Royals ready for a tilt at finals action
New East Perth co-captain Hamish Brayshaw believes his team are well-equipped to break their four-season finals drought.
The Royals have not featured in finals football since 2018, the same year they terminated their alignment agreement with the West Coast Eagles.
The club has undergone change this summer with Ross McQueen stepping into the senior coach role and Tom North (Carlton VFL) and Harrison Macreadie (Williamstown) headlining the new additions, with Brayshaw telling Sports Breakfast he was confident about his team’s 2023 prospects.
“We’ve added a little bit of AFL experience and I think we’re a much more rounded side this year than we were last,” Brayshaw said.
“It’s easy to say in preseason that we’re going to have a good year, but I’m pretty bullish about the way the team’s going to be able to perform and the effort we’re going to be able to put in on the park.
“Obviously finals is our aspiration and it’s a big gap to bridge, but I think we’re up for the challenge.”
Brayshaw has stepped into the top job alongside Christian Ameduri after the retirement of Jackson Ramsay, with the 25 year old saying he was delighted to have the trust of the playing group.
“It’s certainly an honour. This is only my second year back at the footy club, but to have the respect and the admiration of your peers to have the trust in me to be the captain of the team along with Christian, it’s certainly a real honour,” Brayshaw said.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to doing. I’ve done it before, I captained the West Coast WAFL side, but I’m really looking forward to putting my best foot forward and leading this footy club into 2023.
“We’ll complement each other quite nicely, me and Christian. He’s an understated guy, he’s a softly-spoken character, but he’s a real East Perth man … his leadership style is more an on-ground lead by example sort of character.”
Brayshaw said the club would play an exciting brand of football under McQueen, who joined the Royals as an assistant coach in 2021 after building an accomplished record with Claremont’s colts and reserves sides.
“He’s settled in really well and so has the whole coaching staff, to be honest. I think he’s been a teacher for a long time, he’s been a coach for a long time, he gets what it’s like, and I think the way he’s viewing football and the lens he’s got on our group is definitely from that teaching perspective,” he said.
“I think he’s really trying to hone our ability to back our own strengths in and play to a game style that will suit the players that we’ve got.
“The way that he goes about it, the attitude he brings around the club, is very inviting, and I think the boys have responded to that well and he’s going to get a lot out of a lot of players this year.”
The WAFL season kicks off this weekend, with the Royals opening their season against Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Friday at 2:10pm.
IMAGE: The West Australian