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.

It was a frightening sight for any Claremont fans from the early 1980s who were at Steel Blue Oval for the top two clash last Saturday.

Swan Districts were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 1982 premiership which kicked off their hat-trick of flags under super coach John Todd.

Sixteen players from that premiership provided an inspirational honour guard for the current team while champion wingman Keith Narkle tossed the coin.

Greg Harding’s men did the right thing by overcoming the Tigers in an enthralling contest but don’t discount the influence of several of the WAFL’s most intimidating figures who were back at their old stamping ground.

There has been no more fearful WAFL player of the past few decades than big Ron Bouncer and while it is fair to say that there is now significantly more Roo than in his muscular playing days, his presence brought back chilling memories for the Tigers.

Boucher and his henchmen Bill Skwirowski, Brad Shine and Tony Solin were critical players when Swans beat Claremont in the first two grand finals of that hat-trick and all four were back together on Saturday.

They were joined by other ’82 winners such as defender Tom Mullooly, who also played Sheffield Shield cricket for WA, current West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg, dashing backman Peter Ware, rover Don Holmes who briefly held the Eagles goal-kicking record, Stan Nowotny and Ross Fitzgerald who is now a major club sponsor.


Swans triple-premiership ruckman Keith Slater has been keeping a close eye on the club’s young giant Wes Lammie and likes what he has seen in recent weeks.

“He used to float into ruck contests but he’s now charging into them,” Slater opined during the big match against Claremont.

“He could be the most important player in the finals.”

Lammie has freakish athletic ability – he ran a 16.2 beep test this year which puts him in elite company – and is probably the WAFL’s most improved player this season.


The action didn’t just take place on the field at Steel Blue.

There appeared to be a dust-up on the making at the interchange gates at one point in the match when the sheer volume of players going on and off the field meant the two team managers – Claremont’s Graham Mabbs and Swans’ Lloyd Lockhart – could not scribble numbers down quickly enough and were not able to supply accurate information to their opposite number.

It led to the pair having a lively exchange at half-time before they both acknowledged that their task was simply greater than one man could handle.

While the AFL is contemplating interchange numbers at 80 or 100 or 120, WAFL teams are regularly recording more than 140 interchanges a game which can make the recording process fairly shambolic.

And given that there is no penalty for players going onto the field several seconds before the resting player comes off, there often can be up to eight players on the field in the vicinity of the interchange area to confuse matters even more.


The dangers of erroneous paper work are everpresent but diligent fact checking has helped avoid a potential embarrassment this weekend.

Swans spearhead Ash Hansen was officially credited with 62 goals going into the last round, leaving him just four behind Ben Saunders whose season is over given that South Fremantle have a bye in the last round.

But The West Australian’s goal-kicking list had Hansen on 63.

Given that Hansen is expected to overcome hamstring tightness to play this week, it was crucial that the WAFL’s official Bernie Naylor Medal leaderboard was spot on.

The discrepancy was tracked back to the round 14 match against East Perth when Hansen kicked six goals but was only given credit for five.

A quick check of the team sheet from the game soon showed the error – an extra goal had been given to Murray Newman, who, it must be admitted, could hardly look less like a 200cm red-headed and freckled goal-kicking machine.


Is coleslaw corruption a festering sore in local government ranks?

Mayors, councillors and other local government identities are regular faces at WAFL clubs’ pre-match functions.

At eight WAFL clubs at least.

Good relationships between clubs and local authorities are vital given the numerous funding, planning, access and land use issues that are part and parcel of every season.

Club presidents invariably use the functions to thank their local council for their support while the clubs also use the events to showcase the significance of their role and standing in the local community.

Yet not all councils feel that way.

One local authority has banned its members from attending club functions because of the fear of the quid pro quo required in exchange for the free feed.

Give councillors free nosh and plonk and they might be tempted to give the club overly favourable treatment, the theory goes.

A club figure told Whispers that the policy was simply baffling and could not recall any advantageous decision-making when a previous generation of councillors were allowed to attend functions.

“Give them a slice or two of roast beef and a spoonful of coleslaw and they are corrupted immediately,” the official said.

“If it is that easy, I’m having a couple of councillors over to my place for a barbie so I can get my dodgy extention approved.”


Peel are the masters of versatility at their outstanding facility at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

A series of rooms used as offices during the week are converted into coaching and media boxes on match day.

The switch works very well though the thin walls means that sound travels easily.

Very easily actually, especially when it is projected by a coach made furious by a series of umpiring decisions that he considers to be killing his team.


West Perth’s board of directors looked very smart indeed at the start of the season, decked out in their matching club suits every Saturday.

But as has been the way with the Falcons on the field, the directors have gradually transformed into somewhat of a motley crew on game day.

No longer are club suits the attire of choice, though choice hasn’t really got much to do with it.

Word has it that West Perth president Brett Raponi is the only one who can actually squeeze into his suit after a long winter.

And the bourbon stains down the front of Raponi’s club shirt on Saturday night weren’t his fault.

Apparently someone bumped into the ex-player he was talking to at the post-game function, causing the offending pre-mixed drink to spill.

The West Australian

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