Round 10 Q&A with Colts coach Brad Dodd

Monday, June 11, 2018 - 10:03 AM
The Peel Thunder Colts were back in action last Saturday, taking on West Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium. After the game we spoke with Head Coach, Brad Dodd.
You played your youngest team for the year, with ten 17 year-olds playing, that must be exciting?
BD: We had a few changes this week with some injuries, 3 getting promoted to the State 18s and Lachlan Riley getting suspended. The 10x 17 year-olds had all played at some stage this year. We were mindful of not bringing players in at this stage that hadn’t experienced the level before. So it was Brendan Cooke’s 2nd game but most of the others had played 3-9 games. It is exciting. We threw the challenge to them to push their games forward in the others absence. As a coaching group, it gives us a glimpse towards next season. 
First time you’ve come up against West Perth, how have they been tracking?
BD: They’ve been playing some good football but not quite finishing off their work. They’re a young group. Watching them, they play a unique brand of football. It’s good to watch. They’ve got some good top end talent. We knew that we had to get our pressure up and try and limit their ability to control the ball. 
Windy conditions for the day, Peel kicking into a breeze took a 1 point lead into the break. How’d you see the quarter?
BD: We had control of the quarter for large parts but couldn’t quite get full value going forward and then we conceded goals that were preventable. Our midfield was on top early but we weren’t getting the ball in deep and West Perth countered strongly off the Half Back line. Defensively, we would’ve liked our tease distance to be a little tighter and to slow them down, and that was the message at the break. 
Kicking with the breeze, it looked like the Thunder would break the game open, but West Perth hung in there. Leading by 16 at half time, what was the message?
BD: We thought our pressure up forward increased, we defended better from our front half and limited uncontested marks. We thought our key korwards were competing with each other so we spoke about how we go about trying to create space. We reinforced that you can still score into the breeze. 
Another arm wrestle into the breeze, only being outscored by 2 points to take a 14 point lead into 3 quarter time. Any change in the message?
BD: Every time we kicked a goal, West Perth responded with one of their own. It was a great challenge for our group. In the past, we’ve been in these positions and we have let these games slip away. We just reinforced what our best football looks like, what we were doing well and what we couldn’t let happen.
A strong last quarter, kicking 3.8 to run out 34 point victors. How’d you see the last?
BD: Firstly, the breeze picked up significantly. That allowed us to play almost exclusively in our half. I thought our Midfield was excellent in the last. In these conditions, clearances are ultra important and we were +5 for the quarter. It would’ve been nice to convert better but we were creating chances with a strong presence from our key forwards and strong pressure at ground level. 
Overall, a pretty solid win. What were you pleased with the most and anything to work on?
BD: We created plenty of opportunities to score and we thought we used the ball well in the conditions. We’d like to convert our opportunities better and that falls on our ball use inside 50 and how our forwards present and find space. Defensively, after quarter time we were pretty sound, in particular our pressure from behind. 
Who were the better performers on the day?
BD: James Sturrock was outstanding with 36 touches, 8 tackles and 8 clearances. He’s still developing his game as an inside mid having, spent all of last season and the early parts of this season as a winger. The next step for him is to create more. Set up scores. Hit the scoreboard. He’s not far away from doing that. Jackson Perry has been a little inconsistent this year but had his best game for the year. He has some talent but when the work rate is also there he’s a very good player. Up forward, Lachlan Cullen looked dangerous kicking 4 goals. He hasn’t hit the scoreboard in the last few games but his pressure has been excellent and it was only a matter of time before he was rewarded. Down back, Jarvis Pina was very good. Lee Chapman and Kyle Penny defended stoutly. Jacob Hewitt, Cam Gavin and Brendan Cooke continued to show growth. 
Off to Fremantle Oval next week to take on South Fremantle. How have they been travelling?
BD: First meeting against South Fremantle for the year. The had a massive win over Perth and have some really damaging players that can swing a game. They’re sitting just outside the 5 and the Peel Colts have had a poor record at Fremantle Oval in recent times. A great challenge for our group.