The Wheeler Effect

 
Clancy Wheeler has a calming effect when the Lions play and it always seems to come at the right time.

In the first quarter of the second semi against West Perth the Lions conceded three quick goals and were losing control of the game.
 
Wheeler’s impact in the first quarter kept the Lions competitive, with the Esperance utility gathering 10 disposals, 11 hit-outs and a goal to see Subi trailing by just five at the first break.

Wheeler has developed an ability to stand up when it matters over his career and Sunday’s Grand Final sealer was just another example.

Wheeler was a big part of the Lions 2011 premiership push before he was concussed in the Grand Final against Claremont and provided multiple roles through Subiaco’s modest 2012 and 2013 seasons.
 
The big man had a huge influence in the Lions nail-biting finals win over the Sharks in 2014, and held down the ruck with Frank Stockley in Subiaco’s 12th premiership against East Perth.

The 26 year old has played in 95 of 126 games since making his debut in 2011 and represented West Australia twice (2013 & 2015).
 

Wheeler gets away from West Coast youngster Tom Lamb. 
 

The versatility of Wheeler has never been more important than in 2015 with injuries to rucks Frank Stockley, Jordan Bestry and Dave Madut seemingly exposing a weakness in the table-topping Lions.

After playing half-forward and half-back for portions of the season Wheeler was entrusted to pinch hit in the ruck with Lachlan Delahunty. Wheeler and fellow Black Swan Delahunty ran rings around West Perth's Chris Keunen and used their mobility to dominate the centre clearances in the second semi.
 
The pair is expected to take the reigns in Sunday week’s Grand Final and Wheeler spoke with confidence to Dale Miller’s West Australian after the Semi Final victory.

“We’ve got a good relationship both on and off the field,” Wheeler said of Lachlan Delahunty.
 
“We just try and work for each other the best we can.”
 
Wheeler was also confident the Lions had exceeded their 2014 heights, which positions Subiaco as heavy premiership favourites.
 
 “The guys that did play in the grand final last year have really taken it to another level,” he said.
 
“The guys that have played last year and this year have gelled more.
 
“I feel like we’re playing better footy.”

Clancy “Clanger” Wheeler and the Subiaco Lions will face either East Perth or West Perth in the season finale at Domain Stadium Sunday Week.


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