View Comments
WAFL clubs consider derby day changes
WAFL clubs consider derby day changes

At least one WAFL club will consider breaking with convention by scheduling its traditional WA Day derby on a different day to avoid a clash with the AFL.

West Coast will host Richmond in a night game at Patersons Stadium on the public holiday next year and State league clubs are concerned about the impact that fixture will have on attendances and profits.

Fremantle and Perth derbies on WA Day have been major sources of funds and exposure for WAFL clubs, with combined average crowds of more than 13,000 attending the two fixtures in the past seven seasons.

East Fremantle chief executive Adam Kelly wrote to AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson last week requesting a change to the AFL fixture in order to protect the WAFL clubs' interests.

He is yet to receive a response from Anderson and doesn't expect a positive outcome.

"I don't know what the outcome of all this will be but it's probably highly unlikely that they'll adjust their fixture now," Kelly said.

"Hopefully with continued lobbying this will be a one-off and it doesn't happen in the future."

Gate and bar receipts from East Fremantle's WA Day clashes with arch rivals South Fremantle had previously accounted for 50 per cent of their annual gate and bar takings, equating to at least $50,000 net profit.

The Sharks are due to host the Fremantle derby on WA Day next year and will not be moving the game from the first Monday in June.

But West Perth president Brett Raponi said his club would contemplate moving their next WA Day fixture at home, due to be played at Arena Joondalup in 2014, to a Friday night or Saturday.

"I think we'd have to," Raponi said.

Meanwhile, former Brisbane midfielder-defender James Hawks- ley has signed a two-year deal with Peel Thunder.

Hawksley was drafted in 2006 and returns to his original club after playing 32 games for the Lions.

Peel are also believed to be in talks with Swan Districts star Marlon Motlop, who could follow recently appointed Thunder coach Cam Shepherd out the door at Bassendean.

Claremont premiership hero Paul Medhurst has announced his retirement after 13 years of senior football.

The former Docker and Magpie played 16 games this year in his second stint with the Tigers.