Latest News

Jansen claims first fairest and best award in 12 years

Friday, October 30, 2020 - 12:14 PM - by Chris Pike

HE might have spent time at two AFL clubs and now played 39 WAFL matches with East Fremantle, but a fairest and best award has eluded Jarrad Jansen since 2008 until now – after being named the Lynn Medallist for 2020.

Jansen's last fairest and best triumph came back in 2008 when he was playing in the under-13s at East Fremantle district powerhouse Bull Creek-Leeming, and while he would have preferred more than one win in 2020, claiming East Fremantle's fairest and best award is a source of pride.

Since that last individual accolade 12 years ago, Jansen rose through the ranks at East Fremantle before getting drafted to Geelong in 2013. He spent two years at the Cats before getting traded to the Brisbane Lions where he did play eight AFL matches over the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

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2020 Prendergast & Jack Clarke Medal Voting

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 9:20 AM

The 2020 Sandover Medal was a night to remember and plenty of awards were given for outstanding performances and contributions to the game. 

The Prendergast Medal was awarded to Manfred Kelly as the best player in the WAFL Reserves competition. 

Lachlan Vanirsen claimed the Jack Clarke Medal as the Simply Energy WAFL Colts best player. 

See both final leaderboards below:

Prendergast Medal Voting

Jack Clarke Medal Voting

Annual Review of WAFL Rules and Regulations

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 12:03 PM

The West Australian Football Commission has finalised its annual review of Rules and Regulations for the West Australian Football League following the conclusion of the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season. 

The annual review is a vital part of the WAFC’s focus to deliver a high standard, competitive and sustainable WAFL competition, where all clubs have the opportunity to play finals and win premierships. 

For the 2021 season, the strategy to gradually reduce the Player Recruitment Points allocated to each club will continue, further encouraging home-grown talent to be add to each WAFL club’s list. 

After reducing the baseline Player Recruitment Points allocation across the competition from 120 to 100 last year, the baseline will be reduced again to 95 points in 2021. 

Lower placed clubs will receive an allocation above 100 points to increase the competitiveness of each side and the overall competition. 

Peel Thunder will have 85 player points allocated and up to $145,000 as part of their Total Player Payment.  

There will be an increase to the baseline allocation of Interstate players allowed at each club from a maximum of six (6) to seven (7) players. 

As part of equalisation measures, the ability will remain for the WAFC to adjust a club’s Player Recruitment Points allocation above 95 points or seven (7) interstate players on a needs basis to improve competitiveness.

Further discussions are ongoing between the WAFC and West Coast Eagles in regard to their participation in the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season. 

WAFL Competition
•    Player Recruitment Point reductions – The overall baseline Player Recruitment Points cap reduced from 100 to 95 for Season 2021. (Clubs on 95 will include Claremont, Subiaco, South Fremantle and West Perth). 
•    Player Recruitment Point concessions – Lower placed clubs will receive an allocation above 100 points to improve competitiveness. (Perth 115, East Fremantle 115, Swan Districts 120, East Perth 125)
•    Interstate Players – Increase to the base allocation of interstate players from six (6) to a maximum of seven (7) players per club.

WAFL Clubs
•    Reduction from 100 to 95 Player Recruitment Points
East Fremantle
•    Reduction from 120 to 115 Player Recruitment Points
East Perth
•    Remain at 125 Player Recruitment Points
•    Remain 45 protected players
Peel Thunder
•    Increase from 80 to 85 Player Recruitment Points
•    Player list to be a minimum of 45 players
•    TPP - $145,000
•    Protected list of 35 players 
•    AFL Finals eligibility: Min 6 matches and 1 match of the last 8 matches
•    Increase from 110 to 115 Player Recruitment Points
•    45 protected players as per 2020
South Fremantle
•    Reduction from 100 to 95 Player Recruitment Points
•    Reduction from 100 to 95 Player Recruitment Points
•    No Recruiting Restrictions in 2021
Swan Districts
•    Remain at 120 Player Recruitment Points 
West Perth
•    Reduction from 100 to 95 Player Recruitment Points

Ngurra Kujungka's 2020 Martu Youth Festival

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 8:20 AM

Ngurra Kujungka’s annual Martu Youth Festival was held recently in Nullagine. This year’s event was the largest in the history of the carnival, bringing together more than 1,000 people from eight communities in the Western Desert.  

The Martu Youth Festival used to be held three times a year and is the one of the few opportunities communities have to play in organised sport competitions. The three-day carnival features men’s, women’s and junior football, women’s softball and junior basketball. The range of sports the communities compete in means the entire family can get involved in the festival.

The carnival is run by Ngurra Kujungka and many community members participate in the umpiring of games. Ngurra Kujungka assist with travel and equipment and WA Football, V Swans, the West Coast Eagles, Swan Districts Football Club, the Police, Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service, the Shire of East Pilbara, Fair Game, Mission Australia, Basketball WA and Softball WA all assist in the delivery of the festival a variety of ways, including talent ID, program management, training and first aid.

Nullagine’s population grew by 700 during the week of the Festival, allowing the communities the chance to come together to complete cultural activities, and conduct sorry business with families and communities that may have been affected by death over the past year. Each day there was free fruit and a BBQ run by Ngurra Kujungka and associated organisations. 

“The carnival is a great week! Every community is having fun while competing against each other with great sportsmanship.”

“To be able to experience the spirit of the festival, and witness and be included in the cultural activities is amazing, it is a great way to reset and more importantly to remember “the Why” in why we do our jobs” WA Football Commission Pilbara Regional Specialist, Vicki Agnew.

Congratulation to first-time football champions, Nullagine, on winning the 2020 football competition. 

WA success in the AFL National Volunteer Awards - Brett Nelson, Heather Timms and Daniel Gibbons

Monday, October 26, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Three of our nine volunteers nominated for the 2020 AFL National Volunteer Awards have been successful in their category. Congratulations to Brett Nelson for winning the AFL Secondary School Ambassador, Heather Timms for winning the AFL Disability Inclusion Volunteer Award, and to Daniel Gibbons for winning the AFL National Community Umpiring Service Award. 

Each State / Territory nominated their respective volunteers of the year across each of the categories and they were nominated for the AFL National Volunteer Awards. The national category winners each receive a $1,000 cash prize and additional $500 for their affiliated group (Club, Auskick Centre, Umpire Group or School) or a charity of their choice. 

Below is a summary of Brett, Heather, and Daniel’s contribution to our game. 

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Merrett named Peel's best, re-signs at Thunder

Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 11:18 AM - by Chris Pike

JACKSON Merrett was able to settle into his favourite position on the wing at Peel Thunder in 2020 and delivered a standout season to win the Tuckey Medal as the club's fairest and best player despite the challenges the year presented.

Merrett was playing his second season with Peel Thunder in the WAFL on the back of his time in the AFL with Essendon where he played 56 matches at the top level, and he was outstanding settling into his customary position on the wing.

He went on to average 22.5 disposals across the eight games for the Thunder and when you consider the shorter quarters this season and the fact that Peel didn’t manage to win a game then those numbers are all the more impressive.

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Shortlist of Candidates for 2021 WAFC Commissioner Elections Confirmed

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 12:49 PM

The WAFC advises that the Nomination Committee, with representatives of the WAFC, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Football Club, WAFL Council of Presidents and the Community Football Advisory Council, has met to consider the Expressions of Interest for the upcoming Commissioner election process and made recommendations to the Commission regarding a shortlist of candidates.  

An impressive number of nominations from high quality candidates was received by the WAFC and the Nominations Committee faced a challenging task to arrive at the shortlist of endorsed candidates.  The WAFC would like to acknowledge and thank all parties, whether successful in making the shortlist or not, for the interest they have shown in participating in this process.

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AFL National Volunteer Awards - national category winners announced Saturday 24th October 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 2:34 PM

We know that volunteers play a critical role across all levels of Football in Western Australia. We are fortunate each year to be able to formally recognise a number of our outstanding volunteers through our Optus WA Football Volunteer of the Year Program, supported by the Sunday Times, which is held at the Sandover Medal.

Further to this, the AFL also recognises state volunteers across some key categories including Community Club, Auskick, Diversity, Disability, Coaching, Umpiring and Schools through the AFL National Volunteer Awards. In 2020, WA has finalists across each of the nine categories. 

It is important to note these volunteers were nominated at the conclusion of the 2019 season and were due to travel to Melbourne in May this year during Volunteer Week to be recognised by the AFL. As the finalists were unable to travel as a result of COVID-19, the event has been rescheduled with the national category winners to be announced on AFL Grand Final Day.

The broadcast acknowledging our finalists, and the announcement of the category winners will be on Channel 7 at 7:20am AWST this Saturday, 24th October.

The national category winners each receive a $1,000 cash prize, and an additional $500 prize for their affiliated group (Club, Auskick Centre, Umpire Group, School) or a charity of their choice.  The remaining nominees each receive a $200 cash prize.

This is a fantastic achievement for each of the finalists and is a small recognition for the outstanding work that all volunteers in footy undertake week in and week out across the year.

The WA Finalists across the nine volunteer categories are: Read More ...

West Coasts' Naitanui Academy and Fremantle's Next Generation Academy game

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 12:53 PM

2020 has been an extremely tough year on football across Australia. The WAFC Kickstart and All Nations prorams did not escape the COVID 19 impacts, with both programs having to be cancelled. As the AFL programs, the National Boomerange and All Nations, were also cancelled the current 2005/06 cohort of boys in the Next Generation Academies missed the opportunity to participate in the talent programs. 

Although both the state and national programs were cancelled this season, both AFL clubs continued to run their Next Generation Academies. On Saturday, the West Coast Naitanui Academy and Fremantle Next Generation Academy played a scratch match to thank the boys and families for continued commitment to the Academies and the state and national programs. 

Saturday’s scratch match was played as the curtain raiser to the second under 18’s All Star match and was an opportunity for players to come together and participate in an inter academy game and display their talents. The West Australian Football Comission would like to thank both West Coast Eagles Football Club’s Naitanui Academy and the Fremantle Football Club’s Next Generation Academy staff and players for making the day a huge success.

Best players were adjudged by their Academy coaches and presented with match day footballs,  congratulations to the following players

West Coast Eagles FC Naitanui Academy – Blake Offer , Jeremy Davis

Fremantle Football Club Next Generation Academy – Jesse Merillo , Terry Patrick          



WAFC acknowledges State 18s Coach Peter Sumich

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 2:53 PM

The West Australian Football Commission thanks Simply Energy State U18s coach Peter Sumich for his contribution to the State Talent Program and development of WA’s most talented young players. 

Sumich will finish his role on October 31 after four years at the helm of the Under 18s program and has played a major part in re-shaping the development of talented players within the pathway.

WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said Sumich had made a profound impact on football in Western Australia, providing great leadership, credibility and commitment to developing the state’s next crop of stars. 

“Peter has made a fantastic contribution to the Talent Academy over the past four seasons, providing support to its players, support staff and volunteers throughout his tenure,” Taylor said. 

“To become the fifth coach to have led WA to a National 18s Championship is a credit to Peter’s dedication and expertise as a coach and mentor. He has created such a positive environment to get the best out of his team and each individual player.”

“His passion, experience and love for the game is clear and has paved the way for our athletes to compete and succeed at the highest level in the AFL.

“On behalf of everyone involved with the State Talent Academy and the West Australian Football Commission I thank Peter for the vital role he has played.”

Sumich said despite being offered the chance to take on the new role, it was time to focus on his family and business.  

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the WAFC, and I can’t speak highly enough of the staff within the Talent Program,” Sumich said.

“To be involved in preparing players for the top level over the past four seasons has been extremely rewarding experience.”

“Seeing 36 players go through our Academy and onto an AFL list in my time is a great reflection of the dedication each staff member has put into improving players as footballers as well as people.”

“Given the role was moving to a full-time capacity, it didn’t align with where I am currently at with my family business and other pursuits outside football.”

“As a proud West Australian, coaching WA to a National U18s title will always be a highlight of my career.”

Due to COVID-19, the WAFC undertook an organisational restructure, reviewing every role within the business. 

The consolidation of the State U18s coaching role has meant a shift from a part-time to full-time position as Head of Coaching, becoming a far broader portfolio that will oversee all levels of coaching within the WA Football Pathway.

A key focus of the new role will be to develop coaching frameworks and accreditations at all levels of community football across WA, whilst also developing and supporting WA’s talent development coaches to enhance the development of players’ entry into the WAFL, State Academy and/or the AFL system. 

A key component to this role will include being the Head Coach for the annual Under 18’s National Championship. 
The West Australian Football Commission will now begin the recruitment process for a new Head of Coaching. 

West Australian Football Commission Election for 2021 Commissioners

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 10:05 AM

As at 4pm Friday 25 September, at the close of the Expressions of Interest for Commissioners, the WAFC had received 23 EOIs. EOIs were received from the following candidates (listed in alphabetical order):

Steve Allan, Ian Callahan, Andrew Chapman, Gordon Cole, Grant Dorrington, Catherine Ferrari, Neale Fong, Benjamin Haywood, Carolyn Hills, Phil Lamb, Gavin Maisey, Daryl Marron, Dixie Marshall, Nicole Moody, Bellamore Ndayikeze, Allan Oakes, Brian O’Donnell, Gareth Parker, David Parkinson, Dale Pinto, Clare Pope, Allan Stiles and Robert Sullivan

The following table sets out the remaining steps to be completed to finalise the 2021 Commissioner election process:

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Grassroot Grant Success at Bayswater Bears

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 8:27 AM

Bayswater Junior Football Club were there lucky recipients of a $10,000 Grassroots Grant courtesy of Gatorade Australia. 

Natalie Stoute, a very humble behind the scenes supporter and parent at the ‘Bears’ provided a 150 word submission as part of the grant application process, which featured a rhyme that incorporated the club song. 

Bayswater Junior Football Club President Rob Wittkowsky said “We are so fortunate to have people like Natalie in our Footy Family, as she demonstrates a true community spirit and thought for others epitomising our culture and ethos’. Mr Wittkowsky went on to say “This was a real surprise to me as I was unaware of her entering let alone the completion itself, but we are absolutely thrilled to have received this grant”

The club intends to use these funds to purchase new club logoed marquees and a new BBQ to support club operations in 2021. 

East Perth Junior Delegate on the Metro Central Regional Development Council was elated to receive news by saying “with their recent relocation and significant positive impact within the local community, the Baysie Bears will only continue to grow and this grant will ably assist in ensuring a bright and positive future for all members of the club. Well done and congratulations”

Since relocating from Houghton Park to Hillcrest Park in Bayswater, the club’s participation growth has increased sharply from 67 Junior participants in 2014, to 253 Junior participants in 2020. This is a fantastic effort by all involved at the club to grow our great game. 

Wiluna Martu Eagles host Dalkeith Nedlands JFC

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 1:49 PM

Each year, Wiluna Martu Eagles and Dalkeith Nedlands Junior Football Club take it in turns to host an annual football game - a trip coordinated by the Murlpirrmarra Connection.  Bringing together players from vastly different backgrounds, the game promotes and celebrates team spirit, cultural understanding and respect, and healthy living. Read More ...

WA Black claim bragging rights at Leederville Oval

Sunday, October 11, 2020 - 8:10 AM

WA Black secured the first victory of the WA’s two NAB AFL U18s All-Stars Exhibition games, after defeating WA Gold by 55-points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

The WA Black side led at every change to dominant the Exhibition fixture, led by starring roles from Claremont’s Joel Western and West Perth’s Heath Chapman.  

It took until the thirteenth minute of the opening quarter for the first goal of the game, when WA Black’s Nick Martin was able to find Logan Guelfi inside attacking 50. Guelfi went back and converted his set shot from 25 metres out on a slight angle. 

WA Gold struggled to score throughout the contest despite the perfect conditions, managing just two goals to the main break.

Sandon Page was the dominate forward on the ground with three goals to half time.

The third term provided a much tighter affair with three goals apiece. Logan McDonald began to show his skills with a two-goal term, while Page continued his strong game with another major. 
Despite plenty of injuries to both sides, WA Black stamped their authority on the contest in the last, kicking five goals to one, coasting to a 55-point victory. 

Joel Western was named best on ground for the WA Black side, having had plenty of the ball around the ground and hitting the scoreboard. 

Page led all goalkickers with four majors, while Western, Johnson and Brockman all chipped in for two each. 

Finn Gorringe was also impressive for WA Black, with Logan Guelfi and Sam Alvarez showing their class around the ground. 

Will Collins was named best afield for the WA Gold side, with McDonald the only multiple goal scorer for the team.  

WA BLACK 2.5, 5.10, 8.11, 13.15 (93)
WA GOLD  1.0, 2.2,    5.2,   6.2    (38)

WA BLACK: 4 Page, 2 Brockman, C Johnson, Western 1 Guelfi, M Johnson, Martin, 
WA GOLD: 2 McDonald, 1 Brooks, Mallard, Paton, Van Rooyen 

WA BLACK: Western, Page, Gorringe, Alvarez, Chapman, Guelfi
WA GOLD: Collins, Browne, Yaccob, Haddow, McDonald, Bazzo.

Premiership coach Curley happiest for playing group

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 9:49 PM - by Chris Pike

TRUE to his word before Sunday's WAFL Grand Final, what South Fremantle coach Todd Curley takes greatest satisfaction from becoming a premiership coach is giving his players the chance to now celebrate, but he deserves to be proud of what he's accomplished too.

The group of people to have played more than 100 AFL matches, almost 150 games in the WAFL, play in two premierships and now be a senior coach for almost another 200 games and having spent several seasons as an AFL assistant coach is a remarkably short one.

But the fact that Curley has packed so much into the last 30 years during his involvement in football is a remarkable thing and to now become a premiership coach to go with the two flags he won as a player at West Perth will go down as one of his crowning achievements.

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