Dad plots son’s fate

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Tigers colts coach Stephen Bilcich will coach against his son Max on Sunday morning.
Camera IconTigers colts coach Stephen Bilcich will coach against his son Max on Sunday morning. Credit: Justin Fris

South Bunbury colts coach Stephen Bilcich not only has to plot Bunbury’s downfall in Sunday’s colts grand final at Hands Oval, but he will also have to curtail the influence of his son Max, who will be lining up for the Bulldogs.

Although there has been plenty of banter flying around the Bilcich household in the lead up to the clash, both father and son have tremendous respect for each other.

“I’ve got a lot of time for a lot of the Bunbury boys,” Stephen said.

“I’ve had a lot to do with them over the last three years as Max has been with them during that time.

“They are a good bunch of guys the ones that I know and I wish them all the best, but just not a victory.”

A talented footballer who has caught the eye during the season, Max has relished his football at Payne Park and believes the camaraderie between the playing group has played a massive role in his side’s sustained success.

“All of my teammates look after me,” Max said.

“We all look after one another and it’s just a good community feel. We are a bunch of good mates as well.”

Many will know of Stephen’s success both as a player with East Fremantle and league coach with South Bunbury, but the Tigers coach also possesses an uncanny ability to relate to young players and develop them into fine young men on and off the field.

But toppling the Bulldogs will be a big challenge, with the minor premiers entering the clash in excellent form.

“The club hasn’t won a colts premiership since 2005,” Stephen said.

“So I think we just need a bit of success through the club. It was wonderful how Max Jetta and the girls came out on top and had a perfect year last weekend, so hopefully we can do the same.”

With so much big game experience to call upon, Stephen has elected to keep things simple at Tigers training in the lead up to the game.

“It’s just about getting some of the soreness out from Sunday because it was quite a physical game against Busso,” he said.

“So we just need to get our skills up to a high level, but everything is pretty calm this week.”

Despite earning a week off, the Bulldogs have been leaving no stone unturned in their quest to again hold the premiership cup.

“We never stop working, it’s flat out,” Max said.

“Although the week off was probably perfect for us because it made sure we were all healed up and ready for the big game.

“We need to start off well and play our style of footy and not fall into the trap of playing someone else’s type of footy.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails