Kayler-Thomson Ready for the Big V

 

Written by: Andrew Owen | Photo By: Flash Flood Photography

Jarrod Kayler-Thomson has had a brilliant start to his Subiaco career.  The silky skilled midfielder is averaging close to 30 possessions a game and looks set to add a second state appearance for Western Australia this weekend when the Black Swans do battle against the best players from the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Kayler-Thomson’s Western Australian Football League (WAFL) career started in 2005, when he came from Victoria to the Perth Football Club, and since then he has produced some brilliant football.  In 2007 he was the Demons leading goal kicker with 41 and he followed that up with an average of 24.3 disposals a game in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.  Kayler-Thomson was then drafted to the Hawthorn Football Club but only spent one season there before he made his way back to Perth at the end of 2010.  After consistent performances in the WAFL over a number of years, why does Kayler-Thomson think he has only made one appearance for the Black Swans?  “Good question.  I was the emergency in 2009 after the 2008 game so I just missed out there.”

“Before that to be honest we were sixth or seventh most years at Perth around that time on the ladder and I can’t remember ever winning many games in the front half of the year.”

“You have to be winning games and playing in a successful club and there were some pretty good players running around from 2005-2007 in the WAFL and I probably didn’t warrant an opportunity.”

Since his move at the end of last year from the Demons to the Lions it is fair to say that his form this season definitely warrants a place in the team this weekend.  Kayler-Thomson says there are two main reasons behind his dramatic form rise this year.  One is the benefits of a hard preseason and the other is his new coach Jarrad Schofield.  “His (Schofield’s) midfield experience and his hardness in preseason to demand that everyone do pretty much every session, didn’t really allow anyone to find a comfort zone.”

“I’d definitely say as an all round running, weight, sprinting sought of fitness I’m easily the fittest I’ve been.”

Kayler-Thomson remembers his first appearance for the Black Swans very fondly.  It was in Townsville against Queensland and current St Kilda and ex Subiaco coach Scott Watters was at the helm.  “There were patches in the game that I was really relishing playing against the best players in the country outside of the AFL.  Just getting to know the other players in the competition was probably the best part and then even hearing a different voice through Scott Watters as the coach was a great experience.”

When he was first selected in the State team for the match against Queensland he admits that “just being involved with the cream of the competition overawed me at the start.”  Five years later he says that it is still a great honour to play for Western Australia but still questions if he should be in the squad.  “Even though you’ve had a good start to the year you do think to yourself do I belong amongst these players.  Just to be included in the training squad is an honour.”

Western Australia has not beaten Victoria since 1991 when they handed out a 76 point thrashing to the Big V at the WACA.  Since then there have been three encounters between the two sides with Western Australia having an average loosing margin of 62 points.  “They’ve got a good team, they’re always a quality outfit and the fact that we haven’t beaten them since 1991 shows how much of a quality state they are in the football community and it will be a big challenge if we get the chance.”

In order to beat Victoria, Kayler-Thomson believes that the Black Swans have to spread hard as the dimensions of the Northam Oval are very similar to Paterson’s (Subiaco Oval).  “I’d say given that the VFL grounds are very small we’ve got to really spread hard against them, win as many stoppages as we can, look to work them on the outside and take our opportunities early I think to get us up and about.”

With Kayler-Thomson originally coming from Victoria one would question where his allegiance lies.  “To play against the Big V which I am a born and breed Victorian would be huge and I’d love to knock them off and be a part of it, it would be great.

The match between Western Australia and Victoria takes place in Northam this Saturday, May 11 with bounce down scheduled for 12:10pm.

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