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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Salecic focusing on the now before 2024

Incoming West Perth league coach Jason Salecic says his focus is squarely on the present ahead of leading the club’s reserves side into the grand final this weekend.


The Falcons’ captain in their 2013 grand final win and a premiership player in 2003, Salecic will take over from outgoing league coach Darren Harris next season as part of a succession plan brokered following Geoff Valentine’s departure in 2021.


Salecic told Sports Breakfast he had been lucky to have an outstanding coaching mentor in the 2022 premiership-winning coach, but he had not yet turned his attention to the senior job.


“I’m a big believer in staying in the now. Throughout the course of the year, obviously I was announced as the coach, (but) nothing’s changed,” Salecic said.


“I’ve just continued to do my job, so have the other coaches. The support we have as coaches at the football club has been great.


“I haven’t changed the way I’ve gone about it, just focused on the development side and helping support the league guys on game day.”


Salecic, who served as a senior assistant under Harris in 2022 before taking the reigns of the reserves this year, said playing a part in the development of the club’s young players was his favourite part of the job.


“I’ve loved coaching the guys this year,” he said.

“I think we’ve played up to 50 guys this year, they’ve all played a part to getting us to where we are,”


“As a collective, we just keep progressing and going forward.”


West Perth’s lineup against Swan Districts in the season decider on Sunday will include some familiar names, with former West Coast star Mark Hutchings and 131-league game veteran Blake Wilhelm both set to feature.


Salecic said the senior pair had been exceptional role models for the club’s younger players.


“Hutch has had a bit of an interrupted year, but he’s given a lot to the kids to be able to support them,” he said.


“Blake Wilhelm’s been up and down in the league side but I think when he’s been down at the development level … he’s played a massive part.


“The quality of those two people has really helped those young kids grow.”


The reserves grand final between the Falcons and the Black Ducks gets underway at 9:20am at Optus Stadium, followed by the colts clash between Claremont and Perth at 12:10pm and the league decider between East Fremantle and Peel Thunder at 3:20pm.


IMAGE: WA Football Commission


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