Cats undefeated start

Connor Mcpherson. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 359359_14

Tara Murray

Albion is content with how the first part of the Western Football League division 2 season has played out.

The Cats, who had a bye on the weekend, having played their round six match before the season proper kicked off, are undefeated.

Richards said they had set some key focus areas heading into the season they wanted to make improvements on.

“There are things that we wanted to improve on from last year like ball moments and entries into our forward 50s,” he said.

“Overall it has improved a lot.”

With the division 2 and 3 competitions combining this season, there were always going to be some different challenges.

Only having just fallen short in the division 2 grand final last year, the Cats entered the season as one of the favourites.

Richards said themselves and Sunshine had recruited well and would be expected to be up there.

He said Newport, who he thought would take time to settle with a new coach, and Wyndhamvale were two other big contenders this season.

While the combining of the two competitions has led to some one-sided results, Richards said every week brings different challenges.

The Cats average winning margin so far has been 169 points, including a nine point win against Sunshine.

“We leave it as normal for the first two or three quarters,” he said. “We might try a few different players in different positions later on.

“We can afford to rest guys who are not 100 per cent.

“We still take it week by week and stick to the process and try and get something out of these games.

“We have not played a lot of these teams before.”

The Cats have used the early rounds to give some of their younger players coming through the junior system an opportunity.

Richards said it’s the first time in a few years they’ve had a full under-16 side and the ability to do that.

“To have some of our under-16s that play juniors being able to be the 23rd man or maybe a little more is a positive with hopefully going up to A-grade [division 1] in the next few years.

“We want to start bringing through some juniors into the senior program.”

Richards said the bye had come at a good time and had allowed them to freshen up some players and rest their bodies.

The Cats this week face Tarneit on Saturday in Tarneit.

It will be another different challenge for the Cats.

“‘I don’t think we’ve ever played Tarneit,” he said. “We then play Newport and we are sort of preparing for that as well.”

Tara Murray