East Fremantle will consider shifting their base back to Fremantle Oval if the opportunity arises through the Dockers’ prospective move to Cockburn, but the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval remains the WAFL club’s priority.
The Sharks have set up a working committee with the Town of East Fremantle, WA Football Commission representatives and other groups using the East Fremantle Oval precinct, including bowls and croquet clubs.
The committee’s target is to have a firm plan in place for the redevelopment of the precinct by next October.
But East Fremantle chief executive Adam Kelly said the club would consider taking over some of the facilities that the Dockers will vacate in 2016 if they decide their future is in Cockburn.
The Sharks’ move would involve a ground-sharing arrangement with South Fremantle.
Kelly said the Sharks recognised an opportunity might arise but no formal talks had been held.
The Dockers, South Fremantle and City of Fremantle would have to be consulted about the Sharks’ potential move to Fremantle Oval.
“There would have to be a lot of discussion and investigation as to whether it’s a good option,” Kelly said. “We’d definitely look at what opportunities may present, but our focus at the moment is on the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval.”
East Fremantle spent nearly 60 years at Fremantle Oval after the club’s establishment in 1898.
They moved to their current base in the 1950s.Kelly said he was unsure how supporters would react to the idea of moving to what was now regarded by many as enemy territory.
He said the club’s members would be consulted.
“One thing that’s really important to us is we definitely would be asking our members,” Kelly said.
“We certainly wouldn’t be heading down a path without consulting our members.“I think our members just want what’s ultimately best for the club and if they were presented with an opportunity which they thought was best for the club moving forward, I’m sure they’d support whichever way the club wanted to go.”