THE second round of WAFL pre-season fixtures took place on Saturday with South Fremantle, Peel Thunder, Perth and West Perth coming away with victories just two weeks out from Round 1 of the 2018 season.
The opening round of the official pre-season fixtures took place the previous Saturday with wins for Subiaco against West Perth, East Perth over East Fremantle, Peel Thunder against Claremont and South Fremantle over Swan Districts.
Then on Saturday, there were four more matches with South Fremantle beating East Perth 15.7 (97) to 6.3 (39), Peel Thunder defeating Subiaco 14.8 (92) to Subiaco 6.7 (43), Perth downing Claremont 10.2 (62) to 7.11 (53) and West Perth prevailing over East Fremantle 14.12 (96) to 6.8 (44).
Western Australia’s young emerging footballers are showcaing their talent at this year’s WA State 16s Carnival.
Round One of the carnival saw wins by Subiaco, East Perth, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder. Match results are listed below.
The six-round series of matches concludes on April 14, and following the carnival, the WA State 16s Academy selection panel will develop a list of 50 players to participate in the State 16s trial selection fixture on April 20.
At the conclusion of the trial match the WA State 16s Academy Squad for 2018 will be named. This squad will represent WA at the NAB AFL National 16s Championships in July.
Optus has committed to supporting football in Western Australia as a new premier partner of the West Australian Football Commission and an official broadcast partner of the West Australian Football League.
The partnership will see Optus launch the ‘Optus Club Hero of the Week’ initiative aimed at rewarding volunteers from grassroots football clubs with unique experiences at Optus Stadium.
The partnership will also include naming rights to the official WAFL App and the 7 Network’s WAFL half time segment.
Kia Motors has formed a new partnership with the West Australian Football Commission to support community football at all levels throughout the State.
The partnership will feature benefits that extend from junior football through to the West Australian Football League, including branding across community football, vehicles for WAFC development staff, and supporting the 7 Network’s television coverage of the WAFL.
Kia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said the partnership was a great opportunity to drive growth for both football and Kia in Western Australia.
EAST Perth missed finals for the first time in six years in 2017 but a couple of players back from the AFL along with emerging colts and players from within the Royals' zone is giving coach Luke Webster plenty of confidence of bouncing back in 2018.
Following five straight years of playing finals, which included Grand Final appearances in 2013 and 2014, East Perth was in the mix again in 2017 until losing the last two games of the season to Perth and Subiaco to end up finishing sixth with a 9-11 record.
As an East Perth premiership player and former captain himself, Webster is passionate about ensuring the Royals are back to being a force in the WAFL in 2018 while also acknowledging they need to keep doing the right thing in terms of helping develop the West Coast AFL-listed players.
IT'S fair to say 2017 went anything but to plan for East Fremantle but coach Rob Wiley is buoyant over the debutants they blooded and after identifying that they need some experience while improving their skill and fitness levels, he's confident of a vastly improved 2018.
The Sharks did at least avoid the wooden spoon last season with a 61-point victory in the final round against the finals bound Swan Districts. That was a rare glimmer of joy in a year that only included the three victories though.
Things were especially tough in the first half of the season culminating in the WA Day Foundation Derby loss to South Fremantle by the tune of 145 points.
That meant East Fremantle's first nine losses came at an average of 57.1 points a game which saw them only average a score of 64.7 points while conceding 123.8.
More than 400 girls from across metro and regional WA got the chance to kick the footy with AFL and AFLW players, as part of a female football ‘Come and Try’ initiative delivered by the WA Football Commission, in partnership with the State’s two AFL Clubs, this month.
Hundreds of girls, some which had travelled all the way from Australind, got the chance to learn the basic skills of our great game in a fun and safe environment alongside their idols from both the Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles.
Eleven WA female footballers from Indigenous and multicultural backgrounds have flown across the country to take part in the 2018 AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras Leadership Program.
The program which kicked off today, March 13, is a six-day camp which focusses on personal and cultural development and high performance training for 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players from across the country.
FINALLY a pre-season in their new Claremont Oval facility, the signings of Kane Mitchell and Tom Curren and some tough lessons learned from 2017 all have Claremont coach Darren Harris confident the Tigers can overcome the loss of some key players and thrive in 2018.
It was a rollercoaster ride for Harris in his first season coaching Claremont in 2017 and his first year back at the helm of a WAFL club since his final season with West Perth back in 2005, where he was a premiership coach in 2003 on the back of his outstanding playing career with the Falcons.
Things started well for the Tigers last year with three wins but then injuries began to mount and they lost the next six games. Throughout the second half of the season they did build some momentum and find some impressive form winning despite only winning five of the last 11 games.
NIC Naitanui's return with East Perth might have garnered all the attention in the opening round of the WAFL pre-season fixtures but for eight clubs it was the first chance against real opposition as Round 1 of the 2018 season approaches.
Naitanui returned for his first game since his knee reconstruction late in 2016 when he lined up for East Perth against East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday.
It has been hard not to have noticed that with the attention it garnered but there was plenty more happening across the WAFL competition throughout the day as the official pre-season contests got underway.
THIS time last year Perth had a horror injury list entering the 2017 WAFL season and things never quite improved, but it's a healthier looking Demons 12 months later and coach Earl Spalding hopes that some improvements in their game plan too can lead to a vastly improved season.
Perth's hopes of starting 2017 at full strength were dashed with pre-season injuries to the likes Jared Bell, Cody Leggett, Lachlan Dennis, Kristian Cary and Jarrad Irons while Angus Graham left them short in the ruck when he upped and left not too long before the season-opener.
Things never really improved for the Demons throughout the season with Michael Sinclair, Devin McFarlane, Brant Colledge, Liam McKenna, Brent Edmonds, Laine Wilkins, Sam Garstone and Spencer White going on to miss at least four games, and in many case more than half the season.
Four teams made up of Western Australia’s best developing female football talent are competing for the inaugural Jan Cooper Cup this Saturday at Steel Blue Oval.
Fixtures - Final Round
All Stars v WA AFLW 18s
3.15pm Steel Blue Oval
Other Stars v WA AFLW 16s + special guests
5.00pm Steel Blue Oval
West Coast Eagles superstar Luke Shuey surprised the lucky students of Subiaco's Rosalie Primary School as part of the State's Auskick Launch earlier this week.
The group of students got to show off their handball and kicking skills in a footy clinic put on by the WA Football Commission.
The first weekend of March was an extremely fun-filled, action-packed one for hundreds of young Aboriginal footballers across the State who took part in the Aboriginal Youth Sports Super Carnival run by the WA Football Commission, in partnership with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The weekend of events opened with the Kirby Bentley Cup held at Noranda’s Lightning Park on Friday, March 2.
Ryan Murphy, Claremont’s best first-year player last season when he excelled as a rebounding defender, is likely to be seen in a different role this season.
That’s a considered conclusion after watching him in action in a spirited intra-club scratch match at Claremont Oval on Saturday morning.