PEEL Thunder made a vow last week to make a stand and make the most of what is left of 2012 after coach Trevor Williams was replaced by Mark Moody leading into Sunday's win over South Fremantle, but now backing that up after a bye this week is the big challenge for the Mandurah-based club.
Peel and Williams parted company last Monday leading to the Thunder appointing former Port Adelaide Magpies player Moody, who also has a strong history as a and coach and administrator at various levels in South Australia before joining Peel as an assistant coach.
He is now one-game into his senior coaching career with Peel and the result on Sunday at Fremantle Oval was a strong 29-point victory but now that sort of performance has to become the benchmark and can't afford to be just a one-off good game.
"What we agreed to on Tuesday night was that we come to play every week instead of when we choose to. You know going through the week whether you've got them or haven’t got them, and I think if we take the same attitude next week then we will come to play against East Perth," Moody said.
"It's a great feeling and the boys made a decision on Tuesday night as a club that we need to move forward, and that what happened in the past stays in the past. As a footy club, we need to turn what people believe in us around and the intent was to play with a theme, and the theme was culture change and making sure we walk out as winners. We achieved that.
"It's all about the mindset and mental toughness. We had to look inside to see whether we were mentally tough to go forward or not. Individuals took it upon themselves with looking into each other's eyes to be able to ask if they have really got what it takes to make it.
There were ultimatums given on Tuesday night that if you want to play going forward then you have to be mentally tough. I think out there they were mentally tough for four quarters of footy."
Having a consistent effort from week to week, and 22 contributors has been hard for Peel to find so far this season, but every player had a part in Sunday's win over the Bulldogs and that's where Moody felt the difference was.
Having Jamason Daniels shut down Kris Miller and restricting South Fremantle's other main playmaker Ryan Cook to no impact had a big part in the victory as well.
"It gets back to the intent at the start of the game and we said that we had 22 tasks and 22 individuals had to do those, and the scoreboard would take care of itself. That's what happened," he said.
"Jamo did a fantastic job to hold Miller to 11 touches and Cook didn’t have any impact on what was going on either, but what we were able to do was cut out two individuals and have 22 individuals that played well. If we are to go forward we need 22 individuals each week."
Three players who hadn’t received too many opportunities this season whether through injuries or form were Ryan Herring, Brennan Gillam and Rhett Mason, but all were terrific on Sunday.
Herring came in against South Fremantle to play in a new role splitting his time between the ruck and forward, and was terrific with 20 disposals, nine marks and two goals. Gillam gave good run off half-back with 21 possessions and a goal with Mason also booting two goals.
"Herring's playing a different role than he's usually played and Gillam has come off of two real good games in the two, and Mason needed to be rewarded for his form in the twos as well," he said.
"Those three adapted really well back to league footy and they've shown they can do it before, and this week they showed again that they want to be part of the 22."
Peel's senior players all stood up with captain Brendon Jones celebrating his 150th WAFL game in style with 34 possessions with Pat Travers and Matt Orzel terrific as well, but it was Brendan Hancock who stepped up that most impressed Moody with his three goals.
"Hancock had another lease of life and he's been given a job within the forward-line and he took that and ran with it," he said.
"You could see from the start of the game that he was really keen and ready to play. Patty Travers is just a genuinely good footballer and he gets all the young blokes up and going, and BJ is just a true leader.
"The theme also was BJ's 150th and us going forward. It worked in tandem and if we achieved everything that we wanted then BJ would get the result for his 150th and we as a club start to change the culture. We got both."
While not the ideal way to become a senior coach at state-league level, one-week into the job and Moody has done his chances no harm of being seriously considered to lead Peel going forward and that's something the South Australian would definitely be up for.
"It's not the way you want to get the coaching job, but I was never, ever going to think about going to do anything unforeseen. I got the job and the club saw fit for me to do what I had to do, and I'm stoked at the opportunity but at the end of the day if I can put a bit of a touch on what's going forward, then well and good," Moody said.
"I would love to do it beyond this season. It has been a life-long dream of mine to coach in the SANFL and to get the opportunity in the WAFL if it was presented I would have a deadset look at it, but this is just one week out of nine.
"I still have a lot of work to do and so does the club. I got a change in job with my employment bringing me here and I will be here for two years, and now this opportunity with Peel might see me stay longer."