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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Subi still in flag mix; Kitchin

Subiaco skipper Leigh Kitchin says his side are unbothered by their underdog tag as they look to make their mark in the finals.

The Lions have ended both their September runs under current coach Beau Wardman as premiers, but will head into this September coming off a 50-point loss to ladder-leaders East Fremantle last weekend.

A four-time WAFL grand final winner and two-time premiership captain, Kitchin told Sports Breakfast he was confident his team could draw on their experience to do some damage on the big stage.

“When we were touted as the favourites, we didn’t read too much into it, it’s similar when we’re considered the underdog,” Kitchin said.

“Probably don’t think too much about it, that’s all external.

“We concentrate on what’s happening internally and just trying to play our best brand. The rest of that, I think we block it out reasonably well.”

On the back of being rested in the Lions’ round 19 win over West Coast, the 33-year-old said he was feeling fresh heading into September after battling with his body through the year.

“It’s been a bit of a different season and challenging with that continuity on the field,” he said.

“I was pretty blessed and had a great run for a while. I probably learned to be a bit more conservative now, which wasn’t easy to swallow.

“Hopefully, touch wood, it all goes well.”

Subiaco’s first finals task comes in the form of Peel Thunder in this Saturday’s qualifying final, with the winner earning the right to face East Fremantle at Fremantle Oval for the chance to seal a grand final spot.

The Thunder won the 2016 and 2017 grand finals over the Lions, with Kitchin saying he was looking forward to resuming hostilities.

“It’s been a great battle. Probably the last three or four years, we haven’t met in September, but before that, we were very familiar with each other’s teams and how we played,” he said.

“This year, we’ve had a win, they’ve had a win, both pretty close wins. They’re very even across the field, they don’t really have any deficiencies, and they’re playing well together.

“They’ll be a tough matchup and we can’t wait.”

The clash between the Lions and the Thunder gets underway at 2:10pm on Saturday.

IMAGE: The West Australian.


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