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WAFL Pre-Season Update

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 2:06 PM - by Elliot Raiter

Round one of the 2019 Optus WAFL Premiership Season is fast approaching and clubs are ramping up their preparations for the season ahead.

Read about how your club is tracking ahead of an exciting season.


Claremont FC:

Claremont have hit the ground running in season 2019, adding a trio of returning stars for the upcoming campaign.

Declan Mountford, Jack Bradshaw and Callan England will all wear yellow and blue, with Harry McCracken making a comeback from a long-term injury. The big blow over the pre-season has been the loss of former St Kilda midfielder Tom Curren, who is expected to miss the majority of the season after sustaining a neck injury.

Plenty of youngsters have shown fantastic promise in the lead-up to the premiership season, with coach Darren Harris pinpointing Jack Monaghan, Dec Hardisty and Jack Lewsey as players to step up in 2019.


East Fremantle:

The Sharks are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 and have wasted no time in acquiring some high-class players to bolster their list.

Former West Perth defender Kody Manning has moved across, while delisted Fremantle ruckman Luke Strnadica adds some experience into the midfield. Reigning Lynn Medallist George Hampson has joined Swan Districts, with Jonathan Marsh and Jamie McNamara moving to Melbourne to play VFL football.

The other major addition over the off-season is new league coach Bill Monaghan, fresh off a Grand Final appearance with the Falcons last season. The premiership coach has made a profound impact in a short space of time so far.


Perth FC:
The Demons will be chasing a drought-breaking finals berth this season, with the red and black continuing to reward their youth in the top side.

Matt Rogers has returned to the club after a number of seasons at Swan Districts, gifting the Demons a wealth of experience, particularly in the midfield. Guy Langdon is another exciting inclusion, moving from the North Pilbara competition playing for the Dampier Sharks. The 25-year-old is the older brother of GWS small forward Zac Langdon.

Gordan Narrier has had an interrupted pre-season with persistent knee trouble, while league regulars Clint Jones and Cody Ninyette are slowly moving back into the main group.


Peel Thunder:

Former Essendon backman Jackson Merrett is the boom recruit for the Mandurah-based side, with his AFL experience set to benefit the entire squad. The young group has been led impressively by the likes of Gerard Ugle and Brayden Lawler, while Ben Hancock and Jarvis Pina have showed promising signs in the new year.

Expect some of the mature age recruits from Fremantle to have an impact in the WAFL this season, with some of the VFL’s best joining the purple army in November.


South Fremantle:

After a preliminary final exit last season, South Fremantle will be hungry for success in 2019 and will begin the season without a host of regulars.

Retirements and higher honours have ravaged the Bulldogs in the pre-season with Shane Hockey, Ryan Cook, Ashton Hams, Cory Dell-olio and Ben Saunders all hanging up the boots. Matt Parker capped off his stellar 2018 by being recruited to St Kilda in the November National Draft. 

Former Hawthorn midfielder Kade Stewart has returned to the club after a stint in Katanning, with former Peel league player Andrew Haydon the other notable inclusion.



The Lions completed one of the greatest seasons in WAFL history in 2018 after going through the entire season undefeated. Will 2019 bring the same success to the storied club?

Key departures loom as a bump in the road for the premiership fancies, underlined by the retirements of club stalwarts Brad Stevenson, Adam Cockie and Chris Phelan. Zac Clarke has been recruited by Essendon, while Luke Foley was rewarded for a standout Colts season to join the West Coast Eagles.

Leigh Kitchin takes over as captain of the club, with premiership colts coach Beau Wardman replacing Jarrad Schofield as the league coach. Despite a number of exits, the Lions will still be a force this season, adding former Sydney key defender Harry Marsh to an already talented back six.


East Perth:

East Perth enters the new campaign in uncharted territory after relinquishing the alignment with the West Coast Eagles.

West Perth’s Rohan Kerr has come across to add depth and experience to a young midfield, while West Coast rookies Tarir Bayok and Tony Olango have decided to stay in black and blue despite being delisted from the AFL Premiers.

Damon Greaves departs to Hawthorn after being drafted.


Swan Districts:

A number of exciting recruits have provided fresh optimism at Swan Districts ahead of the new season.

East Fremantle best and fairest winner George Hampson will add class into the forward line. Josh Simpson returns to the WAFL after stints with Fremantle and country football, while former Carlton listed-player Jesse Glass-McCasker also enters Steel Blue Oval.

The Swans Simply Energy Colts side narrowly missed out on a premiership last season, expect many of their young stars to push for league games early in the campaign.


West Coast:

The West Coast Eagles will make history in the WAFL by entering a team into the league competition in 2019.

The side will replace the previous alignment with East Perth, meaning the majority of the team will be made up of AFL listed players. Scarborough duo Joel Ashman and Liam Robilliard boost the list, with Ashman taking out the A-Grade best-and-fairest and best-afield honours in the grand final last season.

Former WAFL pairing Joel Kalajzic and Luke Salamone will wear the blue and gold, while Cervantes defender Dan Acres will also ply his trade in the side.


West Perth:

Last year’s runners-up will be keen to go one step further this season, adding Geoff Valentine as their senior coach in place of Bill Monaghan.

Club legend Jay Van Berlo has moved into retirement, while Luke Meadows has moved to VFL side Box Hill. Kody Manning is the other player to exit, moving to East Fremantle.

The club’s core senior group will be key to their success once again with the likes of Aaron Black, Andrew Strijk and Tyler Keitel performing strongly last season.

JLT Community Series Information

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 1:26 PM

WA footy fans can now secure their tickets to the JLT Community Series clashes.

West Coast take on Geelong at Leederville Oval on Friday, March 1 (bounce down 4.10pm) in the first WA fixture of the series.

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Talent heads south for Championship preparations

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 2:51 PM - by Elliot Raiter

The NAB AFL WA Under 18s Academy have continued their preparations for the National Carnival after attending a second team camp in Margaret River last month.

The state’s top talent were put through a series of team building exercises throughout the week-long adventure, setting up base at Explorus Campsite just outside Karridale.

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2019 Optus WAFLW Season Launch

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 3:00 PM

As the new era of the WAFL approaches in 2019, many talented WA women will take centre stage as part of the West Australian Football League Women’s (WAFLW).

The Optus WAFLW Premiership Season will field five teams in the inaugural campaign, with East Fremantle, Claremont, Peel Thunder, Subiaco and Swan Districts all taking part in 2019.

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WA talent joins Tigers den

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 1:43 PM

Talented West Australian midfielder, Sydney Stack is officially a Tiger, with the Club lodging paperwork on Monday to recruit the Perth Demons product.

The 18-year-old has been training with Richmond since December, as part of the AFL’s new Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period.

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Bupa boosts the health of WA footy

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 3:18 PM - by Steve Tuohey

?Healthcare provider Bupa has added its support to the newly launched WAFL Women’s competition and Channel 7’s WAFL broadcast as a premier partner of the West Australian Football Commission.

Bupa will help take the new women’s competition to a wider audience by supporting the live-streaming of a WAFLW game on the WAFL website each week, and the 2019 WAFLW Grand Final broadcast live on Channel 7.

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WA Umpires begin pre-season

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 11:36 AM - by Elliot Raiter

Preparations for the 2019 season have ramped up for the WAFL umpiring cohort, with first- and second-year development squad umpires returning to the track in readiness for the upcoming campaign.

The pre-season began on January 15, formulating an important two-week induction and familiarisation of the new facilities under the watchful eye of Strength and Conditioning coach Duncan Bradbury.

The more experienced umpires commenced their training on January 29, giving the youngsters a boost of knowledge as they became a full squad.  

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Optus WAFLW competition confirmed

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 9:22 PM - by Steve Tuohey

A new West Australian Football League Women’s (WAFLW) competition will kick off in 2019, with five teams to compete in the inaugural Optus WAFLW Premiership Season.

East Fremantle, Claremont, Peel Thunder, Subiaco and Swan Districts will each field a WAFLW team in 2019, with South Fremantle receiving a provisional license for 2020.

West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the WAFLW competition was an exciting step forward for football in WA that would complete the talent development pathway from Auskick to AFLW.

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Optus says Yes to new era of WAFL

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 4:14 PM

A new West Australian Football League Women’s (WAFLW) competition will kick off in 2019, with five teams to compete in the inaugural Optus WAFLW Premiership Season. East Fremantle, Claremont, Peel Thunder, Subiaco and Swan Districts will each field a WAFLW team in 2019, with South Fremantle receiving a provisional license for 2020. 

West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the WAFLW competition was an exciting step forward for football in WA that would complete the talent development pathway from Auskick to AFLW.

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Female talent signed by Eagles

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 4:54 PM - by Elliot Raiter

Two of Western Australia’s brightest young stars have made history after being signed as inaugural West Coast Eagles for the 2020 season of AFLW.

Mikayla Bowen and Rosie Deegan showed plenty of promise throughout their time in the WA State Female Academy and will join the expansion club as part of the early signing period for 18-year-old Next Generation Academy athletes.

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New coach appointed to develop WA female talent

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 3:28 PM - by Steve Tuohey

Brisbane Lions premiership player and former assistant coach Beau McDonald has been appointed as head coach of Western Australia’s AFLW State 18s to oversee the development of aspiring female football players and coaches.

McDonald, who will commence in the role of WAFC Coach Coordinator – Female Programs in January, will coach the AFLW 18s, oversee the AFLW 16s program and help to develop and mentor coaches in WA’s under 18s Rogers Cup competition.

McDonald, who played 91 games with the Brisbane Lions including the 2001 and 2002 Premierships and went on to work for the club as an assistant coach for three seasons, said he was looking forward to continuing his career centered around elite sport.
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NAB AFL WA National Academy: Camp 1

Monday, December 17, 2018 - 11:35 AM - by Elliot Raiter

?Some of Western Australia’s brightest talents were on display last week during the first NAB AFL WA National Academy Camp at Subiaco Oval.

The expanded NAB AFL Academy Program sees 150 players engaged in high performance camps conducted across five talent regions; Vic Country, Vic Metro, South Australia, Western Australia and Allies (New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory). 

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WAFC Commission Election results

Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 2:48 PM - by Steve Tuohey

The results of the elections for Commissioners of the West Australian Football Commission were endorsed last night, Wednesday 12 December 2018, by the Nominee Members of the WAFC (WA’s AFL and WAFL Clubs) at a meeting of WA Football stakeholders.
Current WAFC Chairman Murray McHenry was reappointed for a term of one year, Commissioner Stuart Love was reappointed for a term of three years, and Wayne Martin was appointed as a new Commissioner for a term of three years.

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WA Umpiring partners with XBlades

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 11:57 AM

WAFC’s umpiring department “Umpiring WA” has received a boost approaching the 2019 season, entering an exclusive community umpiring apparel partnership with XBlades for the next three years.

The official community umpiring apparel partnership will give all Umpires in Western Australia online ordering access to their very own on and off field exclusive apparel range.

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2018 WAFC Life Members inducted

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 9:19 AM

Four new West Australian Football Commission Life Members were inducted at an official function on Monday, December 10 in recognition of their distinguished service to WA Football.  

Induction to the WAFC Life Members’ Association is regarded as the WAFC’s highest level of recognition, distinct from life membership awarded by individual football clubs and associated bodies, and is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding overall contribution to football in Western Australia.

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