WAFC under siege over Peel stance
WAFC under siege over Peel stance

A core group of WAFL presidents want Peel Thunder and Fremantle threatened with sanctions to prevent AFL-listed players being held out of games at the last minute on match day.

The WA Football Commission has asked for a please explain from the Thunder and the Dockers after Kepler Bradley and Tom Sheridan did not arrive at Saturday's match against Subiaco at Medibank Stadium until midway through the second quarter.

Bradley and Sheridan had both been named as Fremantle emergencies and were late to the Peel game after being asked to warm up with teammates taking part in the western derby at Patersons Stadium. Peel subsequently started the league match with 20 players and lost by 26 points.

WAFC officials were urged to take a heavy-handed approach against similar acts at a heated council of presidents' meeting on Monday night, but the governing body stopped short of flagging sanctions.

Council chairman and West Perth president Brett Raponi said the league needed to do more than seek a verbal explanation.

"I don't think that's strong enough," he said. "I don't think it's good enough from the WA Football Commission.

"I think there needs to be some serious dialogue between the commission, Fremantle and Peel to assure the competition and its stakeholders that it won't happen again.

"It is personal and we expect the WAFC to react accordingly and address the situation."

West Perth were fined $7000 in 2012 after club figures, including coach Bill Monaghan, confronted umpires and East Perth players during a drawn derby at Arena Joondalup - a move Raponi said had proved a deterrent.

South Fremantle's Haydn Raitt said some club presidents were angry about the issue, which has fuelled tensions over the AFL alignment model.

"It makes a mockery of our competition," he said. "It's almost like it helps contrive the result."

WAFC chief operating officer Nick Sautner said the commission had sought clarification from Peel and the Dockers.

"Any challenges identified during the inaugural year of the WAFL partnering model will be assessed at the conclusion of the season in line with the WAFC's commitment to an annual review," he said.

Peel president John Ditchburn said it was a "one-off" and that the Thunder made their decision in consultation with Fremantle. He said only clubs in finals contention - who stood to lose from Subiaco's win - had voiced their disapproval.

Subiaco president Mark Lawrence said he had no issue with Peel starting the match two players short.

The West Australian

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