Legends unite to oppose alignments

Four of WA's Hall of Fame legends will take their concerns over the AFL-WAFL alignment model to the WA Football Commission tonight.

Barry Cable, John Todd and Bill Walker were part of the original group of WA football greats who feared the alignments would cause significant damage to the game and potentially erode West Coast and Fremantle's future success.

And Denis Marshall will join the group tonight when it tells the commission that the alignments should be abandoned before the end of the initial five-year period.

Fellow hall of famers Merv Cowan and Peter Tannock, both substantial administrators following league playing careers, have also added their weight to the powerful lobby group.

Former Swan Districts president John Cooper, the group's informal convener, said the commission's willingness to hear its arguments was pleasing.

"We are thrilled that they are prepared to talk to us," he said.

"I am not sure that anything will change at this stage, but we have the opportunity to expand on our original submission which argued that the alignments should come to an end before they do too much damage."

Sandover medallists Stephen Michael and Brian Peake, seven-times premiership winner Gerard Neesham, WAFL games record-holder Mel Whinnen and long-time sponsor Denis McInerney complete the group.

The 90-minute meeting will take place before tonight's annual football forum at Patersons Stadium when the game's primary stakeholders can express their views on the sport.

WAFC chief executive Gary Walton has previously said that changes to the model would be considered if an end-of-season review found sufficient grounds.

"We will undertake a full review of the partnering model at the conclusion of the 2014 season and determine the need for change if required," Walton said in March. East Perth and Peel are the two AFL host clubs and have experienced dramatically different success this season.

The Royals are on top of the ladder and fielded 11 West Coast players in their crushing win over Perth last Saturday.

Peel have won just one of their past 21 matches and this week will finish the round in last place for the 200th time in their barren 18-year history.

The Thunder, who were ahead of East Fremantle in the final quarter last Saturday before losing, later released a remarkable statement claiming they lost to a "star-studded" team despite their own "effective forward line and dominant midfield".

Peel had 16 current or former AFL representatives with 552 senior matches between them compared to the Sharks with eight players and 196 games.

"… the alignments should come to an end before they do too much damage." " Former Swan Districts president *John Cooper *

The West Australian

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