The West

Falcons still on finals prowl
Andrew Strijk and NZ-born Tamati Young model the international guernsey to be worn by West Perth today. Pic: Ben Crabtree

Defiant coach Bill Monaghan has refused to concede West Perth's premiership defence is over, saying a win over Subiaco at HBF Arena today can reignite the Falcons' finals push.

West Perth have had inconsistent form this season and sit fifth on the ladder, three wins behind East Fremantle (fourth) and Subiaco (third).

The task ahead is extremely difficult, with the Falcons due to play each of the top four sides in the coming month.

They must also factor in a trip to Geelong for the Foxtel Cup grand final against VFL club Williamstown on Tuesday week.

Monaghan admits his side needs to improve, particularly in the forward line, but is confident the finals race is not over.

"Until we're three games out with two to play, you can't put the cue in the rack," Monaghan said.

"We're going to fight hard to the death and that might be in two weeks' time or it might be the last round of the season.

"We can't predict that, but we'll just tackle it as hard as we can every game. The good thing is we play all of the sides above us.

"If you're a glass-half-empty person it makes it sound like it's a tough ask, but it also allows us to get one game back on all those sides. That's the mindset we've got and we're far from believing the season is dead and buried.

"It's stuttering on and needs a little bit of life support, but it's not over."

West Perth's stingy defence ranks third in the competition this season, conceding an average of just 79 points a game.

But the Falcons haven't been able to find reliable avenues to goal.

Anthony Tsalikis (22) is the only Falcon with more than 20 goals.

"Hopefully our efficiency, both in general play and in kicking at goals, will be better than it has been for most of the year," Monaghan said.

"We'll play a really strong brand of footy and have a crack like we do every week."

West Perth hope for a crowd of up to 7000 today for their annual International Football Festival.

The club will host the City of Joondalup's citizenship ceremony, with 60 people set to make a public commitment to Australia.

"We have a big multicultural population in the district and we're trying to grow the game," Monaghan said.

"We do what we can to try and entice people to love Aussie Rules footy as much as we do."

Brayden Antonio has been recalled for Jack Thrum (concussion).

League-leading goalkicker Matthew Boland has been ruled out for Subiaco with a hamstring injury and will be replaced by fellow tall Lachlan Delahunty.

"Until we're three games out with two to play, you can't put the cue in the rack.""West Perth coach *Bill Monaghan *

The West Australian

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