Tag: east perth

Out to impress: 2020 WAFL Grand Final previews

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we await a trio of exciting Grand Final matchups, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. With premiership glory up for grabs, stakes are high for the state’s brightest prospects and bonafide stars alike.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

Claremont has earned passage to the final week of all three WAFL grades, with the League side set to take on minor premier, South Fremantle. Only a fortnight ago, the Tigers toppled their highly-fancied weekend rivals, who will feature in their second-straight League decider after going down to fallen powerhouse, Subiaco in 2019.

20-year-old midfielder and former West Coast rookie Callan England has been crucial this year for Claremont, pushing his case for another shot at AFL level with plenty of possessions and goals out of the engine room. He has been named in the forward pocket, while Max Spyvee, who enjoyed a stellar debut this season will rotate off the bench.

Thomas Baldwin, who has been a permanent League fixture in 2020 takes his place at half-back, with Tyron Smallwood on a flank at the other end, and Dylan Smallwood making his way into the side via the interchange bench.

The Bulldogs have been forced into a change from last week’s winning side, with 23-year-old midfielder Jake Florenca picking up the most untimely of calf injuries at the end of a terrific individual campaign. Jarrad Doney is the man who replaces him, a 24-year old who has made a late surge back into the League fold after some time in the Reserves this year.

Claremont’s Reserves side is also littered with promising young talent, who will look to beat the East Perth Royals to the two’s throne. On track to go through an entire season unbeaten, the Royals will have their hands full with a bunch of lively types on each line.

Claremont’s Isaac Barton was unlucky to be squeezed out of senior calculations, but promises to provide plenty of speed and flair through midfield. Anthony Davis is another who has enjoyed a taste of League footy, but will ply his defensive trade in the second grade having been named as a senior emergency. Jack Buller (half-forward) and Max Minear (full forward) are others to keep an eye on, along with Jye Clark at half-back – the brother of Geelong’s Jordan.

For East Perth, Jacob Msando is a reliable defender who will look to finish his year on a high. The 20-year-old has been named in the back pocket and is likely to take on a lockdown role. Harley Sparks should live up to his name while stationed on a wing, while Sebit Kuek is a raw target to look for at centre half-forward. Among those named on the bench is Jack Cooley, who had 33 touches in Claremont’s 2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final triumph. He’ll be hoping to claim more silverware – against former teammates, no less.

A fortnight after they met in the first week of finals, Claremont and Subiaco will play off for the ultimate Colts glory. The Tigers have the opportunity to go back-to-back after taking out last year’s title, with Joel Western, Cameron Anderson, Ben Ramshaw, and Logan Young all part of the successful 2019 side.

Skipper and Fremantle Next Generation Academy product, Western provides great pace and skill through midfield alongside Anderson, with Young the current competition leading disposal winner, and Kalin Lane the 204cm ruck set to service them. They’ll all have to be on-song against a Subiaco midfield which boasts Jack Clarke medalist Lachlan Vanirsen, who had 29 disposals and two goals in last week’s preliminary final.

The Lions will also rotate the likes of Connor Patterson, Jed Kemp, and bottom-ager Matthew Johnson through the middle, types who enjoy getting their hands dirty. Subiaco leader Sandon Page will also renew his rivalry with Jack Avery, after being held goalless for consecutive weeks. Jaxon Bilchuris is another Subiaco forward with plenty of goals to his name, while recent state combine addition Tyler Brockman will hope to impress.

After a qualifying final decided by 15 points in Claremont’s favour, the reigning premier will again be the favoured side coming in. While premiership glory is the number one priority, many of the prospects out there will also be looking to bring good form into the upcoming West Australian All-Star fixtures.



Claremont vs. South Fremantle | Sunday October 4, 3:10pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval


East Perth vs. Claremont | Sunday October 4, 9:15am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval


Claremont vs. Subiaco | Sunday October 4, 12:10pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval


Featured Image: Sandon Page (left, Subiaco) and Joel Western (Claremont) with the WAFL Colts premiership cup | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

All-Star Team of the AFL Draft Era: Which club is the best of the best?

EVERY year, a new crop of AFL Draft talents rise up and make waves at AFL level. Some clubs such as Calder Cannons and Geelong Falcons are referred to as ‘footy factories’. Others are less well known, but nonetheless vital in providing players with their start to the AFL.

Over the past couple of months, Draft Central has gone through all of the NAB League, SANFL and WAFL clubs and tried to determine the best 24-player squad for their respective clubs. The captains and vice-captains were determined by the public through Instagram voting. Now, it is up to the public to decide which All-Star Team is the greatest of the lot. That’s right, the 30 teams from Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia are going head to head in a knockout draw.

Which teams are competing?

NAB League [12]: Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Dandenong Stingrays, Eastern Ranges, Geelong Falcons, Gippsland Power, GWV Rebels, Murray Bushrangers, Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons, Western Jets
SANFL [9]: Central District, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, Port Adelaide, South Adelaide, Sturt, West Adelaide, Woodville-West Torrens
WAFL [9]: Claremont, East Fremantle, East Perth, South Fremantle, Peel Thunder, Perth, Subiaco, Swan Districts, West Perth

How will it work?

Each day at 10am, we will publish the two All-Star Teams of the AFL Draft era, and the public will be able to vote through the article, Facebook and Twitter, with the overall winner moving through to the next round.

Given there are 30 teams, two sides who we have picked out as the top two seeds – East Fremantle and Geelong Falcons – will have the bye in the opening round, with the other 28 teams seeded appropriately similar to the All-Star Player voting (3rd against 28th, 4th against 27th etc.).

Who is up first?

The first All-Star Team battle is between a couple of metropolitan sides who we have seeded 16th and 17th in the draw. They both have some absolute elite stars, but Calder Cannons and Western Jets will begin the voting on Monday. They will be followed by the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Eastern Ranges on Tuesday, before a cross-state clash sees third seed Port Adelaide Magpies tackle Peel Thunder.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: East Perth

EAST PERTH will be looking to go one better in 2020 with finals appearances across all three grades, having missed out comfortably at League level last time out on the back of a 5-13 campaign. With Jeremy Barnard at the helm for a second year and some significant player movement, the only way is up for the Royals. The Reserves scraped into finals last year after managing a Grand Final berth in 2018, but were bundled out by East Fremantle in week one.

Preseason form has not quite been ideal for the Royals, although they have faced stiff opposition in the form of Subiaco thus far. At League level, the Royals went down by 41 points with the Reserves managing to bridge that gap to 22 points in their hitout. The Colts side were handed a hefty defeat, thumped to the tune of 103 points by the rampaging Lions. Teams across all three grades are set to battle it out against South Fremantle for one last preseason dig this Saturday (July 11), before the season kicks off a week later.

Looking ahead to the squad for this season, and former captain Kyle Anderson stands as a massive loss for the senior squad, with former Collingwood and West Coast midfielder Sharrod Wellingham joining him in retirement amid the current climate. The Royals are also set to lose ex-Fremantle forward Joel Houghton after just one season, with former West Coast rookie Tony Olango rounding out the exits alongside Asher Samelko.

But it is not all bad news on the movement front for East Perth, with a mix of experience and youth set to bolster its stocks for 2020. Former Brisbane Lions teammates Jonathan Freeman and Nick Robertson have made the switch from Queensland, headlining a list of seven inclusions. Freeman is a prolific key position goalkicker, while Robertson promises to add hardness around the ball in a variety of roles.

A couple of young Victorians also top up the list, with former Carlton defender Angus Schumacher making the move west after being axed by the Blues, while Sandringham Dragons graduate Corey Watts will also look for a state league berth in WA. Schumacher provides terrific ball use and has the potential to move further afield, listed as a utility as it stands. 197cm bigman, Watts looks most comfortable in defence where he reads the play well, but can also pinch-hit in the ruck or swing forward.

In terms of inter-league moves, childhood Royals fan Aidan Lynch crosses over from rival club, West Perth, bringing fellow former Falcon, Daniel Rowe in tow. Lynch should further the Royals’ bolstering of their contested ball stocks. Former Swan Districts player Brad Fullgrabe rounds out the changes from 2019, making for even more forward/ruck depth.

The Royals will still boast a decent core of staples, led by standalone captain Patrick McGinnity. Reigning club champion Jackson Ramsay has been among the league’s most dominant players since returning from Collingwood in 2018, and should prove a key cog in the side once again. 2019 leading goalkicker Mitchell Dobson may have to carry a fair burden in front of goal, with the second and third placed scorers (Houghton and Wellingham) no longer at the club.

At Colts level, incoming coach Daniel Curtis will have the task of nurturing the club’s young talent back into draft relevance, after not having any Royals picked up in last year’s AFL cohort. Adam Boules and Jaylen Colegate front a six-man leadership group, while Kade Dittmar and Jack Hindle are the sole AFL Academy hub members.

Improvement will be relatively easy to track for the Royals in 2020, and bringing the League side back to consistent finals appearances will undoubtedly be a key goal. Maintaining form down the grades will be aided by added squad depth, while some elite-level interest will help push the Colts onto improved results.

Picture: East Perth Football Club

Squad predictions: 2020 Western Australia Under 18s

THE annual Under 18 National Championships may be the only chance we get to catch a glimpse of the class of 2020 before draft day, with carnival likely to take place in October. In the meantime, Draft Central takes a look at how each regional squad may line up should the championships come around, but with a few stipulations in place. We began with our Vic Metro, Vic Country, and South Australian squad predictions, and today we take a look at Western Australia’s (WA) potential line-up.


  • Top-agers (2002-born) have been prioritised due to the limited season and exposure
  • Of those, AFL Academy Hub members also gain priority for the starting squad
  • The inclusion of bottom-agers (2003-born) in the hub, and top-agers outside it is limited to three spots in the starting 18
  • 19-year-old inclusions are also limited, having already staked their claims in previous years

A lot may change between now and when the squad will be announced, and it should be noted that players with known long-term injuries will not be picked here. Of course, the sides may vary greatly as players look to shift and develop in different positions, but each member has been selected based on the roles they have previously played. Given only previous form, preseason testing and scratch matches are what we have to go off, bolters are also difficult to gauge at this point.

Players named as depth outside of the initial squad below are inevitably options who will rotate through the side, and it is impossible to fit all the options within a list of 22. But without further ado, let’s get stuck into the fourth squad prediction, with WA’s talent broken down line-by-line.

* – denotes bottom-aged
** – denotes 19-yo


FB – Blake Morris (Subiaco), Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts), Rhett Bazzo* (Swan Districts)
HB – Brandon Walker (East Fremantle), Heath Chapman (West Perth), Ty Sears (Swan Districts)

The West Australian spine is one of the few to boast genuine talls in most key position posts, starting with Denver Grainger-Barras and Heath Chapman in defence. Both are terrific in the air and provide good versatility as talls, able to shut down opponents, impact the play aerially, and use the ball soundly out of defensive 50.

Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Brandon Walker‘s name will quickly be placed on the team sheet, with Ty Sears an agile outside mover who takes up the opposite half-back flank in our side. Making it three Swan Districts products in the back six is Rhett Bazzo, joined by WA’s 2019 Under 16 MVP, Blake Morris on the last line.

Both are good competitors in the air; with Bazzo a potential key position prospect at 194cm as a bottom-ager, while Morris is a late bloomer who can intercept with his high marking and shrewd reading of the play. The defence has a bit of everything, and should compete well on all levels with Grainger-Barras the centrepiece and leading draft prospect.


C – Jack Carroll (East Fremantle), Zane Trew (Swan Districts), Judd McVee* (East Fremantle)
FOL – Kalin Lane** (Claremont), Nathan O’Driscoll (Perth), Finn Gorringe (East Fremantle)

A trio of tough, big-bodied ball winners look likely to attend the centre bounces for WA, with Nathan O’Driscoll (187cm), Zane Trew (186cm), and Finn Gorringe (183cm) all inside types who can crack in and win the hard ball. O’Driscoll is a thumping left-foot kick and capable marker who may also feature across half-back, while Trew is perhaps an even better disposer by foot who also earned Under 16 All Australian honours in 2018.

Palming down to them could well be a true bolter in Kalin Lane, who featured in the 2020 AFL Academy intake despite only playing one WAFL Colts game for Claremont. The 202cm big-man is also the sole 19-year-old to feature in the side, and should be aided well by a couple of other talls in terms of ruck duties.

On the outside, Jack Carroll adds to the high-level kicking abilities to make it three East Fremantle prospects among the midfield group. He displayed his class in last year’s Under 17 All Stars showcase, and is joined on the opposite wing by Judd McVee, a bottom-aged small who has that classic burst out of the stoppages and may feature on the inside.


HF – Joel Western (Claremont), Shannon Neale (South Fremantle), Isiah Winder (Peel Thunder)
FF – Owen Dann (East Fremantle), Logan McDonald (Perth), Ira Jetta (South Fremantle)

There is plenty of versatility among the proposed West Australian forward group, with two genuine talls again slotting into key position spots, while each of the smaller options can also rotate through different roles. Among them, Joel Western is an exciting prospect who is part of Fremantle’s NGA and can rotate through the midfield, credit to his freakish skills and evasiveness.

Ira Jetta is another small who can also double as a midfielder at the Under 18 level, but has terrific goal sense and fills a spot up forward here. Owen Dann takes up the other pocket but can be thrown into defence, while Peel Thunder’s Isiah Winder slots in at half-forward – a player who catches the eye, and yet another sub-180cm mover who can shuffle further afield.

Logan McDonald is one of the leading key position prospects in the national talent pool and is simply a lock at full forward, having already represented the Black Ducks at Under 18 level in 2019. His athleticism, clean hands, and contested marking will put WA in good stead and he has grown to true key position height at 195cm. Shannon Neale, another late bloomer will rotate between the ruck and forwardline, able to compete in the air while also possessing good athletic traits at 200cm.

The flexibility of the side as a whole is stamped with that of the forward six here, with each player both versatile in their respective positions while being able to double in separate roles. With a couple of solid talls to help the smalls crumb, this group could also produce a handy highlight reel.


INT – Luke Polson* (Peel Thunder), Kade Dittmar* (East Perth), Kellen Johnson (West Perth), Tyler Nesbitt (Peel Thunder)

A pair of bottom-agers head our interchange, which was a typically difficult one to whittle down. Luke Polson is a 195cm ruck/forward who can provide depth on either line, while Kade Dittmar is a hard-working and physical midfielder with a booming kick and the ability to play elsewhere if required. Polson’s Peel Thunder teammate Tyler Nesbitt rounds out the 22 alongside fellow top-age academy member Kellen Johnson, both medium-sized prospects who may feature at either end of the ground.


There is a good amount of bottom-age depth in the West Australian ranks, and some top-agers outside of the AFL Academy bubble who could push their case for selection. Jack Hindle is the only top-age academy member to miss out on our 22, but will likely rotate through the side. Chris Walker, the twin brother of Brandon is another who may be thereabouts, while Jamison Ugle is a speedy type who could garner attention along with Subiaco’s Tyler Brockman as forward options. Talented 199cm ruck/forward Michael Mallard had a decent Under 16 campaign for WA, and is already a known quantity if selectors are looking for even more key position depth.

In terms of those eligible for the 2021 draft who feature in the academy hub, Max Chipper is a classy midfielder from the stacked Swan Districts squad. Matthew Johnson is a tall but raw prospect who can also play forward, and Mitchell Brown is another midfield option who may put his hand up. Rounding out the crop is Claremont’s Jacob van Rooyen and Richard Bartlett, both of whom featured for the Black Ducks in last year’s Under 16 national carnival.

Picture: Michael Farnell – Sports Imagery Australia

>> READ UP ON THE 2020 WA U18s:
>> 2019 WAFL Colts Content

AFL Draft Watch:

Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll

Marquee Matchups:

Denver Grainger-Barras vs. Kaine Baldwin

Positional Analysis:

Key Forwards

Draft Central All-Star Teams: East Perth

EAST Perth’s All-Star side does not necessarily have the depth of some others, but it has a good core of elite talents through the midfield, and very strong key position players. One of the greatest rucks of the modern era captains the side in Dean Cox after he won the All-Star Player voting via our Instagram stories this week. The Royals have a total of 12 100-game players and the remaining 12 in the best 24 are made up of those who played between 33-98 games. Luke Webster‘s 33 games is the lowest of any player in an All-Star side to-date.

Please note: The All-Star Team is only those players AFL achievements during the AFL Draft era. Therefore, legends such as Polly Farmer or Kevin Murray in East Perth’s case are not included.


Looking at the team on face value, it has an elite ruck, some terrific midfielders and a strong spine that would make it difficult to match-up on. Its abundance of talls, or medium-talls who could play as key position players mean it is top-heavy in terms of height, but would stretch any opposition defence.


The defence would be centred around 1990 premiership defender, Michael Christian. Standing at centre half-back, the former Magpie played 131 VFL/AFL games and was a tough opponent to beat in duels. Along with Hawthorn captain and three-time premiership talent, Ben Stratton, the duo provide some strong leadership in the back six. The other player to have played more than 100 games in the defence is Marcus Seecamp, who managed 140 games often playing off half-back or pushing up to a wing.

The other three players tip in at just under the century mark, with Essendon key position defender, Tayte Pears playing out of full-back, while 90-game Essendon defender Michael Prior sits at half-back. Matt Clape – 87 games, 62 goals – also makes it into the back six, though he also spent time in other areas of the ground, hence the 62 goals to-boot. Gavin Rose is a player on the bench who could provide some rotation through that back six if required.


The clear strongest point of the side, the midfield has some high quality midfielders led by Cox in the ruck. The West Coast Eagles star won a whopping six All-Australians, as well as a best and fairest in his time across 290 games. Joel Corey (276 games, two All-Australians, two best and fairests and three premierships) and Mitch Duncan (203 games, three premierships) hand the onball brigade plenty of success to drive the rest of the side.

Through the centre line is Eagles’ 2018 Grand Final hero and renowned tagger, Mark Hutchings to provide that defensive role, as well as the inexperienced but talented, Sam Powell-Pepper. Powell-Pepper’s 57 games is the second lowest of any starter in the side, but he adds value to the team. On the other wing is David Bain who played the 98 games and booted 48 goals, but won a best and fairest which earns him the gig over others around the same mark. Rupert Betheras, Paul Peos and Peter Cransberg could rotate through the midfield or forward to provide some extra depth in the area.


Gigantic. That is one way of putting it with five of the six starters either key position players or just about key position players. Aside from the talented Andy Lovett (88 games, 93 goals), the remainder of the team is considered talls or key position players, led by West Coast champion, Ross Glendinning. He is the centrepiece of the attack, booting 325 goals in 230 games, though he could also play as a key defender too. He won a Brownlow, two best and fairest’s and an All-Australian in his career. He lines up with Craig Starcevich, a Collingwood premiership player and now Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s coach. Starcevich booted 178 goals in 144 games during his career.

Filling out the other three spots are Adelaide’s Ian Perrie, Brisbane and Essendon’s Matthew Leuenberger and West Coast’s Troy Wilson. Leuenberger will play second ruck to Cox after the injury-prone talent managed 137 games during his career. He will share that load and resting forward with Alex Ishchenko (142 games). Wilson played just the 37 games – the least of any starter in an All-Star team so far – but booted 83 goals in that time. Perrie kicked 129 goals in 116 games with the Crows.


With each player about 30 games used for the team, the depth is not great, though the Royals had a further 10 players reach double-figure VFL/AFL games in their career during the AFL Draft era. Brady Anderson (27 games), Nick Kommer (22) and Stephen Hooper (22) are the next in line in terms of games, while the more recent Jackson Ramsay (17) and Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls (13) also hailed from the club.

East Perth Player of the AFL Era: Vote for yours via our Instagram

EAST Perth are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The East Fremantle All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Ben Cousins announced as the winner and co-captain of the Sharks’ All-Star side with fellow finalist, Simon Black. Looking at East Perth’s side, there are a few elite talents that clearly stand out, and then a number of really strong contributors across their AFL careers to make a solid spine. Led by one of the best rucks of the modern era in Dean Cox, East Perth might not have the numbers of successful draftees as others, but have still produced some quality players.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Wednesday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is Geelong Falcons starting on Friday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

Picture: East Perth FC Facebook

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Subiaco gets the better of Perth in challenging conditions

Only two games were played on the weekend with the other four teams taking to the field next week. Perth had copped a deluge of rain in the lead up to these fixtures so it was a matter of which teams could adapt to the testing conditions.

WAFL Colts wrap Round 9:

Only two games were played on the weekend with the other four teams taking to the field next week. Perth had copped a deluge of rain in the lead up to these fixtures so it was a matter of which teams could adapt to the testing conditions.

Subiaco 5.9 (39) defeated Perth 5.4 (34)

Reigning premiers Subiaco took home its second win for 2019 after recording a gritty four point win against Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday evening.

It was a combative contest in the wet conditions with both sides recording over 100 tackles for the game. Despite the final margin being under a goal the Lions were never headed with their biggest lead being 17 points while the Demons got as close as a solitary point. Some regular names led the way for Subiaco in this contest with Abraham Clinch collecting 30 disposals, Jacob Peletier had 28, while Tristan Hobley was a workhorse with 25 disposals and nine tackles. The Subiaco midfield would not have got as much clean ball without the colossal workrate of ruckman Xavier Peacock who amassed 54 hitouts. For the Demons, Simon Hayward was terrific with 18 disposals and 13 tackles.

East Perth 9.8 (62) defeated East Fremantle 8.10 (58)

East Perth evened the ledger on their season record by winning their fourth game in eight games after holding on to beat East Fremantle by four points at Leederville Oval on Sunday morning.

The home team never relinquished the lead throughout the contest with their biggest margin being 25 points. To the credit of the Sharks, they kept coming and when Dylan Curley cut the margin to four points there was still time to claim the four points. However East Perth did just enough to see the game out. Adam Boules was terrific once againt East Perth with 20 disposals and 10 tackles. He was supported by Cooper Sparks with 19 disposals and 12 tackles while Kyle Robinson was terrific with 18 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and hit the scoreboard with two goals. He had a more than able partner in Luke Furlong who kicked three goals to go with his ten disposals. For the Sharks who fell to 2-7 with the defeat, they were best served by Dylan Ralph with a very hard working performance collecting 23 disposals, seven inside 50s and six tackles while Finn Gorringe had 21 disposals six tackles and four inside 50s.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 3 – East Perth vs Claremont

IN Round 3 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Claremont defeated East Perth by 28 points at Leederville Oval.

Below are the best players from the game.


EAST PERTH 6.5 (41) defeated by CLAREMONT 10.8 (68)


East Perth:

#3 Harley Sparks
The Deanmill product was arguably the Royals’ best midfielder with a team-high 28 possessions, five tackles, three marks and a goal. Sparks often imposed himself in congestion to win the ball for his team and then dish it to the outside runners.

#9 Sebit Kuek
Last year’s Past Player and Officials Encouragement Award winner was excellent in the forward half for East Perth. He finished with 12 possessions, six hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. His leading patterns combined with his strong overhead marking ability make him a damaging forward prospect.

#14 Kane Hughes
The East Perth wingman toiled hard all day for the Royals with 26 possessions, seven marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His link-up style of play makes him one of the better wingmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#39 Cody Rodgers
The East Perth key defender showcased why he is considered to be one of the best key defensive options in this year’s draft pool. His positioning in defence was excellent, his knowledge of when to roll off his opponent to intercept the opposition was outstanding and his decision-making was sound. In the third quarter, he snuck forward and took a strong contested mark before booting a goal.

#40 Jed Montgomerie
The South Bunbury Junior was a standout in the ruck for East Perth in a competitive battle with Claremont’s Callum Jamieson. Montgomerie finished with 12 possessions, 22 hit-outs and five marks to be a presence for the Royals in the midfield.



#3 Leno Thomas
The Belmont junior was dynamic on the half-back line for Claremont with 19 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. His electrifying speed, top agility and penetrating skills make him one of the more highly regarded prospects in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#8 Jack Buller
The Christ Church Grammar student was situated at centre half-back, playing on Jaxon East, and more than held his own in the contest. Buller finished with 20 possessions, 10 marks and three tackles, while holding East goalless.

#14 Jack Cooley
Stationed on the half-back line, Cooley offered a calm and composed figure for the Tigers. He finished with 25 possessions, six marks and two inside 50s, often providing excellent rebound from the defensive half. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter, when he grabbed the ball out of a pack and speared it to Jacob Blight, who kicked his second goal.

#15 Liam Henry
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was arguably best afield, displaying traits that would endear him to recruiters. He accumulated 24 possessions, grabbed five marks and booted four goals in a sizzling display. His desire to run and carry and ability to use precise skills makes him one of the most damaging wingmen in this year’s draft pool.

#21 Louis Passera
The Scarborough junior continued his excellent start to the 2019 campaign with another superb performance, this time against the Royals. He collected 25 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid two tackles and recorded two inside 50s in a powerful display.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark was prolific in the midfield for the Tigers. He finished with a game-high 29 possessions, five marks and four inside 50s in a near best-afield performance. His decision-making and skill execution are elite for someone his age.

#25 Callum Jamieson
The North Beach Junior was outstanding in the ruck for the Tigers. In a highly competitive battle with East Perth’s Jed Montgomerie, Jamieson accumulated 15 possessions, won a game-high 23 hitouts, took six marks, laid six tackles and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players for Claremont.

How Tanisha Anderson’s Mum inspired her to follow her dream

MOST up and coming footballers are inspired by those already excelling in the sport.

But for Western Australia (WA) forward, Tanisha Anderson, her Mum is the driving force behind her AFL Women’s dream. Living in Bunbury, which is about two hours from Perth, has meant that Anderson and her Mum have had to make many sacrifices to help the 16 year-old play football.

“It’s been very difficult because Mum’s a single mum, I haven’t seen my Dad for a few years so Mum’s always trying to get off work early, swap a shift, doing night shifts,” Anderson said. “So she comes off night shifts and takes me up to Perth, takes me home and then she’s got to get up the next day at least three times a week most weeks, sometimes four.” So it’s been very difficult, and my sister has missed out on a lot of things that she’s wanted to do because of my sport because I don’t just play footy, I play other sports. “Everything’s really difficult but Mum’s pushed me through and she didn’t get to follow her dream in her sports, she wanted me to follow mine and she’s helped a lot.”

Another thing that has helped Anderson in her journey to the top is being a part of the Rookie Me Academy. As usual, her Mum got her on board, with the help of her coaches. Anderson admits she wasn’t aware of it initially.

“I didn’t know about it until it was in Victoria,” the WA forward said. “I didn’t even know it was in WA until my coach told me about it in Victoria. “They asked Mum and Mum signed me up for it and everything. “Then I went over there nervous as because I didn’t know anyone… so I went and did that and made some friends with some other girls and the guys, and still get in contact with some of the guys and it was really good.”

Now being in the Academy, Anderson is enjoying the learning experience. She is combining this with playing for the Bunbury Bulldogs in the South West Football League.

“(Rookie Me) is really intense but it’s really good and I learned a lot from it from Robbie (Campbell) and that,” she said. “I went to Rookie Me again this year, and play for Bunbury Bulldogs locally when I have byes. “Then I tried out for (WA) again this year, being a train-on last year, I was a shoe-in this year and got my chance to come and play with all the older girls that have a lot of talent and versatility. “Everyone’s got so much knowledge about football and I’ve learned lots of things.”

From playing at Bunbury and also for East Perth in the Western Australia Women’s Football League (WAWFL) Rogers Cup, Anderson has developed a key strength in her game.

“I love kicking goals, that’s the best part of footy and I feel like my strengths are kicking and leading, sometimes set shots depending on my mood, (I’ve) got to get control of that sometimes,” the 16 year-old said. “I’ve got to work on my forward pressure and everything, I’m more of a person that just likes to kick the ball.”

Anderson came fourth in the Rogers Cup goal kicking tally, with 22 goals from 10 games. For Bunbury, she topped the goal kicking tally in the Youth Girls competition with 29 goals from 11 games. Despite her love of playing in the forward line, Anderson says she gets thrown into different positions, and she doesn’t mind it.

“I like playing forward but I’ll go anywhere for the team like in my WAFL (Western Australia Football League) side, I get put back and everything,” the WA representative said. “I don’t mind, I used to play ruck when I was younger, I think this is the first year I haven’t played ruck.”

When she was younger, plenty of opportunities came her way, helping her get to where she is now.

“I started (playing football) in year three, I saw the boys playing so I was like ‘oh I want to go jump in’,” Anderson said. “So I played for the Dalyellup Dockers down in Bunbury, Western Australia and since then I’ve been asked to try out for girls teams and everything. “I played with them for seven years or something like that, and I went to a NAB search day and then they asked me to play for Peel, so I played for Peel for a year and then I moved to East Perth. “When I was at Peel, my coach asked me to do Rookie Me, and before that in that same year I did state 15s. “Then the year after, I moved to East Perth and I’ve stayed with East Perth since then. “I tried out for state 18s because the NAB search people told me to, but I was too young to take so they told me to either train with them or go focus on 15s, so I did that.”

This year, Anderson got the opportunity to play with the WA Under 18 representative side on the Gold Coast. She kicked two goals from five games and was named in the best once. With her draft year being next year, Anderson has another Under 18s season to prove that she has what it takes to play AFL Women’s. This is her ultimate goal.

“AFL Women’s is my number one goal but I want to study and go to uni and either be a sports teacher or do something to do with law and all that,” Anderson said. “I work at a courthouse, I have a traineeship but footy is my main focus so I have to try and find so much time for football (and) put everything aside for my footy.”

Western Australia weekly wrap: Swan Districts surge a game clear, Claremont falter

Swan Districts are still a game clear on top of the ladder after Round 9 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts season in a round where two local derbies took place.

The Black and Whites were too strong for fellow top four contender Perth, as they registered a comfortable 13.6 (84) to 6.4 (40) win at Bassendean Oval. The Swans led at every break and were never challenged, led by Denver Grainger-Barrass who claimed best afield honours in his team. Ruckman Blake Rowlinson was also among the best with a solid 26 hit outs, while Riley Garcia was prolific with 28 disposals. For the Demons, livewire Blake Little toiled all day and was named as best, while Sydney Stack (19 disposals) and Zac Casey (23 disposals, seven tackles) worked all day in the midfield, collecting impressive numbers.

Claremont have continued their underwhelming start to the season after falling away against Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval, losing 7.8 (50) to 12.14 (86). The Tigers, who have made the past four straight WAFL Colts grand finals are languishing in second last on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season. For the Thunder though, impressive performances from Jye Kimptom, Bailey Taylor and Lachlan Riley (20 disposals) helped give them the late ascendency. Oliver Henderson was named the Tigers’ best, while Lachlan Southern and Max Grant (20 disposals) were strong contributors, as the Tigers face a tough ask ahead against the Swan Districts in Round 10.

In the Perth Derby, an inaccurate West Perth cost themselves a chance to leap into the top five, after losing to East Perth 3.15 (33) to 6.10 (46) at Arena Joondalup. The Royals, who are still at the foot of the ladder, nabbed their second win of the season, led by Yugusuk Soka, who was named best with 16 disposals and three marks, while defender Jordan Hayden and midfielder Jarrod Hamer-Mathew (22 disposals and two goals) also put in impressive performances. For the Falcons, Jamie Dowen (12 disposals, four tackles) was named as the best player, while Alec Johnson (23 disposals) and Jaxon Prior (21 disposals) were consistent all day.

While in the Fremantle Derby, East Fremantle nabbed a victory over cross town rivals South Fremantle, wining 10.8 (68) to 8.6 (54) at Fremantle Oval. Down by two goals at the main break, the Sharks rallied to kick seven goals to three in the second half to storm home with a win. Led by Jake Diggle and Tom Wright (11 disposals, 10 tackles), the South’s could not find an answer to the second half onslaught. Impressing for the Bulldogs was Manfred Kelly with a 17 disposals, four tackle game, while ruckman Benjamin Pears (27 hitouts) and Toby McQuilkan (18 disposals) toiled hard all day.