PM by John Townsend
Keitel stands tall as West Perth learn from loss
First, the positives.
Tyler Keitel kicked a five-goal bag for the fourth time this season to extend his lead in the race for the Bernie Naylor Medal.
Kane Bevan confirmed that he is a player around whom West Perth can build the team that they hope will contend for the club’s next premiership.
Keegan Knott turned back the clock with a couple of will-o’the-wisp goals
And Brock Carter battled manfully to give his midfielders first use of the ball.
But that was about it.
West Perth’s 53-point loss to Swan Districts on Saturday was their sixth consecutive defeat– all but one to teams in or contending for the top five – and the longest losing streak since the club moved to Joondalup three decades ago.
Yet even in defeat comes value. As Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says, “In football you either win or you learn”.
The sequence of losses has provided valuable insight for first-year coach Jason Salecic as he assesses what his team needs to become competitive again.
The most obvious absence is speed through the midfield.
Despite starting well at Pentanet Stadium as Keitel kicked three early goals in the first quarter shootout, and being within a kick in the third term, the flaws were obvious when Swans changed gears in the last third of the game.
The Falcons could not match their pace and fluency through the middle of the ground and found themselves labouring in the wake of their opponents despite Luke Meadows (33 disposals) and Shane Nelson (29) getting plenty of the football.
Bevan had it 17 times but went to dangerous positions, used the ball well and continued his excellent breakthrough season.
The second factor is the lack of a foil for Keitel.
The spearhead is in excellent form and moved into the WAFL’s top 50 WAFL goal-kickers with the 22nd bag of his 10-year career.
He landed several majors from long range, and it is notable that his 37 inside 50 entries this year is the highest number for any of the league’s 25 leading goal-kickers.
Keitel has a vast range but the team would be more potent with another target in attack.
Swans pair Tom Edwards and Leigh Kohlmann have each kicked 28 goals this season, to trail Keitel by nine, but provide a double-barrelled attack that helped set up the 21.16 (142) to 11.13 (79) result.
The inverse to Swans’ versatile attack is that West Perth need more power and height in their backline.
The recent absence of State backman Zac Guadagnin, who will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury, Ben Johnson’s hamstring issues, Scott Nelson’s broken leg and the need to employ Noah Pegoraro to fill holes across the ground, have left the Falcons short-handed in defence.
That was evident with Swans kicking 11 goals in the second half and Tyson Moulton, who was busy at half-back all game, producing half of West Perth 45 disposals in the defensive 50.
The lead needs to be shared for West Perth to build a more impregnable defensive structure.
As it was, Swans kicked their biggest ever score in Joondalup and produced their greatest ever winning margin.
WEST PERTH 6.5 9.7 10.9 11.13 79
SWAN DISTRICTS 6.4 10.8 16.13 21.16 142
GOALS - WEST PERTH: Keitel 5; Knott, Rundle 2; Kernutt, Pegoraro.
SWAN DISTRICTS: Kohlmann 6; Lynch, McLachlan 3; Clarke, Edwards 2; O’Donohue, Kelly, Cipro, Turner, Glass-McCasker.
BEST - WEST PERTH: Keitel, Bevan, Carter, Moulton, Meadows.
SWAN DISTRICTS: McLachlan, Clarke, Kohlmann, Rokahr, Chalcraft.