Ballantyne: Embrace the moment

Friday, October 2, 2020 - 9:16 AM by Katie de Haer

Head Coach Aaron Ballantyne’s message to his players this week ahead of the Reserves Grand Final is simple: embrace the moment.

“We’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible for them," Ballantyne said.

"There have been a few players who played in the Grand Final a couple of years ago who spoke about their experiences and how they approached it.

“For me, I’ve told them to embrace the week, embrace the day and take it all in.

“There are going to people who want to talk to you, there are going to be past players and members who want to come up and congratulate you for making the grand final.

“Just take it all in. There’s no point sort of hiding away from it. My advice all week has been to embrace it and enjoy it.”

After beating Subiaco by 26-points in the second semi-final and securing a grand final berth, Ballantyne says his approach remains business as usual.

“We had a session last Saturday just to replicate what is ahead with game times and things like that. It was about having the players up early and moving around, given the early start of the grand final, which we feel we will benefit from.

“This week it's been business as usual with our normal Monday session, we trained fully on Wednesday in our main session and Friday night will be our captain’s run. 

"It hasn’t changed too much, we’re trying to keep things the way they have been all year and trying to approach it that way.”

Ballantyne said it was inevitable that nerves would show early on game day and that the players would have to do their best to respond to it.

“I said to the players before the second semi: ‘We’re going to get nervous, everyone is going to get nervous. It’s important that we identify that and acknowledge it and try to park it as quickly as possible.’

“We’ll take that same approach this week and see how it pans out.”

East Perth supporters who can’t make it to the ground are encouraged to watch the live stream from the Leederville Oval Function Centre on Sunday. Doors open from 8.30am.

“The restricted access this year makes it a bit tougher, having the crowd capped due to COVID,” Ballantyne said.

“As many supporters that can get to the game would be great – we love it, we enjoy it. If they can’t make the game then win or lose we’ll be heading back to Leederville Oval.

“Hopefully as many supporters as possible can get there and have a chat to the boys and show their appreciation and I’m sure they’ll show it back.”


2020 Optus WAFL Reserves Grand Final
Sunday, October 4
East Perth vs Claremont
Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Gates open: 8.45am

Bouncedown: 9.15am