IMG_2916By Gary Stocks

The definite expedition into the unknown confronts the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team as it ventures south to John Dunn Memorial Oval to tackle Kelmscott in the second round of the WAAFL tomorrow.

Ordinarily, there is a little intelligence on the opposition, the venue and the atmosphere, but Kelmscott is new to the A-Grade scene.

A graduate through the ranks from C-Grade, after the Sunday League collapsed a few years ago, Kelmscott has worked its way into the senior level of the competition and has, to some extent, broken the mould.

In recent years clubs like Collegians, Hamersley-Carine, Mt Lawley, Fremantle CBC and North Fremantle have played the relegation-promotion yo-yo, but Kelmscott is an entirely different situation altogether. For the first time they are in the A-Grade competition.

David Hynes, his coaching group and the senior players know a little about Kelmscott, but it will very much be a case of facing the unexpected.

Kelmscott earned promotion courtesy of a B-Grade premiership and started the 2015 campaign positively, beating Kalamunda on their home turf. A win up in the hills is always meritorious, so clearly there is some talent in their line-up.

The Beach will have some respect for the opposition, but will also look to play their own game – which fell agonisingly short of victory against reigning premier University last week.

North Beach led for the entire game before being denied on the last play of the day. The young Tigers will learn from that experience and will also take some confidence from it.

Rather than being deflated by the four-point loss, they took great belief out of the performance and that should help build momentum through the season. Yes, they were bitterly disappointed to let slip an opportunity to open the season positively and it stung.

But once the pain of defeat subsided and the cloud of disappointment lifted, there was a sense of pride.

Five colts graduates played their first senior games last week and they will all benefit from the experience. This week tenacious midfielder Arran Goddard-Nash, experienced utility player Andrew Nunan and Jordan Webster come into the line-up.

The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves and Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts also face interesting assignments. Kelmscott could not field a reserves team at Kalamunda last week, but it would be expected to be a different story at home.

The depth within the club is nothing short of staggering, with more than 20 senior players missing selection in any of the five teams last week. That sees pressure on for places at all levels and the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade looks powerful.

For Beach supporters who can’t face the long drive out to Kelmscott, it will be well worth the effort to drop into Charles Riley Reserve to watch this Bill Duckworth-coached combination strut their stuff.

Without question there is some young talent in that group with the capacity to play many years of senior footy at the Beach. Blended in with a host of players with A-Grade premiership experience and this team plays some exciting footy.

Grand finalists in the D1-Grade last year, this team is very much in an education phase with a host of colts graduates from last year benefitting from playing alongside great stalwarts of the club.

The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves are also beneficiaries of the depth, along with the Express Bins E1-Grade, who will play Ocean Ridge at Ridgewood Park.

The Red Hill Brett Jones Colts will open the card at Charles Riley and again would appreciate the support of loyal North Beach devotees for their clash with Mt Lawley.

Both Colts teams are dealing with the club policy of players who turn 20 this year, pushing up to senior football. Without question they will develop as the season progresses and would benefit from strong support from the sidelines.

Fixtures
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Kelmscott v North Beach, John Dunn Memorial Oval, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
Kelmscott v North Beach, John Dunn Memorial Oval, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
Kelmscott v North Beach, John Dunn Memorial Oval, 10.40am
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach v Mt Lawley, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach v Mt Lawley, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.35pm
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach v Mt Lawley, Charles Riley Reserve, 10.40am
Express Bins E1-Grade
Quinns v North Beach, Ridgewood Park, 2.30pm