The West's WAFL team look at all the news from around the State league.
The three-man short-list for the South Fremantle chief executive’s position has diminished by one.
The Bulldogs hoped to appoint a replacement for Brian Ciccotosto by next week but the front-runner for the job has since had second thoughts despite being the first applicant when Cicco flagged his intention to retire.
It seems that his view that the job is worth $200,000 a year varies significantly from what the club is prepared to pay.
The two remaining candidates include a reasonably prominent sporting personality with strong ties to South’s junior district and the father of a recent high-profile player.
But they don’t include favourite son Tom Bottrell who is ensconced at Swan Districts and didn’t apply for the South job.
One person who will be taking on a new post is former Gold Coast Suns hopeful Trent Manzone who has signed with West Perth for next season.
Manzone has been playing for Redland in the NEAFL after being included in the initial Gold Coast cohort that competed in the TAC Cup and then VFL before entering the AFL last year.
A 182cm utility player, the 20-year-old Manzone put on 10kgs during the 2010-11 summer as he tried to bulk up from his spindly 72kg during his Gold Coast junior days.
Manzone will become the second former Sun to join the Falcons following this year’s arrival of forward Matt Fowler, who played eight AFL matches for Gold Coast last season.
The strong-marking Fowler played five league games for West Perth this year but laid just one tackle in that time and spent a fair amount of time in the reserves as coach Bill Monaghan asked him to develop the defensive side of his game.
Speaking of West Perth and the Falcons will be seeking a new football manager after Brad Lukosius handed in his notice at the weekend after several years in the job.
The position is one of the most thankless in the WAFL with the nine football managers being required to look after the needs of 100 or so players, deal with AFL clubs and WAFL headquarters on a nearly daily basis and oversee recruiting, rehabilitation and coaching matters during a seven-day working week.
And all on a salary that invariably pays the bills and little more.
It is no surprise that clubs turn over footy managers so often with Perth and Peel requiring replacements during the season and the Falcons now in the market.
But they may not have to look too far with district manager Andrew Ridley – who did an outstanding job conceiving and executing the club’s international day promotion which drew 6044 fans in round 21 – a possibility to step into the role.
Subiaco may not have had the greatest season but at least they have extended one of their WAFL records.
But don’t expect them to boast about it in their annual report.
The 101-point loss to Claremont in the final qualifying match was their first century loss since 1998 and the 52nd of their history.
No other club comes close to that rare half-century though Peel are catching up fast with 44 century defeats in their barren 16-year history.
That equates to 17 percent of Peel’s 248 losses while 14 percent of their 314 games have been losses by 100 points or more.
On the other hand, East Fremantle have played 2334 matches in 114 years yet have suffered only 14 century losses. That’s 0.5 percent of all their games.
The familiar hairstyle and chicken legs of former Swan Districts wingman Brett Wolfenden are gracing C grade amateur football this season after four seasons in the WAFL.
Wolfenden, 23, joined his original club High Wycombe after a sometimes-brilliant WAFL career during which he polled well in the 2008 Sandover Medal in his first season, played for WA against South Australia in 2009 and played in Swan Districts’ 2010 premiership team.
He played serviceably for High Wycombe in their second semifinal loss at Bull Creek Leeming on Saturday.
No Jonathan Griffin, no Aaron Sandilands, no worries when it comes to East Fremantle’s ruck brigade for the finals series.
Underrated big men Russell Gabriel and Rob Young have proved more than capable at ruck contests and around the ground as they prepare to take on East Perth pair Paul Johnson and Zac Clarke in the first semifinal at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday.
Frankston recruit Gabriel was used in a variety of roles early in the season when Griffin was lining up for the Sharks.
The 23-year-old, who has played 17 of 20 games in his first WAFL season, has been used predominantly in the ruck since Griffin was called into the Fremantle side mid-way through the season.
Gabriel was one of the stars of the Sharks 54-point win against Peel at Bendigo Bank Stadium last Saturday.
Hard-running East Fremantle and West Coast wingman Bradd Dalziell, another of East Fremantle’s best against the Thunder, said Gabriel had provided plenty of opportunities for Sharks midfielders.
“Russ definitely had a big influence on the game,” Dalziell said.
“He gave us first use of the ball pretty much every time. He’s been pretty consistent this year but that was by far his best game.
“It was his standout game and what better time to do it…the last game of the season.”
It’s been a case of massive peaks and troughs for caretaker Peel coach Mark Moody in his 10 weeks in control of the Mandurah-based club.
South Australian Moody started as an assistant coach with the Thunder before being thrust into the senior role when Trevor Williams was sacked 12 games into the season.
Moody had a brief honeymoon period, Peel winning two of its first three games under his guidance, before there was a reality check.
First came a 34-point loss to Perth before consecutive thrashings against West Perth (100 points), Swan Districts (99 points) and Claremont (81 points).
A 52-point win against Subiaco in round 23 gave Moody hope and there were some encouraging signs against East Fremantle when they closed to within 18 points before the Sharks kicked clear late in the game to win by 54 points.
“It’s been an experience but I’ve loved it,” Moody said of his time in charge.
"I would have liked to have had a couple of different results. I think the last time we played East Fremantle they might have beaten us by 100 odd points so to get within 18 points of a top-three side was good.”
Relations between Perth and Swan Districts supporters hit a low as the two teams played out a tough contest on Saturday.
Tensions in the grandstand at Brownes Stadium, which had been simmering throughout the game, boiled over in the last quarter when a Perth goal that would have brought them within a goal of Swans was denied because young Eagle Murray Newman was felled off the ball.
The Demons’ faithful booed Newman as he came off under the blood rule in the wake of the incident, prompting a response from Swans fans.
With abuse flying back and forth, one Perth supporter told those wearing black and white to go and take some more Sudafed, which had the local crowd laughing, despite their side’s dire position.Not to be outdone, the Swans bit back saying it was time they got a new joke and inquiring as to what they would be doing next weekend because “we will be watching our team play”.