The West

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.

Is Jack Anthony’s football future in maroon and gold?

The much-maligned Docker was placed at Subiaco when he was recruited last year and produced one of his best games at both AFL and WAFL levels last Saturday with an excellent defensive job on East Perth forward Adam Prior.

Anthony has a three-year deal at Fremantle but he has had limited success at the Dockers and don’t be surprised if the club decides to pay out the final year of a contract understood to be worth $300,000 annually.

Subi and Anthony would then have to decide whether they remain together.

Anthony is understood to like the Perth lifestyle and is keen to stay here but he would also attract a hefty whack under the WAFL player points system if he was to stay.

One club where he would not be likely to end up is East Perth.

The Royals faithful gave Jack a tough time on Saturday and he responded at one point with a sneaky finger signal that probably would have got him a $2000 fine in the AFL.

Talking of crowd abuse and Swan Districts have refuted the widespread belief that their supporters are not the most clued-up fans going around and simply emerge from the hills on match day to give the umps a hard time.

While West Perth fans often demonstrate their respect for the umps by showering them with money, the Bombo Valley dwellers have used a fair bit more acid in their analysis of the officials.

In fact, the language got so blue that Swans were told that their fans would have to tone it down somewhat or the club would cop a hefty fine.

Swans went to the group responsible recently and explained that a change of terminology would be required if they didn’t want to cause significant financial heartache to a club that had reported a massive loss last year and was also facing a salary cap probe.

The result? The word “abuse” was designated as a catch-all phrase for the crowd to use to describe any anti-Swans umpiring decision.

That’s why “Abuuuuuuuse” sometimes echoes across Basso and Swans are in no danger of being lumbered with a hefty bill.

Sports administrators who can generate copious tears and the threat of legal action with the one decision have to be admired for their creativity if not their commonsense.

That was the case at the WA Women’s Football League last week where the board’s bizarre decision to relegate one team midseason and replace them with a team from a lower grade almost lead to Supreme Court action.

There were no winners in the event though it may have positive consequences if the incident sparks the league into generating sensible rules and regulations to govern future team movements.

The affair started when the WAWFL decided to promote reserve team Claremont Piranhas into the league to replace the SNESA Angels who were battling at the bottom of the ladder.

The Piranhas won eight of their first nine matches and had a percentage of 1144 percent while the Angles had one win and a barely believable percentage of 9.39.

The Piranhas didn't want to move but the WAWFL board insisted the unpopular swap would take place, prompting legal threats and the eventual involvement of the WA Footy Commission.

While the commission has enough issues on its hands with the bolshie WAFL clubs refusing to bow to the wishes of West Coast and Fremantle over reserves teams and the need to clarify WA footy’s funding model once the Burswood stadium is up and running, the WAWFL cat fight must have seemed like one scrap too many.

Enter white knight Grant Dorrington.

The WAFC competitions director is a gnarled veteran of footy brawls and it didn’t take him long to pour oil on the teary waters by getting all parties to arbitration where the sensible and only possible solution was quickly handed down – the two teams will remain where they are for the rest of the season and a re-grading will occur next year.

Dorro might have done himself a disservice though if he is looking for a lighter workload – the WAWFL may be forced to appoint him patron, president and director of commonsense next year.

Whispers reported last week that South Freo boss Brian Ciccotosto was on his farewell tour and, after an incident involving a Bulldogs blazer and an overly officious doorman at the ground in 1970, would darken Claremont’s door for the first time in 42 years.

Cicco was welcomed warmly at the Tigers lunch on Sunday and was even presented with a bottle of Scotch in tribute for his efforts over many decades in the game.

And, funnily enough, it didn’t take much persuasion for the Bulldog to say a few words which soon developed into a wide-ranging take on all matters WAFL.

Cicco did reveal that he nearly played at Claremont after Ben Cook, whose name is recognised on the club’s best and fairest award and was a lecturer at Claremont teachers colleage where the young footballer was attending in 1966, put the hard word on him to shift clubs.

“All I can say is ‘Thank Christ I didn’t come’” Cicco said, prompting an immediate response from a distant table at the packed lunch: “Hear, hear!”

“That would have to be Okey,” Cicco hit back though Claremont legend John O’Connell later denied he was the culprit.

Still, Cicco confirmed that he had enough material and timing to make a fair fist of things if he wanted to go onto the stand-up comedy circuit

The West Australian

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