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WAFL AHG Semi-Finals Media Conference

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 12:40 PM

WAFL coaches competing in this Sunday's WAFL AHG Semi-Finals fronted the media today, September 6 at Domain Stadium.

Subiaco coach Jarrad Schofield, South Fremantle coach Todd Curley, Peel Thunder coach Cam Shepherd,and Swan Districts coach Greg Harding gave us an insight into their club's preparations ahead of the weekend clashes.

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Footy fun at Telethon Kids Institute Discover Day

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 10:42 AM

Kids will get the chance to test their handballing skills at our special WA Football precinct at the Telethon Kids Institute Discover Day on October 5 during school holidays at Meuller Park, Subiaco.

The free family fun day will take place from 9:30am-3pm and feature a range of activities for adults and children, including tours of the Telething Kids Institute labs (booking required) and Scitech shows.

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Week 1 Finals Reserves and Colts Wrap

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 1:07 AM - by Chris Pike

THE seasons are over for the Peel Thunder colts and Perth reserves after thrilling elimination final losses while Claremont's colts and Subiaco's reserves also recorded hard fought qualifying final victories.

The opening weekend of the AHG WAFL Finals Series began on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and that the colts elimination final take place between Peel Thunder and East Perth. It was the Royals who won a nail-biter 9.12 (66) to 9.11 (65) to end the season of the Thunder.

Then it was time for the reserves qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and it was another thriller with Subiaco defeating Claremont 13.10 (88) to 13.8 (86).

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WAFL Week 1 AHG Finals match reports

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 7:05 PM - by Chris Pike

THE AHG WAFL Finals Series for 2017 began across the weekend with Peel Thunder sending an ominous message beating South Fremantle by 18 points and then Swan Districts keeping its season alive beating West Perth by 15.

The WAFL qualifying final took place on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and despite South Fremantle coming into the game on a nine-game winning streak and with home ground advantage, it was Peel who started well and led virtually all day.

South Fremantle did briefly hit the front with two quick goals to start the second quarter but from there Peel regained the advantage and never surrendered.

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Swan Districts through to First Semi Final

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 11:47 AM

Swan Districts player Tony Notte has celebrated his 200-game milestone in style following Swans thrilling 11.9 (75) to 8.12 (60) victory over West Perth in the Elimination Final at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday, September 3.

The Swans opened the clash dominantly and kept the Falcons goalless with a 5.1 (31) to 0.5 (5) lead at the first break.

The Falcons fought back and managed to pull the margin back to only seven points at the main break, but the red-and-blue couldn't close in on the Swans who booted three in the final quarter to secure a 15-point victory.

Swan Districts will play South Fremantle in the first Semi Final next Sunday.

In the Reserves Elimination Final, Swan Districts claimed a five-point victory over Perth to secure a place in the First Semi Final against Claremont next weekend.

In the Colts Qualifying Final played at Steel Blue Oval this morning Claremont defeated Swan Districts by 18 points - 9.11 (65) to 6.11 (47). Claremont progress to the Second Semi-Final against East Fremantle, while Swans take on East Perth in the First Semi-Final.




Falcons focusing on what lies ahead after making WAFL finals

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 9:59 AM - by Chris Pike

FOR most of 2017 West Perth looked guaranteed of playing in the AHG WAFL Finals Series and while it was hard work needing to beat Claremont last week, the Falcons are now there and looking to make the most of it.

West Perth's form might not have been as strong as hoped to close the season, but the fact remains that the Falcons put in such a strong first half of the year to be in a good position and that by winning 10 games they were deserving of a finals spot ahead of East Perth and Claremont.

In the end as well it was only just over one per cent that West Perth missed out on hosting this Sunday's elimination final against Swan Districts. 

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Swan Districts' Tony Notte celebrates 200-game milestone

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 9:41 AM - by Chris Pike

TONY Notte has played 124 straight matches as he prepares for game No. 200 with Swan Districts in Sunday's elimination final against West Perth and having achieved everything in his career, it's the quest for a premiership that continues to drive him.

While it might seem like Notte has been around forever at Swan Districts having come through the ranks to play State 16s and State 18s before being drafted to West Coast in 2007 and making his league debut in 2008, he is only 27 years of age approaching game 200 this Sunday.

Notte will bring up the milestone in front of his home fans at Steel Blue Oval in the elimination final against West Perth and while the 200-game mark is a big one to reach, given he is only 27 and has missed remarkably few games since debut, he has plenty left to offer Swans.

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Peel Thunder through to Second Semi-Final

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 5:44 PM

Peel Thunder progressed to the Second Sem-Final against Subiaco following a hard-fought win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval today, Saturday September 2.

Despite trailing for most of the contest, South Fremantle hit back in the final quarter to reduce the margin from 32 points to two goals before Peel Thunder steadied to win by three goals 12.8 (80) to 9.8 (62).

South Fremantle have a second chance in the First Semi-Final next Sunday against the winner of tomorrow's Elimination Final between Swan Districts and West Perth at Steel Blue Oval, Bassendean.

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Thunder primed and ready for WAFL premiership defence

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 9:22 AM - by Chris Pike

PEEL Thunder's WAFL premiership defence begins on Saturday back on the same venue against the same opponent where it booked a spot in last year's grand final and coach Cam Shepherd is excited about the potential of the month ahead.

After winning last year's premiership to give Peel its first flag in the WAFL since joining in 1997 in what was the club's second finals appearance, things haven’t always gone smoothly throughout 2017.

But in the end, Peel was able to win 12 matches to finish in third position and to once again earn the finals double chance.

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WAFL AHG Finals Week 1 teams and previews

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 1:05 AM

THE AHG WAFL Finals Series for 2017 begins this weekend with a monster Qualifying Final between South Fremantle and Peel Thunder on Saturday, and Elimination Final between Swan Districts and West Perth on Sunday.

It is set to be a cracking weekend of WAFL finals action with the Qualifying Final on Saturday to be shown live on 7mate from 2pm and then the Elimination Final on Sunday to be live on Channel 7 from 2.30pm.

South Fremantle and Peel Thunder will get things underway on Saturday afternoon at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with a place in next week's second semi-final against the minor premier Subiaco at stake.

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WA talent model to set national benchmark

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 4:54 PM

An enhanced talent model will be launched for the 2018 football season as WA football sets its sights on being the nation’s best State for talent development.

The revised talent model, which has been developed by the West Australian Football Commission in partnership with the AFL and nine WAFL clubs, represents one of the key reforms from the WAFC’s Structural Review of Football, which was launched in March 2017.

The model will see player development aligned with the AFL’s National Framework and Talent Development Philosophy, to give WA’s most talented players the best possible chance to play at the elite AFL level or in the nation’s best State League competition, the WAFL.

 WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said that the input of the WAFL clubs and the AFL will ensure that a best practice model can be delivered for WA’s talented footballers, whilst respecting the critical role WAFL clubs play within WA football.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to set up a talent model here in WA that sets the benchmark nationally,” he said.

“We’ve produced some of the greatest footballers the game has ever seen in Western Australia, and we’re confident that by working in partnership with the AFL and our WAFL clubs, we will take a big step towards once again setting the standard nationally with this new model.”

The new framework will maximise each player’s development potential through the WA talent pathway and include participation in a high quality WAFL Colts competition, which will be managed by the WAFC.

The AFL, via national talent staff, have provided additional input to ensure that the new WA talent pathway takes learnings from other States and becomes a best practice model nationally.

The WAFL clubs and the WAFC have worked together to refine the model over the past three months to ensure talent outcomes are maximised while ensuring Colts players also remain connected to their WAFL clubs.

While improving WA’s performance at the AFL draft has been a key objective of the revised model, all parties have been committed to delivering a model which also emphasises the transition to senior WAFL football if talented players are not drafted by an AFL club.

Key outcomes to ensure a strong on-going connection to WAFL clubs is achieved will include:

  • Colts teams will continue to wear WAFL club jumpers & apparel, with club sponsors on jumpers
  • Training at their WAFL club venue
  • The ability to train with their WAFL club’s senior squad
  • Ability to be selected to play senior WAFL football
  • Attending WAFL club functions and events

East Fremantle CEO Todd Shimmon, who was part of the joint project working group, acknowledged the value of the partnership approach being undertaken.

“We’ve been pleased with the level of engagement between the WAFL clubs and the WAFC as we’ve built out this model,” Shimmon said.

“Respecting our role in WA football while undertaking the change necessary to deliver better talent outcomes for the whole industry has been our emphasis and we think we’ve helped deliver that.”

WAFL Colts coaches and Talent Managers will be directly employed by the WAFC under the revised model but continue to be based at their respective WAFL clubs. They will report through to WAFC Executive Manager Talent and Football Operations Jon Haines, with a focus on professional development ensuring that WA talent is well prepared for the rigors of AFL and WAFL football.

AFL Head of Talent Tristan Salter said the AFL was strongly supportive of the new direction being taken with WA talent.

“We’re excited about the change underway in Western Australian football,” Salter said.

“Ensuring we can deliver consistent, best practice talent development across Australia is critical to us. We look forward to reviewing the final model from the WAFC so we can determine how we can invest to help deliver this consistency and best practice within WA.”

Mr Taylor said that coaches will be employed part-time and Talent Managers full-time, with the employment review and appointment process now set to commence in partnership with each WAFL club.

“A Talent Advisory Committee will also be established at each WAFL club that will include representatives from the WAFC and the club to provide support and advice and ensure the model is a true partnership that delivers all of the mutual benefits we are aiming to achieve,” he said.

“’I’d like to thank all of the WAFL clubs, and particularly the five CEOs that were part of the talent working group, for their ongoing commitment to the process.”

The model’s ongoing success will be measured by the total number of AFL draftees, WAFL club player retention, player satisfaction and AFL feedback which will be assessed via an annual perception survey with WAFL and AFL clubs.

Photo: The Deppro WA State 16s celebrate their 2017 AFL National 16s Championship victory.

East Fremantle Auskicker’s moment on big stage

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 4:12 PM

Footy has become East Fremantle Auskicker Poppy Beekhuizen’s life. 

The East Fremantle Junior Football Club pocket rocket never leaves the family house without a football in her hand, dons her Auskick or Eagles kit every weekend and reads the Selwood Boys books repeatedly each night before bedtime.

Her dreams came true the day she found out she had been selected as the weekly nominee for the 2017 NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year competition for Round 18. 

Beekhuizen’s mum Melissa said her daughter was over the moon when she heard the news while she was at a footy clinic hosted by West Coast Eagles star Sam Mitchell. 

“Poppy couldn’t contain her excitement as soon as she found out she had been selected for the auskicker competition,” she said. 

“It was truly a dream come true for a little girl who absolutely loves her footy.” 

The seven year-old and her family flew to Adelaide Oval for the Round 18 clash between Adelaide Crows and Geelong Cats, where she got the chance to take part in the half-time Auskick grid games and chat with Channel Seven’s Hamish McLachlan.

Beekhuizen said it was an amazing feeling playing in front of such a big crowd. 

“I loved playing on Adelaide Oval because there were lots of people in the crowd and heaps of family and friends were watching at home too,” she said. 

“I felt proud and I loved it because the other team kicked the ball to me all the time!” Her mother said the whole experience was run very well by the AFL, which made it that much more enjoyable.

 “It was really well organised from start to finish by the AFL and Poppy was treated like royalty,” she said. 

“The best part for me was when the crowd cheered her on when she was pulled from the grid games to be interviewed for TV.” 

During the interview, Beekhuizen spoke very highly of her AFL idol Josh Kennedy. She loved the fact that the West Coast Eagles superstar scores lots of goals in games, doesn’t pick a fight and is a fair player. 

Beekhuizen also said she loves AFLW Melbourne player Daisy Pearce because she was the first female to be drafted into the competition and is a great midfielder. 

She will join 21 other lucky NAB AFL Auskicker weekly nominees in Melbourne for an unforgettable AFL Grand Final experience that will also include walking in the parade and playing on the hallowed turf of the MCG at half-time on Grand Final Day.


WAAFL Integrated Grand Final preview

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 3:14 PM

Coolbinia West Perth will be fighting for back-to-back premierships when they take on High Wycombe in the 2017 WAAFL Integrated Grand Final at Scott Reserve on Saturday, September 2 from 2.30pm.

First-time grand finalists High Wycombe have enjoyed a successful 2017 season, finishing with 11 wins and one loss under coach Brett Hockley.

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Bulldogs can't fault finals preparation with nine-game winning run

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 12:00 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle is entering its second straight AHG WAFL Finals Series from second position with coach Todd Curley going in with no complaints with the Bulldogs on a nine-game winning run, but he knows too well that guarantees nothing.

Curley is in his third season coaching South Fremantle and after a developing year in 2015, the Bulldogs returned to finals action in 2016 for the first time since 2011.

They went on to beat West Perth in the qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval before losing the second semi-final to Subiaco at Leederville Oval and then the preliminary final to Peel Thunder back on home turf.

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Swans' great Tallan Ames announces retirement

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 11:20 AM - by Chris Pike

ONE of the great Swan Districts careers is set to come to a close whenever the 2017 AHG Finals campaigns ends for the black-and-whites with co-captain, premiership player and fairest and best winner Tallan Ames having announced his retirement.

Ames has known for some time that this would be his final WAFL season but it all hit home to him during Saturday's disappointing loss to East Fremantle at home.

Ames announced his decision to the group at half-time to try and provide some motivation for a fightback. That didn’t quite work but after the game when Ames realised that if other results had gone against Swans, his career could have been over it hit him hard.

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