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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Falcons a stronger side in 2023 than premiership winning side

The Falcons opened their campaign on Good Friday with defeat at the hands of Claremont in a rematch of last season’s grand final, going down by 14 points.

Despite the slow start, West Perth's Aiden Lynch told Sports Breakfast he was confident the club would be competing for the big prize again.

“It’s difficult to win one, let alone trying to do it again, but we’re in a better spot this year, definitely,” Lynch said.

“We’ve got players that missed out, really good players, we’ve got five to ten players that could’ve played on grand final day last year or in the league side that have come out and had huge preseasons and have lifted standards.

“I’ve spoken to some other players saying it’s probably the easiest preseason we’ve had because of the fact that you know what the reward is, so any of the hard work, any of the running, any of the crap you have to go through, you don’t question it, because you know there’s that ultimate goal and the ultimate reward at the end.”

The Tigers, a popular pick among experts for this year’s Premiership, showed their quality in the 7.14 (56) to 5.12 (42) win, with Lynch saying the Falcons would learn from the loss.

“They came out with a vengeance and we just couldn’t match their intensity and their physicality, really, and all credit to Claremont, they played well and we didn’t,” he said.

“[Darren Harris’ message] was probably just a bit of disappointment. We do the three, four months of preseason, you build up all your energy and you train for round one and to play games, and he kind of highlighted some issues or some failures throughout the game.

“Just like with other teams, we’ve got another chance to right the wrong this week, and it’s quickly moving on to this week.”

West Perth’s next assignment comes in the form of West Coast, with the Eagles’ reserve side shaping to be more competitive thanks to expanded recruiting powers.

Lynch said the game was not being underestimated despite another injury crisis at the top level again reducing the availability of West Coast’s AFL-listed players.

“You’ve got to respect every side, and if you’re off five, ten percent and they’re having a good game, you could lose,” he said.

“We’ll back ourselves to win, certainly, but it’s hard to gauge what their team is going to look like. Especially with the Gather Round this week, if they’re going to take a few more over or not, we don’t know, but we’re prepping for the best Eagles team.

“We’re expecting their best and we’re expecting us to be at our best to win, so should be a good game.”

All five WAFL games get underway at 2:10pm on Saturday, with the Falcons hosting the Eagles at Pentanet Stadium.

IMAGE: The West Australian

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