Player Perspective – Paul Johnson

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 8:00 AM - by Paul Johnson

THE WAFL website will be publishing columns from players throughout the 2013 season taking a look at what it takes to be a successful WAFL player and build a life outside the game. This week it's former 70-game AFL player, winning WA captain and East Perth ruckman Paul Johnson.

The biggest thing to adjust to when I came out of the AFL was the work-football balance. After growing up as one of six kids, dad always had us working so the workload wasn’t a huge demand on my body but I am working at City Motors from 7am-4.30pm and then it's the 4.30-5pm period when you have to get to training, get changed and be out on the track ready to go again.

The biggest surprise in it all has been the training loads. You are training just about as hard as you do to play in the AFL but squeezing that into three or four nights, instead of spreading it across the whole week. You have to be alert and giving your all at work all day, so you can't cruise and it was a great opportunity I was allowed to take at City Motors, and part of the reason they employ you is because you play footy so I have to make sure I give my all at footy still as well as at work.

After working from 7 in the morning most nights I don’t walk in the house until about 8 o'clock at night. I have only been married for a couple of years as well so I still try to spend as much time as I can with my wife and I'm lucky that she is so understanding. She has dinner on the table for me and all set and ready to go when I get home. The hardest thing has been juggling between dedicating enough time to work and footy, and also your life at home.

When I was in the AFL the lifestyle you've got is fantastic. You go to an early morning session and have a meeting before taking off a couple of hours for lunch. When I was at Melbourne you try to get down to a café, read the paper and have a couple of lattes or have a bite to eat while catching up with a couple of the boys. You would then go back for an afternoon session and you would be home by 4.30 or 5pm and at this stage my wife was working 8-6 so I had time to go to the supermarket to get dinner on the table, or clean the house or do the washing. Now that I'm getting home at 8 o'clock I just don’t have as much time to do things like cooking, washing and cleaning.

In the AFL, you have the chance to be a lot more flexible in your life and it allows you to relax a hell of a lot more. You do train that touch harder than at the WAFL level, but the hours aren’t as demanding and you haven’t got that full-time job that you have to apply yourself to, you can just solely focus on your footy.

What I find, though, is that when I do get some time I try to get away from work and footy altogether. Katie and I have a lot of common interests obviously otherwise we wouldn’t be married, so we try to go out for dinner or to see a movie on a Sunday and escape from football completely. I find myself now not watching a hell of a lot of footy compared to when I was at AFL level just because you need that switch off time especially on a Sunday when I wake up a couple of hours later, not rush to have breakfast and get to work by 7. We try and get out and have a bit of a relaxing day on the Sunday whether it's an extended lunch with a couple of coffees looking over the beach or whatever helps relax to get away from it all.

Balance plays such a big part and once you get the balance right in your life, the footy takes care of itself. Even Brendan Lee has found that. He has come back this year after experiencing 12 months on the Essendon list and that has made him grow as a person, and a footballer. I've been lucky and I try to pass on a few of the things I learned over nine years in the AFL to the younger guys and even the coaching staff to try and help East Perth be a better place, better team and more enjoyable environment. Once you enjoy your footy, you tend to find that you play at a better level.

I'm finding that is really helping me to switch off where at AFL level you prepare to play a couple of days out from the game and then after footy you have all the recovery the next day and all of that. It does tend to take its toll a little bit more on the body but you do get a lot more relaxing time during the week where you get to switch off and go and sit in a cafe, and relax a bit.

I've been pretty lucky that at East Perth the guys have been great and welcomed me into the club since day dot. I've built some really good relationships with a lot of the guys and I'm really enjoying what I do at work as well with City Motors. I sell cars to the fleeting companies and other businesses so I meet a lot of interesting people who run massive companies that you dream of being part of one day. I go to work and go to training, and they are completely different environments. The stress of putting up a performance to play well and stay in the team or get up into the team at AFL level takes its toll over time, but I look at footy as purely enjoyment now. I love playing footy and have been playing since I was four years of age. The thing that scares is what I fill that gap with in three or four years time.

At the moment I work in the fleet department but the good thing about AHG is that there are so many different departments where if you have enough of one area, you can move into another. You've got used cars, service, paint and panel, new cars, finance and there's a lot of choices there that you can. Then there are manager roles so it's a huge industry I'm part of and I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity and I'm really enjoying it.

State 18 Girls honoured as All-Australians

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:12 AM

SEVEN players from WA’s State U18 Youth Girls team were named in the All Australian side at the completion of the National Championships in Shepparton, Victoria on May 11.

Caitlyn Edwards (East Fremantle), Brianna Green (East Fremantle), Hayley Miller (Joondalup), Kira Phillips (Peel), Ashley Sharp (Swan Districts), Belinda Smith (Claremont) and Emma Swanson (Peel) all received All-Australian honours after starring for WA in their narrow Grand Final loss against Victoria Metro.

After convincing wins over South Australia, Queensland and NSW/ACT in the qualifying rounds, WA entered the Grand Final full of confidence and made a strong start to lead by seven points at quarter time.

That lead was reduced to two points at half time and WA paid the price for skill errors and inaccurate kicking in front of goal in the second half, with Victoria Metro building a 12-point lead in the third term and then extending their advantage in the last quarter to claim a hard-fought 15-point win.

Final scores were WA 3.7 (25) defeated by Victoria Metro 6.4 (40).

Kira Phillips was also the Leading Goal Kicker of the competition with 16 majors, the most by any Youth Girl since the inception of the National Championships.

WA’s Kellie Gibson was named the Best on Ground in the Grand Final.

West Australian Football Commission Female Football Manager Alison Moore congratulated all of the girls on their performance and paid tribute to the WA businesses that sponsored the team.

"We had phenomenal support from local businesses who helped the girls achieve their goal of representing their State. Thank you to all of you," Ms Moore said.


WA 13.21 (99) defeated SA 1.1 (7)

WA 6.5 (41) defeated QLD 3.4 (22)

WA 11.9 (75) defeated NSW/ACT 0.0 (0)

Grand Final

VIC METRO 6.4 (40) defeated WA 3.7 (25)

Jim Stynes honour for Williams

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:09 AM

The West Australian Football Commission congratulates Swan Districts women’s player Rhonda Williams on being named as a Jim Stynes Scholarship recipient for 2013.

Williams is WA’s second successful nomination after Tayla Bresland won a scholarship in 2012. She will be officially honoured at the 2013 Brownlow Medal Presentation in September.

Williams currently plays League football for Swan Districts in the WA Women’s Football League and most recently represented WA in the State U18 Youth Girls Team, which finished second at the National Championships.

The Jim Stynes scholarship is designed to help up-and-coming players with the costs of their football, travel and education expenses to help them realise their potential in the game.

Williams said she would continue playing football and aim to follow her dream of teaching deaf children.

As a student leader at Swan View SHS, all staff and students are also very proud of her achievement.

Rafferty’s Rules

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:04 AM

There are many characters in footy across all levels of the game including at Amateur level. One such person is umpire Seamus Rafferty.

An umpiring stalwart in WA, Rafferty has experienced success as an official whilst managing a busy life outside of umpiring.

He started umpiring in 1988 following an approach by then Claremont junior umpiring coach Bob Lee.

Rafferty, known for his sense of humour including at his own expense, commented: "Bob must have seen me playing juniors and realised I would make a better umpire than player!"

Rafferty’s natural talent for umpiring was identified and within two years he was umpiring WAFL colts as a young 16 year old. WAFC Manager Senior Competitions umpiring Tim Priest, who umpired with Rafferty in the WAFL, recalled: "Seamus was the youngest umpire on the WAFL field umpire panel, but he certainly wasn’t one for taking a backward step in the friendly banter amongst his fellow umpires, many of whom were twice his age."

Rafferty who was by his own admission "a bit of a scallywag in his teenage years", decided in 1993 that after umpiring WAFL for four years the WAAFL would better suit.

With his distinctive red hair, Rafferty was soon equally well known amongst the Amateur competition for his firm but fair and highly competent umpiring skill. He was rewarded by field umpiring three consecutive A Grade Grand Finals. (2000, 2001, 2002)

The same characteristics displayed by Rafferty as an umpire have held him in equally good stead as a practising solicitor.

Rafferty, who since 2009 to the present has represented the accused in the criminal courts, commenced as a State Prosecutor at the DPP from 2001 to 2009. For much of that time umpiring largely took a back step.

But the busy family man, with two young children, decided in 2011 to rejoin the WAAFL umpire panel to regain some fitness.

Priest cited Rafferty as one of the great contributors to the WAAFL.

"The WAAFL is very fortunate to have someone of Seamus’ experience still involved, as he offers terrific confidence to younger umpires. This experience at WAAFL level is critical as we develop umpires along the pathway to WAFL and AFL, coupled with the fact Amateur matches can at times be extremely challenging to officiate.

"Seamus is a high quality mentor and person, and we rate highly his contribution on and off the field."

Rafferty holds additional responsibility as an official honorary investigator for the WAAFL, called upon to adjudicate complaints made by clubs for on and off field incidents that are not the subject of reports by umpires.

Beyond football, he is Deputy Chairman of the Liquor Commission and Chairman of the Combat Sports Commission. The former role involves determining applications and disciplinary matters pursuant to the Liquor Control Act 1988, whilst the latter involves overseeing all combat sports in the state and ensuring compliance with the Act.

Rafferty cites his Umpiring, Solicitor and Board roles as all requiring "the ability to make good decisions in situations where there are ramifications as to the decision that you make, to be mentally alert, to have an understanding of human nature and a good sense of humour."

West Perth women paving the way

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 6:08 AM

Women are playing a key role at West Perth Football Club this season in key strategic positions at a club that prides itself as being one of the WAFL’s most progressive.

Women have always played an important role when it comes to assisting their partners prepare for a game of WAFL football as players or coaches.

Now the Falcons are paving the way for more women to be involved in a range of official roles including directors, trainers, team managers and runners.

This year the club has Rebecca (Bec) Daniels on the Board of Directors, Jess Hayes working as Head Trainer, Julie Carpenter as Colts Team Manager and Karly Hoar as a Reserves Runner.

Falcon’s President Brett Raponi said each of them had been involved with the club for a number of years and deserved special recognition.

"Karly and Julie are into their second year in their respective roles, Bec formerly worked for the Falcons in administration and Jess has served a number of years as a trainer," Mr Raponi said.

"They are all highly capable in their roles and it is fantastic to have them involved with the club.

"Women are one half of the world’s population. Football has always been seen as a man’s domain but at West Perth we see men and women as all-encompassing and with a role to play.

"Like all WAFL clubs, we have many more ladies assisting with match day, sandwiches and raffles but for our club to continue to grow we recognise the need to get more women involved and holding senior positions within the club," he said.

The West Perth Football Club also acknowledged some of the other ladies who assist with match day including Natalie Sharman, Kathleen Tompsitt and Janet O’Neill to name a few.


WAFL Rivalry Round this long weekend

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 3:03 AM

Its Rivalry Round in the WAFL this WA Day long weekend with four games across three days including derby contests on Sunday and Monday.

The rivalry kicks off on Saturday as Perth take on Swan Districts and continues Sunday as Claremont face off against Subiaco and East Fremantle go head to head with cross town rivals, South Fremantle.

The Monday public holiday will see East Perth take on West Perth at Medibank Stadium.

Saturday 1st June

Perth v Swan Districts
Brownes Stadium
League 2:10pm - Reserves 11:40am - Colts 9:10am
ABC TV & Radio Fremantle (107.9FM)

Sunday 2nd June

Claremont v Subiaco
Claremont Oval
League 2:10pm - Reserves 11:40am - Colts 9:10am
Information Radio (990AM)

East Fremantle v South Fremantle
East Fremantle Oval
League 2:10pm - Reserves 11:40am - Colts 9:10am
SportFM (91.3FM)

Monday 3rd June

East Perth v West Perth
Medibank Stadium
League 2:10pm - Reserves 11:40am - Colts 9:10am
ABC Radio (720AM)
Hot Country Digital

Bye: Peel Thunder

Round 10 WAFL Results

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 4:00 PM - by Chris Pike

CLAREMONT and West Perth consolidated the top two spots on the WAFL ladder with impressive wins on Saturday with Subiaco and Peel Thunder also recording victories to stay in touch with the top-four.

Claremont remained unbeaten this season with a 20.12 (132) to 9.11 (65) win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval to remain clear on top of the ladder while West Perth moved a game clear in second spot with a 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

Subiaco won its third game of the season downing Swan Districts 12.13 (85) to 10.12 (72) at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval while Peel also recorded its third victory of 2013 beating East Perth 13.13 (91) to 10.13 (73) at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

West Perth and Perth went into its clash at Arena Joondalup with second spot up for grabs with both teams holding a 5-2 record, and after a see-sawing goal for goal opening quarter, the Falcons took control with nine goals to four between the second and third terms to set up the eventual 36-point win.

The Falcons had plenty of options in attack with Josh Mellington kicking four goals, Anthony Tsalikis three and two each to Anton Saylor and Matt Johnson. Jordan Jones, Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt, Luke Tedesco and Andrew Strijk were terrific in defence.

Through the middle, Aaron Black racked up 31 possessions, Steven Browne 24, Ray Bartholomew 22, Matt Guadagnin 22, Marc Crisp 21 and Jay van Berlo 18.

Brennan Stack kicked five second half goals for Perth with captain Paul Bevan adding three and Michael Florio two.

West Coast's Ashley Smith racked up 29 possessions, Julian Jacobs 26, Dene White 24, Brett Hodge 23 and Michael Sinclair 20.

Peel controlled its clash at home to East Perth from the outset eventually running out 18-point winners.

Brad Holmes kicked three goals for the Thunder as did James Hawksley with Matt Orzel continuing his terrific run of form with two goals to go with 26 possessions.

Captain Brendon Jones gathered 38 possessions with Marlon Motlop finishing with 25 touches, Kristin Thornton 24, Viv Michie 24, Brennan Gillam 23 and Tom Sheridan 19.

Josh Smith kicked three goals for East Perth and Matt Gordon added two. Captain Craig Wulff racked up 28 possessions, Steven Payne 27, Brendan Lee 26, Ryan Maldenis 20 and Freddie Clutterbuck 19.

Claremont beat South Fremantle emphatically by 67 points at Fremantle Oval despite losing dual premiership midfielder Byron Schammer to injury.

Simpson Medallist from last year's grand final Paul Medhurst booted five goals for the Tigers with Ian Richardson and Anton Hamp booting three each, and Jake Murphy, Chad Jones and Liam Smith two.

Jake Murphy picked up 29 possessions, Andrew Foster 25, Sam Fong 25, Patrick McGinnity 23 and Jesse Laurie 21.

John Sgherza, Paul Mugambwa and Ashton Hams kicked two goals each for South Fremantle with Haiden Schloithe picking up 32 disposals, Ryan Cook 31, Mitch Banner 30 and Adam Guglielmana 21.

Subiaco celebrated dual premiership player Rob Forrest's 100th WAFL game with a 13-point win over Swan Districts with Forrest terrific with 24 possessions.

Rhys Waters, Chris Deluca, Andrew McDougall and Michael Wood kicked two goals each for the Lions with Ray Daniels racking up 25 possessions, Jason Bristow 24, Brett Mahoney 22, Jarrod Kayler-Thomson 22 and George Hampson 20.

Dayle Garlett kicked four goals for Swan Districts and Tim Geappen two with Kyle Hams racking up 37 possessions, Shaun Hildebrandt 29, Tom Roach 24, Brett Robinson 25 and ruckman Wes Lammie had 18 touches and 29 hit outs.



West Perth 17.13 (115) beat Perth 12.7 (79)

South Fremantle 9.11 (65) lost to Claremont 20.12 (132)

Swan Districts 10.12 (72) lost to Subiaco 12.13 (85)

Peel Thunder 13.13 (91) beat East Perth 10.13 (73)


West Perth 11.4 (70) beat Perth 8.12 (60)

South Fremantle 16.7 (103) beat Claremont 9.5 (59)

Swan Districts 14.6 (90) lost to Subiaco 16.9 (105)

Peel Thunder 5.6 (36) lost to East Perth 20.11 (131)


West Perth 5.7 (37) lost to Perth 14.7 (91)

South Fremantle 11.9 (75) lost to Claremont 14.6 (90)

Swan Districts 6.9 (45) lost to Subiaco 15.14 (104)

Peel Thunder 5.16 (46) lost to East Perth 9.8 (62)

WAFC appoints new Subiaco District Chair

Friday, May 24, 2013 - 5:14 AM

The West Australian Football Commission, in partnership with the Subiaco District, has appointed Cindy Dunham as Chair of the Subiaco District Football Development Council to replace long serving volunteer Wayne Morling.

Ms Dunham is the General Manager Operations, Australia West, for Rio Tinto Procurement and has worked in senior procurement roles in the resources industry in Western Australia for the past 12 years. More recently her responsibilities have included procurement planning and execution of Newmont’s $3.3 billion Boddington Gold Mine Project.

WAFC Director of Game Development Warren Nel said the WAFC and Subiaco District were very excited to welcome Ms Dunham aboard and looking forward to the wealth of business knowledge and acumen she would bring to the role of District Chair.

"It is fantastic to have a high calibre person such as Cindy take on the role and continue the excellent Game Development already in progress within the Subiaco District," Mr Nel said. "I look forward to working with Cindy as we continue to ensure that football offers the best possible experience to our stakeholders."

Ms Dunham also volunteers her time as the Vice Chairperson on the Board of Shelter WA, which is a peak body that advises the government on affordable housing for low income earners and the disadvantaged.

Mr Nel also paid tribute to outgoing District Chairman Wayne Morling for his eight years of loyal service in a key volunteer role which oversaw the implementation of the District Model.

"Wayne forged professional relationships with every stakeholder and leaves enormous shoes to fill," Mr Nel said. "He has passionately and tirelessly served the District at all levels, leading to significant growth and a stronger reputation. His guidance he has ensured that football remains the number one sport of choice within the Subiaco District."

Prior to Wayne’s involvement with the Subiaco District Football Development Council, he was involved with the Sorrento Duncraig Junior Football Club as President. During this time he was involved in a myriad of roles and was instrumental in bringing professionalism to the club and those around him.

"Wayne will not be lost to football, as he will continue to serve on the Subiaco Football Club (WAFL) Board as the Director of Community Programs," Mr Nel said. "The WAFC and Subiaco District wish Wayne the very best in his future endeavours and thank him for his contribution to the game."

WA women feature in first National Draft

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 2:13 AM

TWELVE West Australian women were selected in the inaugural AFL National Women’s Draft last week to represent the Melbourne Football Club and Western Bulldogs at the MCG in June.

This ground breaking match will be the first time AFL clubs have competed in an AFL sanctioned women’s match, with the game to be held on Saturday June 29 as part of AFL Women’s Round.

Showcasing the immense talent in Western Australia, nine women were drafted to the Demons and two to the Bulldogs. The third draft pick overall was Swan Districts midfielder Chelsea Randall, who will don the Melbourne colours.

Randall expressed her great honour in being selected to represent Melbourne in the first AFL Women’s match.

"This is truly a dream come true. I’m delighted to play for Melbourne, which is one of the most historic teams in football," she said.

"I play the game because I’m passionate about football. Being able to play and compete at this level is incredible. I hope this game is the start of a national competition that young women can aspire to be part of.

"I can’t wait to get out on the MCG in a Demons guernsey and play some footy.’

Michelle Cowan, the only woman assistant coach at a professional league level in Western Australia, was selected to coach the Melbourne team. Cowan is the assistant coach with South Fremantle Football Club and believes this is a huge step forward in women’s footy.

"I’m so thrilled to be a part of this and the support from the AFL, West Australian Football Commission and the state clubs. To put women’s footy at a national level is incredible.

"The talent coming through women’s footy is outstanding. I’m really excited to see what the future holds. It won’t be long till we see a national competition."

WA Football Commission Director of Pathways and Competition, Grant Dorrington, said the national draft is a result of the huge investment by the WAFC, the AFL and clubs into women’s football over the past 25 years.

"The national draft and upcoming match has been a long time coming. There will be a national women’s competition in the future and I expect to see a WA team participating that will be very strong and competitive."

The National Women’s Draft attracted the cream of the crop from around Australia with over 320 nominations put forward and 50 players selected in total.

Players from Western Australia that will be representing the Demons or the Bulldogs:


Chelsea Randall, Swan Districts (3)

Kara Donellan, Swan Distrcicts (5)

Kirby Bentley, East Fremantle (9)

Melissa Caulfield, East Fremantle (15)

Kiara Bowers, Coastal Titans (19)

Emma Swanson, Peel Thunderbirds (29)

Brooke White, Coastal Titans (31)

Renee Firth, Coastal Titans (41)

Stephanie Walding, East Fremantle (43)

Western Bulldogs

Leah Mascall, Coastal Titans (24)

Kira Phillips, Peel Thunderbirds (32)

Kellie Marie Gibson, Swan Districts (48)

Picture: Top 5 WA draft selections Kara Donellan and Chelsea Randall with coach Michelle Cowan, centre.

Hasleby relieved with Bulldogs' first win of 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 4:00 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby was relieved to get the Bulldogs' first win of the season over Peel but was most proud that his team responded to being challenged in the third quarter to run away with the 15-point victory.

The Bulldogs came out on fire on Saturday at Fremantle Oval kicking the first five goals of the game against Peel and still led by 20 points at half-time.

However, the Thunder hit back during the third quarter and closed to within a point during the last.

That same scenario has happened several times so far this season with South Fremantle unable to get over the line, but on Saturday it was the Bulldogs who finished the stronger to win by 15 points much to the relief of Hasleby.

"The feeling was more relief I reckon," Hasleby said.

"We didn’t play our best footy and as I said to the guys afterwards we had played better this year and lost games, but on this occasion we were able to eke out the win.

"We are under no illusions that Peel certainly had their chances in that third quarter, but we strung together three pretty good quarters which got the job done for us, so that was pleasing."

The Bulldogs' loss to East Perth at Medibank Stadium prior to the State game break followed a very similar storyline. South Fremantle dominated the first half but didn’t put the Royals away and had a disappointing third quarter before steadying to lead by 15 points midway through the last term.

However, East Perth went on to kick the last five goals that day to win by 19 points so that made Hasleby even more relieved when South Fremantle was able to reverse that trend in the last quarter on Saturday against the Thunder.

"We dominated the first half and then we had a very poor third quarter for the second game in a row. The challenge was there for the lads and it was very similar from the East Perth game so from a coaching point of view it's impressive to see that they learnt from that game," he said.

"They took a few more risks, won a few more contests around the ground and were able to finish off with a couple of goals which was nice. It's a work in progress for us to try and change the momentum when it's going against us.

"A few teams have scored quite a high number of goals in a row against us, so from a playing and coaching perspective we have a bit of work to do on how to stop teams getting 10 straight scoring shots against us. We will continue to work on that but once the third quarter was over we had to reset, and we did that to come away with the points."

While Sean Tighe dominated the ruck and Kris Miller, Mitch Banner, Ryan Cook, Toby Bairstow, Jacob Martinez, Shannon Burnett and Sam Lowrie were terrific around the ground, the presence of Ben Saunders and Ashton Hams was massive up forward for the Bulldogs.

Hams kicked four goals from his 24 possessions and eight marks with the returning Saunders kicking three goals before again going off injured late in the game.

"It was great to have both those guys back. It was the best team we've put on the park this year and it just goes to show how important Ben Saunders is to us and also Ashton Hams," Hasleby said.

"I believe he is the best AFL player when he comes back and plays in the WAFL with his impact on games and on the scoreboard.

"We had some other guys forward who have been doing it pretty tough because they've been the main targets in Paul Mugambwa, Sgherza and Gillespie so it strengthens them and makes them better players to have those guys around them as well."

Hasleby is delighted with the continued form of Tighe and never had any doubt about his ability to develop himself into an outstanding ruckman when he recruited him.

"He's an outstanding ruckman and I always thought he would become a very good player for us in that position when there were others who had their doubts about him as a ruckman," Hasleby said.

"I love a guy who competes like he does and we've been doing really well in the clearances for most part of the year and he just becomes another midfielder around the ground.

"He certainly knows how to get high possessions which was evident by his 31 on the weekend to go with seven clearances and nine marks. It was a very good game."

While South Fremantle's experienced players performed well against Peel, so did the youngsters highlighted by 23 possessions and seven marks to Lowrie, and 22 disposals, four inside 50s and a goal to Burnett.

"It was Burnett's best game for the club which was pleasing after he was a little bit quiet the game before," he said.

"He took his opportunity this week and Sam showed from the very first game he played for us last year that he's up to the level. I told him that the challenge for him is to make himself an outstanding WAFL player which I believe he has the capabilities of doing."

With Hams and Saunders back into the team as well as Jarrod Parry and Warrick Andreoli returning in the reserves along with Alex Grima, Reece Adams, Mitch Carter, Justin Monaco, Jason Maskos, Willie Rioli and Kingsley Smith putting pressure on, Hasleby is glad to be getting closer to having a full squad available as well.

"We had our strongest league team of the year which reflected in the reserves who had a strong team as well," Hasleby said.

"Warrick Andreoli came back and played well, Justin Monaco continued to press for selection and it's a very good position to be in for the club in terms of depth. Right now is the best position of depth we've been in since my time at the footy club."

WA State jumpers on sale

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 7:23 AM

A limited number of WA State jumpers have been made available for purchase in the lead up to the WAFL State Game against the NEAFL on 24 May. 

To secure your replica State jumper send an order to

Download the WA State Jumper Order Form


Youths - $70.00 incl. GST Sizes 6 to 12

Adults - $80.00 incl. GST Sizes XS to 3XL


Sharks beat Redlegs in wet Foxtel Cup clash

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 4:00 PM - by Chris Pike

RYAN Lester-Smith has been East Fremantle's surprise packet up forward all season in the WAFL to date and he stepped up when it mattered on Tuesday night to kick the winning goal in the Sharks' seven-point Foxtel Cup victory against Norwood at AAMI Stadium.

In driving rain and on a slippery surface in Adelaide, goals became increasingly hard to come by as the game went on but it was East Fremantle who kicked the only two of the second half, to Adrian Ricciardello in the third quarter, and Lester-Smith in the last to secure the hard fought 6.6 (42) to 4.11 (35) win.

Both sides were well below full strength with reigning SANFL premiers Norwood coming off a 25-point win over South Adelaide on Saturday night while last year's WAFL grand finalists East Fremantle lost to Claremont by 42 points on Saturday before flying to Adelaide on Monday.

Michael Newton, Mat Suckling, Matt Thomas, captain Kieran McGuinness and Ben Warren were among the players that didn’t line up for Norwood but East Fremantle was missing some key players as well including Josh Simpson, Brad Cooper, Bradd Dalziell, Mitch Brown, Jayden Schofield, Brett Peake and Steven Dodd.

That meant that both teams blooded plenty of young talent with East Fremantle giving the chance to Tom Hooker, Sam Read, Ricciardello, Louis Cronan, Godfrey Curley and Kurt Tropiano who had not been regularly featuring in the Sharks' league side.

It was a tough and tight affair all evening but it was the home side who adjusted to the conditions the quickest in the opening quarter with five scoring shots to one, and three goals to one to lead by 14 points at the first change.

The rain laid off for the majority of the second quarter and as a result both sides were able to use the ball better, and hit the scoreboard.

It was East Fremantle who made the most of the better conditions, though, with two goals to small forward Mitch Boyle and another to debutant Louis Cronan but the Redlegs led at half-time still by three points with a goal heading into the break from Mark Evans.

The rain was well and truly back for the second half and the game became even more of a slog in the difficult conditions.

It took until only minutes before three quarter-time, but eventually East Fremantle got the only goal of the term through Ricciardello to hold a five-point three quarter-time advantage.

Norwood then dominated virtually all of the final quarter peppering the ball inside-50 but the Redlegs could manage just the five behinds.

Eventually the Sharks made a break, got the ball forward and Lester-Smith received a free-kick inside-50.

He went back and coolly kicked what eventuated to be the winning goal of the game to see East Fremantle advance to the semi-finals to face the winner of next week's Foxtel Cup battle between Werribee and Queanbeyan at Etihad Stadium, and knock Norwood out of the competition.

With East Fremantle currently without Brock O'Brien, Jack Perham, Rob Young, Max Duffy and Brad Dick from the forward-line that helped the Sharks to a grand final last year, Lester-Smith has proven the find of the season when given a role deep in attack.

He has kicked 20 goals in his eight games this season and now has the confidence out of kicking the winning goal in a Foxtel Cup clash in Adelaide in front of a national prime time audience on TV.

State midfielder from two weeks ago in WA's win over Victoria in Northam Rory O'Brien continued his outstanding form for the Sharks finishing with 22 possessions, seven clearances and a massive 15 tackles.

Captain Mark McGough picked up 16 possessions to go with eight clearances and both O'Brien and McGough, and fellow veteran Richard Hadley dominated the clearance battle thanks to the prominence of ruckman Cameron Symonds in the hit-out department.

The highlight of the night for Norwood was the performance of 16-year-old Peter Bampton.

The bustling and hard-running teenage midfielder had just one kick which was a terrific running goal from 50 in the wet, but he racked up 18 handballs and eight clearances in an impressive performance.

Norwood defender Matt Fuller picked up 19 possessions as another strong performer for the Redlegs.

EAST FREMANTLE                          ? 1.0        ? 4.1        ? 5.5        ? 6.6        ? (42)

NORWOOD                                      ? 3.2        ? 4.4        ? 4.6        ? 4.11      ? (35)

EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Boyle 2; Henson, Cronan, Ricciardello, Lester-Smith.

Best: O'Brien, McGough, Hadley, Boyle, Symonds, Henson, Stephen.

NORWOOD – Goals: M Evans 2; Bampton, Donohue.

Best: Bampton, Fuller, Pfeiffer, Murphy, Smart, Dumont.

Sharks set for Foxtel Cup clash

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 1:28 AM
East Fremantle plays SANFL premiers Norwood at AAMI Stadium tonight, May 21, in Round 1 of the 2013 Foxtel Cup.

The game starts at 6.35pm WST.

East Fremantle will wear 1970s style jumpers in the club's first ever Foxtel Cup fixture and have included debutants Sam Read, Godfrey Curley, Tom Hooker, Louis Cronan and Cameron Crisafio.


East Fremantle:
* Tom Hooker, Matthew Jupp, Cameron Crisafio, Andrew Stephen, Tom Howlett, James Bayliss, Scott Hancock, Mark McGough, Mitch Boyle, Fraser MacDougall, Ryan Lester-Smith, Sam Read, Adrian Ricciardello, James Depane, Cameron Symonds, Richard Hadley, Rory O'Brien, Louis Cronan, Godfrey Curley, Aidan Tropiano, Scott Jansen. *Emerg: * Kurt Tropiano.

Norwood: * Gavin Hughes, Ben Jefferies, Andrew Kirwan, Darren Pfeiffer, Kristian Roocke, Michael Ialeggio, Tullio DeMatteis, Craig Evans, Luke Wilson, Josh Donohue, Liam Davis, Kane Murphy, Orazio Fantasia, Matthew Panos, Mark Evans, Patrick Levicki, Ed Smart, Peter Bampton, Trent Dumont, Peter Persinos, Matt Fuller, Simon Phillips. *Emerg: * Alex Georgiou, Steve Baldasso, Alex McKay.

Football to farewell Grant Dorrington after 38 years growing the game

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 12:33 AM

One of WA’s longest serving football administrators, Grant Dorrington, is set to start the next chapter of his long career in the game when he steps down as the WAFC’s Director of Pathway and Competitions at the end of July.

Grant has spent more than 38 years in a range of football roles during a dynamic period in which the sport has been transformed into a modern game with almost 150,000 players registered in Western Australia playing across all levels of competition, giving football by far and away the largest participation base in organised sports. His career as an administrator covers the four decades in which the WAFC, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers were established, the current talent development system was created, Peel Thunder joined the WAFL, and the AFL partnering model was agreed for the WAFL.

WAFC Chairman, Frank Cooper, said Western Australian football was indebted to Grant for his passionate and tireless service to the game and, in particular, his focus on the talent development stream that ensures the game remains the most exciting and most played sport in the State. Grant’s commitment to the game and the time he spends investing in and supporting others has been exceptional.

"Individuals like Grant are what makes football the strongest sport in Western Australia. The best measure of his long-term impact is the way we nurture and develop great players at all levels of the game in Western Australia and maintain the integrity of our competitions. There is no footy without players and Grant can rightly be proud of his achievements in guiding the District system and the WAFL."

WAFC Chief Executive Gary Walton said that Grant had an unrivalled insight into all levels of the game and his contribution would be missed by everyone who worked with him developing talent pathways and supervising the local competitions.

"I personally thank Grant for his support, knowledge and advice during my time at the WAFC, particularly his assistance during the introduction of the AFL partnering model to the WAFL, as this will prove to be another important evolution for footy. His drive has been unwavering and this will continue over the next few months as we complete an appropriate transition of his role."

While stepping down from his day-to-day operational role in football, Grant believes it is highly unlikely that he will cease his involvement in the game he loves.

"I remain as passionate about footy now as when I started playing WAFL Reserves for East Perth almost 47 years ago. I am fortunate to have been able to spend most of my working life helping to grow the game and to be involved in the momentous changes that have created the sport we enjoy today."

"All of us have a time to step back from a busy working life and I believe now is the appropriate moment for me because football is commencing another significant evolution that will take the best part of a decade to complete, including the new stadium, start of AFL partnering in the WAFL and the rise of women’s football to a national competition."

"I have had the privilege to work with so many wonderful and talented people during my football journey and learned something from all of them. My colleagues at the WAFC and in the competitions, players, coaches, volunteers and many, many other people all make a huge contribution to the success of the game and they have contributed to the success and enjoyment of my career as an administrator, coach, commentator and player. I thank them all."

Grant’s involvement in football has been so extensive that it is difficult to summarise, however his story can be presented as four chapters. His key roles, achievements and awards are detailed below:

Player & Coach

· 1966- 1971: Reserves and League football with East Perth (played 46 League games, retiring at 21 due to concussion)

· 1974-1981: East Perth coaching roles including Colts, Assistant League and Reserves coach and League coach

· 1982 – 1984: Channel 7 and ABC television commentator

· 1984 – 1986: Coach of WA Teal Cup (U/18s)

· 1985: Coach of Western Australian Champions and All Australian Coach – JJ Leonard Coach of the Year.

Establishment of the modern game in Western Australia

· 1987 – 1990: Employed by the Football Development Trust with responsibility for youth, secondary schools and talent pathways during the period covering the establishment of the WAFC and West Coast Eagles

· 1991 – 1992: General Manager of the Football Development Trust

Further development of the AFL and WAFL

· 1993 – 1994: Director of Football WAFC

· 1995 – 1996: Part of establishment of Fremantle Football Club (Dockers) in role of Manager Special Projects including naming, branding, the song, and recruitment of key personnel

· 1997: Consulting role for the establishment of Peel Thunder in WAFL

· 1997: General Manager WAFL competition

Football development

· 2001: Director of Football WAFC – included overseeing WAFL competition and football development, with a growth of participation from 67,000 to 131,000 in 10 years.

· 2011 – 2013: Director of Pathways and Competition


· 1979: awarded British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of leadership and management of WA’s 150 year Celebration in the areas of Sport, Recreation & Youth.

· 2000: Australian Sports Medal for outstanding service to WA football.

· 2012: Australia Day honour OAM (Order of Australia) for outstanding leadership of Road Safety in WA and contribution to WA football development and the WAFL.

Round 9 WAFL Results

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 4:00 PM - by Chris Pike

CLAREMONT remained unbeaten, South Fremantle got its first win, Perth continued its charge to being a finals contender and East Perth squared its ledger in Round 9 WAFL action on Saturday.

The 2013 WAFL season resumed following the State game break that saw Western Australia beat Victoria by 17 points in Northam last Saturday, and there were four intriguing matches played across Perth.

The first grand final rematch of the season took place at Claremont Oval with Claremont beating East Fremantle 16.15 (111) to 9.15 (69).

South Fremantle downed Peel Thunder 14.15 (99) to 11.18 (84) at Fremantle Oval, Perth beat Subiaco 18.7 (115) to 13.12 (90) at Leederville's Medibank Stadium and East Perth downed Swan Districts 15.13 (103) to 11.17 (83) at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

Claremont continued its unbeaten start to the season thanks to a dominant eight goal to three second half against East Fremantle.

It was a see-saw opening quarter with the lead changing on 10 occasions, but the Tigers went into half-time nine points in front and kicked the first three goals of the second half and went on to lead by as much as 50 points in the final term before eventually winning by 42.

Andrew Foster continued his outstanding form in the middle for Claremont where he has been playing more than the usual half-forward role he's had for most of his time with the Tigers.

He picked up 31 possessions while Byron Schammer had 22 and Mark Seaby 17 to go with his 33 hit outs in the ruck.

Claremont's back-line was outstanding led by James Thomson while captain Andrew Browne racked up 27 disposals and Jesse Laurie 21.

Up forward, Anton Hamp and Mitch Andrews booted three goals each with Nick Winmar and Ian Richardson adding two.

Mitch Brown was outstanding for East Fremantle at full-back keeping Chad Jones scoreless and to one kick for the afternoon while through the middle, Bradd Dalziell had 31 disposals, Rory O'Brien 27 and Mark McGough 25.

Debutant James Depane was impressive with 22 possessions and two goals with Ryan Lester-Smith booting three first half goals.

South Fremantle finally recorded its first win of the season after seven straight losses with a hard fought 15-point win over Peel at Fremantle Oval.

The Bulldogs, boosted by the returns of Ben Saunders and Ashton Hams to the forward-line, came flying out of the blocks kicking the first three goals of the game and still led by 20 points at quarter-time, and 20 at half-time.

However, Peel completely dominated the third quarter but kicked itself out of taking the lead booting 2.9 to South Fremantle's three behinds for the term. The Bulldogs took the lifeline handed to them to kick four goals to two in the last quarter and record the win.

Hams and Saunders made a big impact as well with Hams finishing with four goals from 24 possessions and Saunders booted three goals from six kicks. Jarrad Winter also kicked two goals as did captain Ryan Cook to go with 27 possessions.

Sean Tighe dominated the ruck with 31 disposals and 33 hit outs while Kris Miller racked up 34 possessions, Mitch banner 27 and Toby Bairstow 26.

Matt Taberner kicked three goals to go with 25 possessions and 12 marks for Peel with Tanner Smith adding two goals as did Kristin Thornton and Brennan Gillam.

Viv Michie racked up 31 possessions, Cruize Garlett 27 and Marlon Motlop 26, but he kicked three behinds.

Perth improved its record on the season to 5-2 coming from behind to beat Subiaco by 25 points. Like they were against Peel a fortnight ago, Subiaco was quick out of the blocks but Perth quickly steadied and by half-time had assumed a one-point lead.

However, Subiaco was back in front at the last change before the Demons kicked the only five goals of the final quarter.

Brennan Stack booted six goals for Perth with captain Paul Bevan adding three, Daniel O'Sullivan two, Kyle Reimers two and Michael Florio two.

Brett Hodge racked up 33 possessions, Julian Jacobs 27, Matthew Moody 27, Dene White 26 and Matt Tedesco 23.

Ray Daniels kicked four goals for Subiaco with debutant Michael Wood also booting two and Jarrod Kayler-Thomson two to go with 22 possessions against his former side.

Andrew McDougall also played his first league game for Subiaco up against his former team and finished with 18 disposals and 22 hit outs.

East Perth won its second straight game and third of the last four downing an inaccurate Swan Districts on Royals coach Brian Dawson's return to Bassendean.

Swans all but kicked themselves out of the contest with 2.8 in the third quarter and the Royals capitalised with four goals in the last quarter to run out 20-point winners.

Josh Smith booted five goals for East Perth with Dean Cadwallader adding two and Arthur Bennell two. Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls played his first game of the season after breaking his leg in pre-season and racked up 29 possessions with Freddie Clutterbuck picking up 24 and Craig Wulff 23.

Dayle Garlett picked up 27 possessions and was Swans' only multiple goal scorer with two while Andrew Embley racked up 28 possessions, Justin Simpson 29, Tom Roach 26 and Ryan Davis 24.



Claremont 16.15 (111) beat East Fremantle 9.15 (69)

South Fremantle 14.15 (99) beat Peel Thunder 11.18 (84)

Subiaco 13.12 (90) lost to Perth 18.7 (115)

Swan Districts 11.17 (83) lost to East Perth 15.13 (103)


Claremont 16.12 (108) beat East Fremantle 8.4 (52)

South Fremantle 17.13 (115) beat Peel Thunder 8.5 (53)

Subiaco 12.6 (78) lost to Perth 14.10 (94)

Swan Districts 12.10 (82) lost to East Perth 13.10 (88)


Claremont 11.9 (75) beat East Fremantle 11.5 (71)
South Fremantle 8.13 (61) beat Peel Thunder 5.4 (34)

Subiaco 17.10 (112) beat Perth 11.9 (75)

Swan Districts 11.7 (73) beat East Perth 4.10 (34)