The West

Pennants aplenty for talent-rich footy club
Flag-winning players Jarrod Leader, Logan Wake, Cameron Grundy, Jack Wright and Mitchell Wake. Picture: Sharon Smith, The West Australian

Is this the most successful football club in the country?

It has produced two Brownlow medallists, a NAB Rising Star, a handful of other AFL players and a clutch of WAFL footballers.

And now the Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club has had one of its best weekends.

All the club's teams made grand finals in the five East Fremantle junior grades and by Sunday night had come home with four flags.

It is an unprecedented achievement, according to WAFL manager of junior football Troy Kirkham.

"I've never before heard of it in a finals series," he said.

Bullcreek is most famous for producing Brownlow medallists Ben Cousins and Simon Black.

Black won his Brownlow the same year (2002) that he collected the Norm Smith Medal (best on ground in a grand final) for Brisbane and ranks in the top 10 all-time Brownlow vote getters.

Add Rising Star Rhys Palmer and AFL players Brad Dodd, Jonathan Hay, brothers Josh and Matthew Carr, Garrick Ibbotson and Jacob Brennan and it is easy to see why the club is so lauded.

Now it has added four flags from the under-14s, 15s, 16s and 17s, with only the under-13s coming up short in the last game of the season.

Success is a combination of great coaching and a strong district providing tight competition, says Stuart Buckby, who is in his first year as club president.

With 231 Auskick participants and 326 registered players starting from the age of eight, the club is run by an active committee of 13 and more than 100 volunteers.

"Our focus is on fairness, fun and player development," Mr Buckby said. "Sides will reflect their coaches' attitudes and behaviours.

"It is important that coaches support both ends of the talent spectrum to keep players in the game.

"The highly talented players will hopefully be guided through the pathway to find the highest level of football they can achieve. Those who have a simple love of football will be the ones who will invariably run clubs some time in the future."

The players celebrated their success with soft drinks and ice-cream.

"There were a few sick notes for Monday handed out to schools on Tuesday," Mr Buckby said.

The West Australian

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