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Decade of WAFL success more than Twomey could have imaginedSaturday, September 23, 2017 - 5:09 PM - by Chris Pike

NEVER in his wildest dreams could Wayde Twomey have predicted a decade ago when he made the move west that he would have the success in the WAFL he has. Neither did he envision four Grand Finals in four years after joining Subiaco but that's the case as he chases a fairytale finish.

Twomey originally joined Swan Districts from VFL club Werribee in 2008 as a string of recruits that would go on to inspire the black-and-whites to a Grand Final that first year, a preliminary final in 2009 and a remarkable premiership triumph in 2010.

That led Twomey into a season in the AFL in Carlton where he played a couple of games at the top level, but then it was straight back to Swan Districts in 2012. He had another good two seasons capped off with a Simpson Medal performance representing the WAFL against the VFL in 2013.

But Twomey was looking for a fresh start by the end of 2013 and it was Subiaco that came calling and now remarkably four years later, he is preparing to play in a fourth successive Grand Final with the Lions in what could be his last game on Sunday against Peel Thunder at Domain Stadium.

Not only has Twomey been there for the last three Grand Finals with Subiaco and now is preparing for a fourth, but the 31-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down remaining an important contributor off half-back for the Lions.

As he prepares for his fourth straight Grand Final with Subiaco and his sixth in the WAFL in the nine seasons he has played, Twomey is trying to become a four-time premiership player and that is far more than he could have ever imagined achieving when he came to WA in 2008.

"I regularly remind Shane Rogers that he changed my whole career. He was the big push for me to come over here from the VFL and I often think how different it could have been," Twomey said.

"I might still be playing at Werribee or I might have finished up at that level years ago and gone back to local leagues and never achieved much. But moving over here is definitely the best thing I've ever done. 

"I never imagined it turning out this way or getting as much done as I have, but once you start racking up those achievements you want to keep going. It's definitely the best decision I've ever made and big Shane Rogers deserves all the credit."

Cockie looks for second premiership in 100th game with Lions 

Following his five seasons with Swan Districts up until the end of 2013, Twomey was looking to continue playing in the WAFL and living in Perth but wanted a career refresher.

Subiaco quickly became the best option but even he when he joined the Lions in 2014 couldn’t have seen what was ahead.

With Jarrad Schofield at the helm as coach, Subiaco has been the dominant WAFL club again the last four years with Twomey a key part of that coming off half-back.

Twomey's first two seasons with Subiaco saw him play in two premierships with Grand Final wins against East Perth and West Perth before they came up short in last year's decider against Peel.

Subiaco again dominated 2017 winning 19 straight games leading into the finals and have now won into another Grand Final and Twomey still pinches himself at times with how well the Subiaco move has panned out.

"I was coming here with the hope of playing in a couple of Grand Finals but to now be about to play in my fourth straight is something I could have never picked," he said.

"I try to explain to the young boys at the footy club who are experiencing this to try and make them understand how hard premierships are to win and to not take these chances for granted. 

"Even when you might be the best team all year you might not end up winning and Grand Finals are so hard to get to let alone to win. To be about to play in my fourth in a row is better than anything I could have dreamt."

Twomey was weighing up his future heading into last year's Grand Final with his wedding pending for March this year. 

But once Subiaco lost to Peel he made the decision that he would be playing on no matter what and the pain of losing is something he feels can still help heading into this Sunday's return clash with the Thunder.

"Losing last year's Grand Final basically made my decision to play on this year. It just leaves a real bad taste in your mouth to lose a Grand Final so I didn’t want to retire on that note," Twomey said.

"Obviously there's a chance that might happen again this year but I'm confident we can get the job done and so is the whole club. I think if we won last year then that would have been the end of my career then, but I wanted to play on to try and end on a more positive note.

"I think it comes down to each individual if they want to call on that pain and use it or don’t want to use it. You can go either way with it as well and I will be using it as motivation because sitting there at the end last year and watching them get their medals did really hurt. It's up to each individual how they handle that though."

Twomey remains playing strong football for Subiaco and is showing no signs of his form dropping off after 173 WAFL appearances, but there is the likelihood that the Grand Final on Sunday will be his last game as the potential of travelling in 2018 and starting a family with wife Nicole is on the horizon.

Until he is 100 per cent sure, Twomey doesn't want to commit to that decision just yet but finishing with another premiership might help make it an easier decision.

"I spoke to Rumba (Darren Rumble) the other day and he said there was no better way for him to go out than with a premiership after that West Perth grand final. I can't comment until it actually happens but it would be the best way you can go out and hopefully I get to experience that," he said.

"I haven’t given it too much thought until now but I would think this will most likely be my last game. I still need to figure out with my wife what we want to do next year and if we want to do some travelling or not, but I would say I'm 95 per cent sure this will be it for me.

"If it was up to Nicole we'd already have kids but I'm trying to hold off for as long as I can. But in all seriousness, that is the next step in life for us and we'd like to do some travelling and start to build a family in the pretty near future."

Twomey has again played every game in 2017 averaging 17.2 possessions off half-back while he's also done some impressive defensive jobs including in last Sunday's preliminary final on South Fremantle's Blaine Johnson.

He has been happy enough with his form this year but that won't really come into his decision to retire or not.

"My form this season has been OK. I'm lucky with Schoey that he's a pretty cluey bloke so he knows what sort of role to give me where I can do my best for the team," Twomey said.

"If he wants me to defend a bit more he'll let me know, if he wants me to attack a bit more he'll let me know. Overall I think it's been a good year and as you get older you try to hang on as long as you can so at the moment I'm cruising through."

Now looking to Sunday's Grand Final against Peel Thunder in what will be the last ever football match at Subiaco Oval, Twomey can't wait to get out there and expects Subiaco to deliver a vastly improved performance than two weeks ago in the second semi-final.

"I reckon the weather should definitely help us. There's no hiding from the fact that they are amazingly tall so that is definitely going to help us. It should bring our crumbers into it and it might compact the game a little bit while nullifying their talls a little bit," Twomey said.

"I think it was a good reality check that we copped against Peel in that first final and going in having won 19 straight you start to believe your own hype a little bit. But they came out and went whack and I think that straightened us up again as a team. 

"The last two weeks we've been playing games and had the chance to work on things in that environment that we've wanted to when last year we had two weeks off, then a game and then another week off so you become a little bit rusty. But now it gives us that fluency and the last couple of weeks we've been able to work on the things that we wanted to focus on."