Bulldogs fully supportive of Friday night football at Fremantle Oval

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 5:49 PM - by Chris Pike

FRIDAY night football matches at Fremantle Oval have become among the most popular fixtures in the WAFL in any season and the South Fremantle Football Club fully intends to continue them going forward.

South Fremantle has hosted its first two home matches of the 2014 WAFL season on a Friday night at Fremantle Oval against Perth and East Perth, and will also finish the year with Friday night matches against Subiaco and Peel Thunder, and is very happy to be doing so.
After having just one Friday night fixture in 2013, South Fremantle requested from the WAFL to have more scheduled in 2014 and is very happy with the resultant four games to be played under lights at Fremantle Oval.
The South Fremantle Football Club is firmly of the belief that players, members and supporters all alike are fully supportive of Friday night football at Fremantle Oval and all enjoy the experience immensely in particular when the weather is fine at the start and towards the end of the season.
The atmosphere at the night games is tremendous and it provides the option of a terrific night out for spectators with the heart of Fremantle just a minute's walk away plus with the facilities at Fremantle Oval offering food, drinks, coffee, ice cream and of course the bar.
"The club is looking forward to the night games at the end of the season," chief executive Stuart Kemp said.
"Our members and fans love coming down on a Friday night and enjoying themselves and we can’t wait for the two games fixtured against Subiaco and Peel.  Night footy is something different in the WAFL and it's here to stay. We will be working closely with the WAFC to schedule more in 2015."
The South Fremantle Football Club would like to clarify some claims in The West Australian today.
The club has received no negative feedback whatsoever about the lighting at Fremantle Oval with players, coaches, spectators and members of the media mentioning nothing whatsoever negative in regards to lighting for the night fixtures.
As president Haiden Raitt said, the request of night fixtures will again be reviewed for 2015 but with the overwhelmingly positive response from players, members and supporters, it is unlikely the Bulldogs will not be playing night games once again at Fremantle Oval in 2015.
South Fremantle vice-captain and 160-game veteran Craig White has played in numerous of those night fixtures at Fremantle Oval, and they too are among his highlights of any WAFL season.
"Night games at Fremantle Oval are great. As long as the weather is permitting and it's not freezing, the night games tend to work. They work well with the facilities upstairs, so the fans enjoy that part of it as well," White said.
"The players like it because you get an extra day's break and get to enjoy a Saturday afternoon which is rare during the footy season. The more we can play on a Friday night the better, but obviously we have to work in with the WAFL's fixturing and all of that.
"All the boys enjoy getting out there for a night game when the weather is good like it always is at this time of year. The lights are good, it's a quick ground and in dry conditions it's a really good night for the players out there, but the fans watching on also."
South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby is also firmly in favour of night football at Fremantle Oval.
"I was a little bit disappointed we only had one Friday night game last season so it's good to have a few more this year. It gives the opportunity for the players to have some weekends free and everyone loves playing under lights," Hasleby said.
"We normally get a good crowd down there on a Friday night in the middle of Fremantle Oval as well, so it's nice to have a few more games."
By Chris PikeFRIDAY night football matches at Fremantle Oval have become among the most popular fixtures in the WAFL in any season and the South Fremantle Football Club fully intends to continue them going forward.

South Fremantle has hosted its first two home matches of the 2014 WAFL season on a Friday night at Fremantle Oval against Perth and East Perth, and will also finish the year with Friday night matches against Subiaco and Peel Thunder, and is very happy to be doing so.

After having just one Friday night fixture in 2013, South Fremantle requested from the WAFL to have more scheduled in 2014 and is very happy with the resultant four games to be played under lights at Fremantle Oval.

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Round 4 Preview v Swan Districts

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 5:41 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle hits the road again after two straight Friday night matches at Fremantle Oval to take on Swan Districts this Saturday at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

The Bulldogs have opened the 2014 season with losses to Subiaco, Perth and East Perth so head to the Bassendean venue desperate to open their account with a victory.
Swan Districts, on the other hand, have opened its season with an 18-point loss to East Perth and then last week a 35-point victory over Peel Thunder at home.
South Fremantle also needs to get over a seven-game losing run against Swan Districts with the Bulldogs last win over the black-and-whites coming back in Round 5, 2011 at Steel Blue Oval by 24 points.
Swans have won the seven matches between the two sides since then by an average of over 27 points a game.
South Fremantle is still without AFL-experienced big man James Sellar due to a knee injury with Alistair Gillespie out suspended and Paul Mugambwa still on the sidelines with an injury as well.
The Bulldogs will need Brock Higgins to continue to step up in the ruck as he did up against Paul Johnson and Scott Lycett last Friday night for East Perth.
Josh Pullman and Ben Saunders will also need to make an impact up forward. The two key forwards have only kicked eight goals between them over the first three rounds, but are both capable of kicking big bags on their day.
The match will also be noteworthy as it will be Pullman's first game back at Steel Blue Oval against Swan Districts since he returned to the WAFL this year to play with South Fremantle after previously captaining Swans' colts to a premiership, and playing 23 league matches.
South Fremantle's key defenders such as Dylan Ross, Nick Borovac, Steve Mills and the recalled Zac Strom will also have their work cut out against Tony Notte, Tim Geappen and last week's eight-goal hero Ricky Cary.
However, if South Fremantle's midfield led by Ashton Hams, Ryan Cook, Haiden Schloithe, Tim Kelly, Jacob Martinez, Kris Miller, Shaun Bewick, Brendan Verrier and Steven Verrier, suddenly that becomes much less of a problem.
Adam McIntosh is also out of the Bulldogs team to take on Swan Districts with Toby Bairstow, James Laurino, Ben Sokol, Strom and Traye Bennell all in the mix to come in.
There is little reason for change for a Swan Districts team who has surprised many with its start to the season.
Many predicted Swan Districts to be the big sliders in 2014 with a host of key players leaving, but somebody forgot to tell the leaders remaining at Steel Blue Oval, and a strong band of youngsters coming through.
Swans opened their season leading East Perth for three quarters in Round 2 before losing by 18 points, and then after trailing Peel Thunder by 34 points early in the third quarter on Saturday, turned on some inspired and exciting football.
Swan Districts went on to kick 11 of the last 12 goals of the game to win by 35 points.
With Justin Simpson, Matt Riggio and Ryan Davis leading the way, Adam Faulkner, Kirk Ugle, Matt Rogers, Blaine Boekhorst and Nathan Blakely standing up, and Ricky Cary a surprise packet up forward, there is plenty of excitement around Bassendean for Swan Districts looking to the rest of 2014.
Swans coach Greg Harding has noted that South Fremantle can cough up some big scores, but knows it's not necessarily easy to take advantage of that.
"The key to exposing their back half is getting somewhere near them through the middle. We still see South Fremantle as having a wonderful midfield brigade with the likes of Cook, Schloithe, Miller and obviously Ashton Hams, and they are still one of the best midfields in the competition," Harding said.
"If they win it through there, you can't get enough inside 50s to test their back half. It has been documented that they have been coughing up lots of goals and they are a club who is 0-3, and when people start to write you off that can steel a playing group.
"They are going to be up for the fight and we need to get somewhere near them through the midfield, and if we can do that then I think the way our forward half is functioning with Tony Notte, Tim Geappen, Cary, Rogers, Aidan Anderson and Rogers, then I think we can have another really strong day."
RESERVES TEAM
T Bairstow, M Banks, T Bennell, M Bolger, S Borovac, M Carter, E Collard, A Collica, J D'Vauz, A Galliano, M Gundry, J Hall, L Harvey, C Hayden, K Hogan, T Kelly, J Louthean, L Lucev, S Mills, M Nicholson, N Olds, S Panizza, J Pantano, J Parry, J Sgherza, B Sokol, T Stewart, J Symmans, J Tartaglia, M Walley
COLTS TEAM
B Colbung, B Collier, J Culleton, J Depane, B Donaldson, B Fimmano, J Florenca, J Foster, M Grubelich, B Kersten, C Loersch, B Matera, J McComb, G McLeod, J McMaster, J Mirco, D Moore, A Nodari, L Pearson, C Salmon, N Strom, T Wheeler, S Williamson
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle hits the road again after two straight Friday night matches at Fremantle Oval to take on Swan Districts this Saturday at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

The Bulldogs have opened the 2014 season with losses to Subiaco, Perth and East Perth so head to the Bassendean venue desperate to open their account with a victory.

Swan Districts, on the other hand, have opened its season with an 18-point loss to East Perth and then last week a 35-point victory over Peel Thunder at home.

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Small Talk – Ashton Hams Column Round 3

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:22 PM - by Ashton Hams

THE thought of playing for East Perth this year was a big reason why I decided to retire from the AFL. I just love it at the South Fremantle Football Club too much.

I had the best of both worlds last year when I was coming back to play for Souths when I wasn’t at the Eagles which I really enjoyed doing, but this year I would have had to go back to East Perth when I wasn’t in the Eagles team and my heart would not have been in it.
To be honest, I would not have wanted to be out there in an East Perth jumper and I know I would not have enjoyed it. I couldn’t even stomach the thought of doing it to be honest. I have never liked East Perth. Even their supporters at times aren’t the best going around, so it wasn’t a hard decision in the end. Nothing would have made me playing for East Perth feel OK.
Looking at this year, it was in the back of my mind that the Eagles side would be hard to get into and I wasn’t able to play a full year in my four years there. It was always going to be hard to keep my spot so chances were that I might only play 10 or even less AFL games and then spend the rest of the time at East Perth. I couldn’t have done that.
I'm happy, though, with the four years I had in the AFL with the Eagles. It was an amazing experience and it is the best four years of my life so far. I learnt so much while I was there and yes it is intense and hard, but everyone dreams of playing AFL and I was lucky enough to get there, and play a few games. I was rapt to be part of it for four years.
I'm getting old now as well and realistically I probably only have two or three years of top-level football left in me so I wanted to make sure I was enjoying it wherever I was playing. I know I will enjoy it here with the young boys at South Fremantle and even though we haven’t had the best start, hopefully we win a few games and I get to play finals footy again.
We have had a massive turnover in players though. There's only myself, Kris Miller, Craig White and Paul Mugambwa left from our 2009 premiership team so I am trying to be a leader around the club. That has been a real challenge because I have never been a leader in my career before. We do have a very young group and even Cooky is still pretty young for a captain. It doesn’t help starting with three straight losses, but we can only improve from here and I'm sure we will learn a lot out of our last loss to East Perth. We will keep working hard and it will come together for us.
When I first got to West Coast, I found it very challenging adjusting to the full-time life after spending four or five years at Souths juggling footy with work and everything. The biggest adjustment was probably my diet. It was hard at first but it is such a good club with a rich history and there are always people there to help you out. You never felt alone and I would never take those four years back for anything. I just loved it.
Now after four years of being full-time in the AFL, it has been another big challenge getting used to life back in the WAFL. I still think I'm finding my feet trying to get the balance right with footy and work. WAFL footy is far from easy. It's three nights a week at the club, plus a game and it's a lot of hours and hard work. You still have to be fit and you can't play WAFL footy without being fit, you just can't get away it. I think I am slowly finding my feet, but a few wins would certainly help.
I actually think you spend a longer time training in the WAFL. You train for longer because it's not quite as intense. At the Eagles, we'd train for 30 minutes and it was just full on, but here you train for longer and you are on the oval for a lot more time. If you push yourself, it is quite hard and I am just trying to get my old body through.
Work-wise, Hase hooked me up with a job through his brother-in-law at Crommelin (www.crommelin.com.au) where we waterproof ceilings. So I'm doing a bit of sales and rep work there and I'm really enjoying it. It's a good company so if anyone needs any waterproofing or ceiling work, just get in touch. It is good in that I can work my own hours to fit with footy. I start early and finish a bit early so I can get to training so it's working out really well.
Knowing how tough playing WAFL footy is, it's so amazing seeing Kris Miller reach 300 games with his business and family on top of footy. You won't see anyone doing that again. It's just too hard. WAFL is becoming so demanding with your time and on your body. Millsy is just a genius and we are all shattered for him losing in his 300th game. He deserved us to win for him but unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line for him. It's still an incredible effort from him. 
By Ashton HamsTHE thought of playing for East Perth this year was a big reason why I decided to retire from the AFL. I just love it at the South Fremantle Football Club too much.

I had the best of both worlds last year when I was coming back to play for Souths when I wasn’t at the Eagles which I really enjoyed doing, but this year I would have had to go back to East Perth when I wasn’t in the Eagles team and my heart would not have been in it.

To be honest, I would not have wanted to be out there in an East Perth jumper and I know I would not have enjoyed it. I couldn’t even stomach the thought of doing it to be honest. I have never liked East Perth. Even their supporters at times aren’t the best going around, so it wasn’t a hard decision in the end. Nothing would have made me playing for East Perth feel OK.

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Colts Report - Round 3

Monday, April 7, 2014 - 4:16 PM - by Arthur Maskos

THE South Fremantle colts side continued to produce the goods with another win on Saturday against the rugged East Perth.

With two more debutants in Sandy Williamson and James McGuire standing in for more fancied state representatives, the side was able to produce a display that kept up the standards required.
An early arm wrestle resulted in a small advantage to the red and whites at the first two breaks.
Jacob Dragovich and Bill Collier held sway through the midfield and kept their side onto top in the tight contest.
Jarrod Garlett, Bailey Matera and Joel McComb ran hard to give their opponents all sorts of trouble and set up play for the South Fremantle team.
Jesse Mirco held firm in the back-line and continued his early season form and took out the best player award. 
It wasn't until the third quarter that South's superior skill and fitness started to take its toll on the East Perth youngsters. A more ferocious attitude in the tackling area from this point set up the game as the rampant South side dominated in all areas and ran away with the contest.
Cameron Loersch and Bill Frampton proved too tough to counter as they dominated the air contests and gave good targets up forward. Winners started to appear all over the ground as the skill level lifted and good quality ball use gave all players a chance to be involved.
Jack McMasters, Noah Strom and Braden Fimmano linked well in the back-line to hold the Royals to two goals in the second half.
Kade Stewart and Brandon Truss played well and enjoyed the open spaces to get the ball deep into the forward 50 where Callum Ah Chee, who just overcame sickness during the week, was able to weave his magic and cause all sorts or grief for the East Perth backmen.
This will test the depth of the colts squad with the state representatives leaving for higher duties.
Many opportunities open up for more youngsters to make their mark in the colts system at South Fremantle.
Arthur Maskos
SFFC Colts CoachTHE South Fremantle colts side continued to produce the goods with another win on Saturday against the rugged East Perth.

With two more debutants in Sandy Williamson and James McGuire standing in for more fancied state representatives, the side was able to produce a display that kept up the standards required.

An early arm wrestle resulted in a small advantage to the red and whites at the first two breaks.

Jacob Dragovich and Bill Collier held sway through the midfield and kept their side onto top in the tight contest.

Jarrod Garlett, Bailey Matera and Joel McComb ran hard to give their opponents all sorts of trouble and set up play for the South Fremantle team.

Jesse Mirco held firm in the back-line and continued his early season form and took out the best player award. 

It wasn't until the third quarter that South's superior skill and fitness started to take its toll on the East Perth youngsters. A more ferocious attitude in the tackling area from this point set up the game as the rampant South side dominated in all areas and ran away with the contest.

Cameron Loersch and Bill Frampton proved too tough to counter as they dominated the air contests and gave good targets up forward. Winners started to appear all over the ground as the skill level lifted and good quality ball use gave all players a chance to be involved.

Jack McMasters, Noah Strom and Braden Fimmano linked well in the back-line to hold the Royals to two goals in the second half.

Kade Stewart and Brandon Truss played well and enjoyed the open spaces to get the ball deep into the forward 50 where Callum Ah Chee, who just overcame sickness during the week, was able to weave his magic and cause all sorts or grief for the East Perth backmen.

This will test the depth of the colts squad with the state representatives leaving for higher duties.

Many opportunities open up for more youngsters to make their mark in the colts system at South Fremantle.

Arthur Maskos

SFFC Colts Coach

Entertainment Books

Sunday, April 6, 2014 - 3:33 PM

The SFFC Past Players and Officials will be selling Entertainment Books for 2014-2015. 20% of every membership sold contributes to our fundraising.

Orders can be placed online at https://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/orderbooks/912897a or a form can be collected from the Stephen Michael Room.

Books are $65.00 and offer a range of discounts including meals, accommodation, tourist attractions and discounts at retail shops just to mention a few.

For more information please contact Emmie Del Borrello on 0407 217 298 or emmiedb2@hotmail.com

Books will be available for collection on 3 May 2014 (just in time for Mother’s Day!) SFFC v Claremont game from the Stephen Michael room.

Bulldogs go down to Eagle-powered Royals

Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 4:11 AM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle has fallen to its third straight loss to open the 2014 WAFL season with a West Coast Eagles-strengthened East Perth cruising to a 75-point victory at Fremantle Oval on Friday night.

Coming off a 38-point loss in Round 1 to Subiaco in a game where South Fremantle had more possessions, inside-50 entries and shots on goal, and then in Round 2 led Perth by 44 points before losing by five, the Bulldogs had every reason to think a first win of 2014 was just around the corner.
However, East Perth had other ideas on Friday night at Fremantle Oval and with a team featuring 12 West Coast-listed players and another four players who have played AFL football, the Royals ended up winning 20.8 (128) to 8.5 (53).
It was a tough loss for the Bulldogs to take but they now have a chance to get on the board in 2014 next Saturday against Swan Districts at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval ahead of matches against West Perth, East Fremantle and Claremont before the Round 8 bye.
Former Eagle Ashton Hams did all he could against the side he would have been playing for had he not taken the decision to retire from the AFL at the end of 2013, and the dual South Fremantle premiership player finished with 33 possessions and nine clearances.
Haiden Schloithe also worked tirelessly in the Bulldogs midfield with 28 possessions, eight clearances and a goal with captain Ryan Cook finishing with 22 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and a goal.
Mitch Carter came in for his first league appearance of 2014 and did well off half-back with 20 disposals while fellow defenders Adam McIntosh (18 touches), Nick Borovac (13), Dylan Ross (13) and Craig White (13) did all they could while under-siege.
South Fremantle only managed to go inside-50 on 37 occasions so the forward-line was starved of opportunities, but Josh Pullman played his best game for the Bulldogs and kicked his first two goals for the club from 13 possessions and four marks.
With James Sellar out with a knee injury, former Royal Brock Higgins had a huge task coming up against Paul Johnson and Scott Lycett in the ruck, but battled manfully finishing with 15 possessions, 20 hit outs and seven inside-50 entries.
South Fremantle fans also would have had a difficult time watching dual colts premiership player Adam Carter also play well for East Perth with 23 possessions and nine marks.
The Bulldogs got off to a perfect start with captain Cook kicking the first goal of the game and in a scrappy opening quarter, East Perth held on to just a two-point advantage by quarter-time.
However, the Royals then kicked two goals in the first three minutes of the second quarter through Josh Smith and Lycett, and went on to add four more before half-time to lead by a comfortable 32 points at the main break with South Fremantle's only second term goal courtesy of a Schloithe snap.
It took just 30 seconds for the Royals to get on the board in the third quarter when Mitch Fraser kicked truly and when Lycett, Fraser McInnes and Josh Hill followed suit, East Perth's advantage was out to 51 points heading into time-on in the third term.
East Perth still led by 50 points at three quarter-time and despite two last quarter goals for South Fremantle to Pullman and another to Marlon Pickett with his first, and only, kick of the night, the Royals ran away with the contest with seven more goals of their own to run out 75-point victors.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.2 3.2 5.4 8.5 (53)
EAST PERTH 2.4 8.4 13.6 20.8 (128)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Pullman 2; Pickett, Saunders, B Verrier, Schloithe, Guglielmana, Cook.
Best: Hams, Schloithe, M Carter, McIntosh, Higgins, Borovac, Cook.
EAST PERTH – Goals: J Smith 4; Hill 3; Sheed, McInnes, Lycett 2; A Smith, Blee, Fraser, Wulff, Hutchings, Dobson, Butler.
Best: Wulff, Sheed, Hutchings, Anderson, Blee, Butler, Johnson, McGovern.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle has fallen to its third straight loss to open the 2014 WAFL season with a West Coast Eagles-strengthened East Perth cruising to a 75-point victory at Fremantle Oval on Friday night.

Coming off a 38-point loss in Round 1 to Subiaco in a game where South Fremantle had more possessions, inside-50 entries and shots on goal, and then in Round 2 led Perth by 44 points before losing by five, the Bulldogs had every reason to think a first win of 2014 was just around the corner.

However, East Perth had other ideas on Friday night at Fremantle Oval and with a team featuring 12 West Coast-listed players and another four players who have played AFL football, the Royals ended up winning 20.8 (128) to 8.5 (53).

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Round 3 Preview v East Perth

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 3:03 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle returns to Fremantle Oval for its second night game in seven days this Friday with a big task against an unbeaten East Perth, but with every confidence of getting its first win on the board for 2014.

The Bulldogs come into the Round 3 clash on Friday night after a 38-point loss to Subiaco and five-point defeat to Perth after leading by 44 points early in the second quarter in Kris Miller's 300th WAFL match.
Meanwhile, the Royals are unbeaten following wins over Peel Thunder and Swan Districts to open the season coming off last year's grand final appearance.
While overall over the past decade South Fremantle has generally enjoyed Friday night matches at Fremantle Oval winning 23 of the 35, recent years hasn’t been as kind to the Bulldogs under lights at the port.
Including last week's five-point loss to Perth, South Fremantle has lost its last five Friday night matches at Fremantle but have won three straight games on Saturday nights so winning under lights isn’t a concern.
South Fremantle has hosted East Perth five times in Friday night games as well with the Bulldogs winning all of them over the past decade.
And since the Royals ended the Bulldogs' 15-game winning run over South Fremantle in Round 9, 2012, East Perth went on to win three straight against South Fremantle won a high-scoring thriller by 12 points in Round 23 last year at Fremantle Oval.
South Fremantle's chances against East Perth won't be helped either with former AFL big man James Sellar ruled out with a knee injury.
He has played mostly in the ruck over the first two weeks and been in good form averaging 14.5 possessions and 29.5 hit outs game, but now his absence leaves a huge task for former Royal Brock Higgins in his third game for South Fremantle and first against his old side.
Higgins played 31 matches at East Perth over the last three seasons before crossing to South Fremantle over the summer and he now has the task of taking on Paul Johnson and Scott Lycett in the ruck on Friday night.
He will be supported by Alistair Gillespie who comes in for his first league game of the season to both back up Higgins in the ruck, and to also take the place up forward of Paul Mugambwa who has also been ruled out of the game after rolling his ankle last Friday night against Perth.
As well as Gillespie coming into the South Fremantle team to face the Royals, 90-game veteran Toby Bairstow, recruit Steve Mills and Mitch Carter are pressing for selection with Traye Bennell and Mitch Banks a chance to make their league debuts.
Meanwhile, East Perth welcomes back Mark Hutchings for his first game in Royals colours since Round 18, 2009.
He was drafted to St Kilda and then upon return signed with West Perth which culminated in winning the Simpson Medal in last year's grand final win over East Perth.
However, still listed at West Coast he returns to the Royals this year and will play his first match of the season on Friday night following a back injury.
Steven Wityk, Matt Gordon, Callum Hart, Julian Locantro and Will Magginness are all in the mix to come into the East Perth team too, but even though Lycett, Will Schofield and Dom Sheed have been named out, all are expected to still play for the Royals.
Hard-running wingman Steven Payne and outstanding lockdown defender Kyle Anderson also celebrate their 50th games for the Royals on Friday night.
RESERVES SQUAD
T Bairstow, M Banks, T Bennell, M Bolger, S Borovac, M Carter, E Collard, A Collica, J D'Vauz, A Gillespie, M Gundry, J Hall, L Harvey, K Hogan, J Laurino, J Louthean, L Lucev, K Matera, S Mills, M Nicholson, N Olds, S Panizza, J Pantano, J Parry, B Sokol, T Stewart, Z Strom, J Symmans, J Tartaglia, B Verrier, M Walley
COLTS SQUAD
B Colbung, B Collier, J Culleton, J Depane, B Donaldson, J Dragovich, B Fimmano, W Frampton, J Garlett, C Loersch, B Matera, J McComb, J Mcguire, G McLeod, J McMaster, B McPhail, J Mirco, D Moore, A Nodari, L Pearson, C Salmon, K Stewart, N Strom, B Truss, T Wheeler
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle returns to Fremantle Oval for its second night game in seven days this Friday with a big task against an unbeaten East Perth, but with every confidence of getting its first win on the board for 2014.

The Bulldogs come into the Round 3 clash on Friday night after a 38-point loss to Subiaco and five-point defeat to Perth after leading by 44 points early in the second quarter in Kris Miller's 300th WAFL match.

Meanwhile, the Royals are unbeaten following wins over Peel Thunder and Swan Districts to open the season coming off last year's grand final appearance.

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Bulldogs to make tweaks in search of first win

Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 6:10 PM - by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby is confident that with some fine tuning to the Bulldogs' discipline, ball use going inside-50, tackling and defensive structures that they can bounce back from two tough to swallow losses to open the 2014 WAFL season.

The Bulldogs came into 2014 expected to be one of the competition's big improvers having been out of finals action since 2011 with a combination of strong recruiting, key players returning and a strong group of young players ready to take the competition by storm.
However, things didn’t get off to the ideal start with a 38-point loss to Subiaco in Round 1 at Leederville's Medibank Stadium despite the Bulldogs having more possessions, inside-50 entries and shots on goal.
South Fremantle then started on fire last Friday night racing out to a 44-point lead early in the second quarter at Fremantle Oval against Perth in Kris Miller's 300th game of WAFL football.
However, the Demons eventually whittled down that deficit to end up winning by five points.
Hasleby isn’t hiding behind the fact that those two losses have been disappointing, but is confident of things turning around starting this Friday night back at Fremantle Oval against the so-far unbeaten East Perth. 
"It has obviously been disappointing results the first two weeks particularly on Friday night when we were up by over 40 points early on in the game," Hasleby said.
"That was very disappointing and a hard pill to swallow, but it's Round 2, we've played some good footy and been in winning positions so the boys have to keep on going forward, and the wins will come."
Last Friday night, Hasleby felt that one or maybe two more goals early in the second term when 44 points up and the game could have been over, but the Bulldogs couldn’t slam the door shut on Perth and that was after only managing nine goals from 65 inside 50s and 28 scoring shots against Subiaco.
"There are just times in games when we need a bit of composure and class. We had Perth on the ropes but couldn’t put them away in that second quarter when the game was there for us to take it away from them," he said.
"And in the first game, we went inside-50 65 times but they couldn’t execute on the scoreboard. We've had missed opportunities and when the opposition gets a run on, we need to improve and we have come up with a few strategies this week to try and remedy those situations."
Coughing up high tackles has always been an area of concern over the first two rounds and Hasleby hopes that is something they can quickly fix, especially with Ashton Hams in their team showing them how to draw high tackles.
"We just have to get smarter with the way we tackle. We have given away 12 goals over the first two games either from 50 metres or from poor tackling techniques," Hasleby said.
"We have done some work on that and the boys have to get a bit smarter and a lot of players are experts at drawing free-kicks from high tackles. We've got one of them in our own team called Ashton Hams and we have to get a bit smarter with the way we tackle the opposition."
Former Adelaide and Melbourne recruit James Sellar has started quite well in the ruck this season for South Fremantle, and Hasleby does expect to use him in different roles and not just in the middle as the year rolls on.
"We'll keep mixing it up with James. The great thing about him is that he has versatility and he can play in the forward-line to take a mark, can play in the ruck and he has spent the last couple of years as a key defender," he said.
"It will depend a bit on the situation of the game we are coming into, but he is a great asset for us to have and will only continue to get better. He has started off quite well, but I think he has a great upside."
Brock Higgins has been helping out Sellar in the ruck and finding his feet for the Bulldogs as he now prepares to play against his former team East Perth for the first time this Friday night.
Hasleby is confident the duo as a ruck pair will only continue to develop better relationships with the midfielders as the season rolls on as well.
"Brock hasn’t been too bad either. He and James complement each other and Brock is more of a grunter and gives us that physicality and hardness where James has the ability to spread and cut the opposition up a little bit more," Hasleby said.
"We are going to need both of them throughout the year and it's an area we identified we needed to improve in, and that's why we brought in so many tall players into our squad.
"As they develop more chemistry with midfielders like Cook, Hams, Kelly and Schloithe I think they are only going to get better with the centre bounce work."
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby is confident that with some fine tuning to the Bulldogs' discipline, ball use going inside-50, tackling and defensive structures that they can bounce back from two tough to swallow losses to open the 2014 WAFL season.

The Bulldogs came into 2014 expected to be one of the competition's big improvers having been out of finals action since 2011 with a combination of strong recruiting, key players returning and a strong group of young players ready to take the competition by storm.

However, things didn’t get off to the ideal start with a 38-point loss to Subiaco in Round 1 at Leederville's Medibank Stadium despite the Bulldogs having more possessions, inside-50 entries and shots on goal.

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Old Royal foe now a proud Bulldog

Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 3:51 PM - by Chris Pike

A FAMILIAR face has been running around the South Fremantle Football Club in 2014 in the form of former long-time East Perth captain and 171-game WAFL star Michael Swan, but it's not as a player and he is proud to join the Bulldogs given his family link to the club.

Swan retired from WAFL football after the 2013 grand final and finished his career with 170 WAFL games at the Royals including 90 as captain plus a Foxtel Cup appearance and one match for Western Australia.
That was after time in the VFL with Port Melbourne and AFL with the Sydney Swans.
After a glittering playing career, Swan wasn’t sure what the future held for him in football but did know that he wanted to dedicate plenty of time to further building his physiotherapy career.
When the opportunity came up to become the head physio for South Fremantle in 2014 it was something Swan was quick to accept especially with the chance to again work closely with Mike Vega, and to work at the club where his wife's grandfather is a legendary figure – Clive Lewington.
"In terms of not playing myself, I'm not missing it too much which is a good thing. I love being involved still in WAFL football especially here at the South Fremantle Football Club because I do have a bit of a family connection through my wife," Swan said.
"It's really good to be able to contribute to a footy club in a different fashion so I'm really enjoying the role as a physiotherapist down here at South Fremantle, and working with a new bunch of guys.
"They are a fantastic bunch of players and it's really good to try and facilitate their performance just by trying to help them with any injuries they might have. It is actually quite rewarding to treat a player and to get them back out on the field, and watch them perform as they should."
Swan knew that his tremendous playing career would always likely end at the end of the 2013 season, and that finish came in East Perth's grand final loss to West Perth.
The 32-year-old has been working hard on building his career as a physiotherapist and while down the track he would be ideally suited to coaching given the leadership he had at East Perth as a player, for now he would like to focus on building up his career.
"I hadn’t really thought too much about what I would do when I finished playing football. I did want to stay involved especially at WAFL level and I wanted to further my skills as a physiotherapist, and my career by taking up this role," he said.
"I potentially could have looked at coaching, but I thought that just at the moment I wanted to take a step back from the football side of things and focus on my career as a physio because that has been neglected a bit whilst I was still playing football. This has been very enjoyable so far and stressful at times."
On top of Swan's family link to South Fremantle through his wife, strength and conditioning coach Mike Vega is someone he worked closely with when they were together at East Perth, and he was keen to team up with him now to start his physio work inside a football club.
"He was definitely a big factor because he passed on my details to Gary Davidson (football manager) and Stuart Kemp (chief executive)," he said.
"We then sat down with them and I presented to them what I thought would be the best way for a WAFL physiotherapist and medical staff to be conducted. I've seen what is effective and what isn’t effective over the years so I drew on my experience to present to Gary and Stuart.
"So we spoke about a lot of different issues and I said that if I was going to do it, I had to be fully committed. To do it properly, I had to be here every night and be just as committed as the players or I wouldn’t provide an efficient service to the players."
Swan could have played many more than his eventual 171 WAFL games had it not been for injury troubles, particularly with his groins.
The experiences he went through helps him now treating players and it also helps them listen to him given he was one of the very best leaders in the WAFL throughout his career, one of the most intense competitors and most respected figures in the game.
"It definitely helps when players talk about symptoms and signs of a particular condition, quite often I have experienced that myself and that helps give me that insight as to what the actual injury is, and what they need to do to rehabilitate and the time frame of that injury," he said.
"I think the players are also a bit more receptive because they know I have been in their situation so they have been very respectful of my advice and treatment I give them."
Swan has had long-running battles with some of the South Fremantle players he is now working closely with, particularly Kris Miller and Craig White, but what has stood out to him about the inner workings of the Bulldogs is the similarities he sees with some of the characters from East Perth.
"Every football club tends to have a similar group of players, just with different names. I recognise a lot of similarities with players that I knew back at East Perth so it has been good from that point of view to see inside another football club. Some of the guys I played against tease me from time to time, but it's all in good jest and is good fun," Swan said.
"I remember playing on Kris Miller in my fourth or fifth game of WAFL football and he was very good with his body and skills even back then, and he always had skills and co-ordination. He was an outstanding player and still is, and for him to play 300 games of WAFL football is an achievement that I don’t think will ever be completed again.
"It's just a testament to himself and his family that he can perform at such a high level over so many years. The commitment it takes is huge and that support network for him must be outstanding so full credit to him and his full family. Craig White is a great leader around the club and is a really good bloke too."
Swan's wife Shannon also hasn’t given him a hard time about not taking a break from football after retiring at the end of 2013, and the fact that the intensity he played his career with isn’t needed now in his new role is certainly helping with that.
"She has been very, very supportive because in this role I don’t have the same social constraints as when I'm playing," Swan said.
"So in terms of dietary requirements and just being able to go out the night before a game and catching up with friends or having a drink with dinner, we can do that and I don’t have to be in bed.
"Psychologically I was quite intense when I used to play so from that side of it I have been a lot more relaxed around the house, and have probably been contributing around the house with the chores as well because I haven’t been as physically tired."
However, the news isn’t all good for Swan. He and Shannon took the chance to go on a holiday to North America over the Australian summer, and he was excited to see snow and go skiing for the first time.
However, that excitement was short-lived after he crashed while skiing, injured his knee and has now had to undergo a knee reconstruction. Despite the long list of injuries throughout his playing career, it is the first time he has had any knee problems.
By Chris PikeA FAMILIAR face has been running around the South Fremantle Football Club in 2014 in the form of former long-time East Perth captain and 171-game WAFL star Michael Swan, but it's not as a player and he is proud to join the Bulldogs given his family link to the club.

Swan retired from WAFL football after the 2013 grand final and finished his career with 170 WAFL games at the Royals including 90 as captain plus a Foxtel Cup appearance and one match for Western Australia.

That was after time in the VFL with Port Melbourne and AFL with the Sydney Swans.

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Colts Report Round 2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 5:45 PM - by Arthur Maskos

This Colts season has started in promising fashion as the South Fremantle youngsters have shown good early form to record two wins in as many weeks. After overrunning a valiant Subiaco side in week 1 the colts easily accounted for a  young Perth colts team on Saturday.

Lead by recently appointed Captain Brad McPhail the players were able to assert their superior strength and skill to force Perth onto the back foot early, from which they found it very difficult to recover. It was pleasing to see players like Bill Collier, Noah Strom and Jack McMaster continue their  good preseason form in the backline. They were ably assisted by the dominant tall brigade in Bill Frampton, Cameron Loersch and Matthew Ah Siu.

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