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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Perth optimistic despite inopportune injury run

Perth Midfielder Jack Cooley says having a ‘next-man-up’ mentality is essential amid an unfortunate run of injuries for Perth. 

Boom recruit Charlie Constable went down early during the second quarter in Perth’s 21-point loss to East Perth on Anzac Day. 


The former AFL player was later diagnosed with syndesmosis, putting him on the sidelines with other key Demons Sam Simpson, Aaron Clarke and Jack Avery. 


Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash against South Fremantle, Cooley told SportFM losing Constable wasn’t ideal, but his side has the flexibility to cover the absence in the moment. 


“It’s terrible to lose any player out there because you're down a rotation, but losing someone of Charlie's quality doesn't really help,” he said.


“We all play our role and we're all equal in terms of we don't believe someone's better than us and others. Someone goes down and someone steps up and it's just sort of the next-man-up mentality. 


“Germa (Peter German) might shuffle a few magnets, but nothing really changes in terms of how the midfield plays their role and keeps cracking in.” 


Perth currently sits in sixth on the ladder with two wins and two losses as they look to return to finals in 2024. 


Conversely, the Perth reserves team is in first and undefeated in their competition. 


Cooley isn’t sweating over the inopportune run of injuries and is confident the squad can still be competitive.

“It's a weird one because you look at it from the outside and are of that opinion, but internally, our ressies are undefeated, so

we've got the depth there,” he said. 


“We don't really worry too much about the injuries and dwell on that. We focus on the players that are fit and how we're going to attack the next game. 


“We've got a lot of talent out at the minute, but it's exciting that we're still two-and-two with so many quality players out that when they start to come back, who knows how good we can be.” 


This weekend, Cooley will look to repeat his phenomenal Anzac Day performance in which he racked up 40 disposals, eight marks and six tackles. 


Cooley puts his rise in form and career-best season down to coach Peter German and his ‘straight’ nature. 


“We had a really good conversation before the year about how I was going okay, but how am I going to take my game to the next

level and the player that I needed to become,” he said. 


“He's always been straight with me and I'm playing some of the best footy I've played. That's a real credit to him because he believes in me and he believes in all his players. 


“If there's one coach that I want to have my back, it's definitely German. If anyone talks about one of his players, he's always got your back. We've got a lot of trust in him and he's been outstanding for me personally.”


Perth will take on South Fremantle on Saturday at 2.30 pm at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.


IMAGE: The West Australian

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