Finals dream still alive for Royals
East Perth midfielder Jackson Ramsay believes his side has what it takes to qualify for finals, ahead of a crucial match against Swan Districts on Saturday.
The Royals beat the reigning premiers Subiaco on Saturday as part of round six of the WAFL season, improving their record to 2-3 and putting themselves in a position to contend for a top four spot with three games to play.
Vice-captain Ramsay, a former Collingwood player from 2013-17 and now one of the star midfielders of the WAFL competition said his team took plenty of confidence from their first win over Subiaco since 2015, and believed finals was still achievable for the playing group.
“We went in with a plan to keep possession of the football, and we want to start to make that our trademark and show teams that’s how we play,” Ramsay told Sports Drive on Wednesday.
“As long as we bring that against Swans this week, finals is definitely an option and that’s what we are thinking at East Perth.”
Ramsay hailed the nine point triumph as his finest win in an East Perth jumper.
“It would have to be up there at the top. Subi have been the team to beat for the last couple of years, it was good to get one over them after losing to them a fair few times.”
25 year old Ramsay was elevated to the vice-captaincy position in the pre-season after the retirement of 2019 co-captain Kyle Anderson, and captained the side in rounds 3-5 in the absence of skipper Patrick McGinnity.
He said the captaincy experience was an enjoyable one.
“It was a good little challenge for me, I guess when you have the captain’s armband you have a couple more responsibilities on game day, you’re not only worrying about your game but you’re worrying about everyone else’s game and what Barney’s message is,” he said.
“I did enjoy it. It was a good challenge. Hopefully in the years to come I can resume that role. But for now I’m enjoying the vice-captaincy and learning a lot off Gina.”
East Perth’s midfield depth has been the hallmark of their performance so far this season, with Ramsay ably supported by fellow onballers Rohan Kerr, Angus Scott, Aidan Lynch and former Brisbane Lion Nick Robertson.
The Royals finished with 85 more disposals than their highly fancied opponents, with all of the afore mentioned midfielders having 24 disposals or more.
“We’ve just sort of clicked to be honest,” Ramsay said of the midfield group.
“We’ve got a good balance between Lynchy and Robbo being inside midfielders, myself as a bit of a hybrid and two classy wingers in Rohan Kerr and Angus Scott who can run all day and use the ball really well.
“It’s definitely been a good midfield to be a part of that’s for sure.”
Ramsay, who won the Royals 2019 best and fairest and is expected to poll well in this year’s Sandover Medal count is anticipating a tough challenge against Swans.
“We’ve been reading some news articles that they have got a couple out, but that doesn’t change our thoughts towards them,” he said.
They are a very good side with Corey Gault sort of leading the charge for them, they have got some dangerous players as do we. It should be a really good battle on Saturday.”
Having already played 17 games at the highest level, Ramsay admits he hasn’t given up hope of returning to playing at the highest level.
“If an AFL club came knocking on my door I’d definitely grab it with both hands,” he said.
“I’ve just got to keep going I suppose. Team success breeds individual success, so I’m just worried about winning games and winning them regularly.”
The Royals will be without recruit Angus Schumacher for the rest of the season, after the former Blue suffered a broken thumb in the round five loss to Claremont.
The Royals-Swans match will be broadcast on 91.3 Sport FM, with coverage from 2PM on Saturday.
IMAGE: East Perth Facebook.