The West's WAFL team look at all the news from around the State league.

The West's WAFL team look at all the news from around the State league.

The dogs are barking long and hard about Chris Waterman leaving Subi and setting sail for West Coast next season.

The only problem is that Muddy, who won two flags at the Eagles and has a one-year option to remain at the helm of the Lions, reckons he’s not going anywhere.

“I’ve been in the AFL system and I’m not going back,” Waterman whispered this week.

“Someone sees me having a coffee with (Eagles CEO) Trevor Nisbett, they put two and two together and unfortunately come up with seven.”

Yet while Waterman looks set to stay at Subi, don’t be surprised if one or two current WAFL coaches look long and hard at the vacant Peel job.

Peel president John Ditchburn has made it clear that the Thunder want an experienced coach next year, which effectively rules out caretaker Mark Moody despite his successful start with two wins out of three games in charge since Trevor Williams was sacked.

Peel have been the basket case of the WAFL for just about every one of their 15 years but there are a few astute judges who reckon their playing list could be going places in the next couple of years.

One canny observer summed it up recently when he said the combination of current and future AFL allocated players, a group of hardened locals and a sprinkling of smart recruits could make the Thunder highly competitive next year.

Their lowly finish this season means they could pick up another two AFL draftees to join Fremantle’s Peter Faulks, Jesse Crichton, Viv Michie and Tom Sheridan and Eagles Blayne Wilson and Scott Lycett as regular WAFL players in 2013.
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And talking about unusual coaching moves, Whispers has heard that a recent motivational attempt did not go down that well with a coach’s young players.

The unnamed coach wanted to inspire his troops and, during a midweek session, used the theme of a surfer catching a wave and riding the momentum to shore to describe what he wanted from his charges.

So far, so normal.

Yet when the game came around, it seems the coach decided to extend the surfing theme into his match-day instructions.

He donned surf gear from head to foot, with a Hawaiian shirt, board shots and thongs being complemented by a thick smear of zinc on his nose and cheeks.

While his own players were simply puzzled by the grommet get-up, it seems the opposition found it not only highly amusing but used it to make them even more determined to make sure they won the encounter.
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The $100,000 Perth raised at their recent banquet auction might have come with a subtle up-yours to a senior WA footy official.

It seems the man from headquarters had mentioned to a rival club that the Demons were in such strife that their 112-year history was at risk and they might not be around next year.

It took about two-and-a-half minutes for that comment to get back to Perth where staff were infuriated but were soon distracted by the task of counting the piles of shekels pouring in from their auction.

One individual even chipped in more than $25,000
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Spotted: WA footy legend Jack Sheedy wandering in late at Shark Park last Saturday to see the end of the match between his two WAFL teams.

“I had a horse running this arvo and thought I’d drop in to the footy on the way home,” he said.

“I’m going to be happy no matter who wins.”

Yet we suspect that Bible Jack might have been slightly more satisfied that his original WAFL club East Freo got up over his later one in East Perth.
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One of the highlights at East Fremantle was the 20-year reunion of the club’s 1992 colts premiership.

It was a stellar team that included future Fremantle captain Shaun McManus, Sandover Medallist Jeremy Wasley and well-travelled goal-kicker Chris Maguire, as well as a handful of other graduates to league ranks.

The team was coached by Ross Keegan, who reminded the Sharks faithful of his battle to convince Henry McManus to allow his 16-year-old son Shaun to play.

“Henry was worried that Shaun was too small and would get hurt,” Keegan recalled.

“I said to him: ‘Henry, he’s too quick and too good. No one is going to be able to catch him'.

“As it turned out, we convinced Henry and so Shaun played, starred at the Teal Cup, came third in our best and fairest and won a flag.”

Keegs also brought the house down when he spotted his former charge Rick Mundy in the past player group.

Mundy was a disciplined but limited player who was rewarded for his unwavering commitment with one league game in 1994.

He has also looked after himself so well that he looked ready to run out in the seniors nearly two decades after that sole appearance.

Keegan had the crowd in stitches when he suddenly pointed to the former player: “Have a look at Rick Mundy. He looks good enough to root!”
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There was also plenty of humour – though no one was laughing too heartily - in the dying stages of the neighbouring match at Fremantle Oval where West Perth hung on to deny South Fremantle their second fairytale win this season.

Laugh one: Falcons defender Steven Browne had a brain explosion in the tense final moments as he prepared to kick in after a point before deciding to handball out of the square to a teammate.

Laugh two: Then South’s Paul Mugambwa missed a set shot from about 10m out that would have got his team back within five points with eight minutes to play.

Laugh three: And umpire Ryan Shelton got into the act by calling a holding the ball decision in South’s favour so late that the nonplussed Bulldogs had already shovelled the ball forward and into trouble which the ump decided was actually to their advantage.
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One West Perth stalwart not laughing too much was club historian Brian Atkinson, who some Falcons suspect was not only following the blue and red when they were known as Cardinals but even earlier than that when they were Metropolitans.

Atkinson rarely misses a match but after driving around Fremantle for most of the first quarter in a vain hunt for a parking spot, he decided to head back to the northern suburbs to watch the game on the box.

Maybe he should have followed the lead of former coach John Dimmer, who had stints at both West and South.

JD was a man of the people and often hopped on the train to get to and from matches where he would field questions and sift through coaching tips from West Perth fans and opposition supporters alike.

They might have helped too – after all, he won two flags each with West Perth and South Fremantle.
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There is nothing like a Royal scorned and there are few more loyal than dual Sandover winner Peter Spencer.

The gutsy rover now goes in hard for ABC radio where his fellow callers, as well as other neighbouring media types in the Merv Cowan Stand, found it hard to keep a straight face as Spanner struggled to contain himself at East Perth’s inept display against the Sharks.

While the expressive but painful body language could not be portrayed on the wireless, no listener was in any doubt about Spencer’s anguish when he urged Royals coach Tony Micale to drag the statuesque Zac Clarke (as in motionless) and give him a stern reminder of his responsibilities to the team.

The West Australian

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