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Chewin' the Fat – Kris Miller column August 29

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 12:34 AM

THE WAFL is a fantastic competition and it has obviously been around for a long time and it has changed a lot over the last 25 years with the AFL kicking in, but in terms of its position in the state as a feeding competition it is hugely important.

It is a competition that I don’t think anyone would let dwindle. People can say it's struggling here and there, and whilst the AFL is the strongest sport in Australia, the second-tier competitions will never dwindle out because even the AFL knows how important they are.
It is probably even more important for the blokes who won't get to play in the AFL. It gives them a chance to play in a competition where your commitment is the biggest factor in you succeeding or not. You don’t need that commitment in the country or amateurs. We have 40 or 50 blokes at training every night, we have good facilities, we have physios and trainers here every night and you wouldn’t get that anywhere else below the AFL except in the WAFL in Western Australia.
From a playing perspective, I see that the competition is in a really good position but I wouldn’t have a clue from an administration point of view how hard it is to tap into the corporate dollar. From a playing perspective and a spectator's point of view, I think the competition is as good as it's been for a fair while though.
Whether I'm slowing down or not I don’t know, but it definitely seems like the game in the WAFL is a lot faster now than what it was when I first started when blokes would sit on the bench for three quarters and then come on and play in the last quarter. Now you come on in the first five minutes if you start on the bench so the amount of rotations has helped to speed the game up quite a bit.
Another big change in my time has been that you just don’t have the same amounts of senior players sticking around the club than there was back then but I think that is a bit of a reflection on society as well. Young kids tend to want things easier and easier these days and they aren’t as prepared to work hard for things as we were brought up to do. Even the generation before me, they had a totally different attitude to things where they persisted until they couldn’t give anymore but now if things don’t happen for young blokes straight away a lot of them don’t stick it out.
That is probably part of the reason why you don’t have a heap of senior players hang around clubs these days. A lot of guys might stay for a couple of years and as soon as it gets a bit harder or they get dropped or something, and they just disappear and give up.
The most important thing at WAFL level to maintain the players at the club, and not let them walk away just because things get a bit hard. I think sometimes the players get undervalued and forgotten when they are actually the club's greatest asset. People think that there are a lot of other people and factors more important than players, but at the end of the day without players there'd be no club. A club would survive for a year without a coach, CEO or doctor but they wouldn’t survive without players. That can get lost in translation sometimes and the club that can maintain the most senior players will end up coming out on top eventually.
When it comes to your coach, the most important thing is the way they manage people at this level. You have to man manage 50 or 60 who all have different jobs and lives away from the club, but if you are able to do it you are a long way ahead of the game. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do and you still are never going to please everyone, but if most players are enjoying being here and want to stay then I really think the rest takes care of itself. WAFL players need to have enormous commitment and dedication so if a coach can keep them happy, then he's done half his job. 
Without a doubt, John Dimmer is the best man manager as a coach I've played under and as a result he is the one I have had the most team success under as well. He really did keep things very simple but he also put a lot of trust in us senior players. If you had work commitments or couldn’t train for some reason, he would never question your commitment or anything like that and you get to a point where you just never want to do the wrong thing by him because of the trust he has put in you. No one wanted to let him down and that trust between him and his players was a big reason why he was so successful.
There is a lot of talk with the alignments next year that will come into play and I think they will have a fair impact on the competition, but it will come down to when you play a side and what sort of AFL players they have available. You might play Peel one week with all their Dockers players available so they will be a very good, but then another side might play them the next with no Fremantle players available and they could be a terribly weak side. In terms of that, it will have a big impact because you might play East Perth and Peel at full strength and another team might play them when they are weakened.
East Perth might be a bit different, but Peel will be very up and down dependant on their Dockers players. They could be very strong one week and very weak the next because I don’t think they will have the depth to be strong without their Fremantle players. If they can't have the depth there this year when it's not a full alignment, then next year is going to be a lot worse I would think.
The thing with East Perth back in the early 2000s, and I was at East Fremantle when we played them in the 2000 grand final when they won their first premiership, was that their strength was actually their senior players not the Eagles ones. They had Devan Perry, Rod Wheatley, Jeremy Barnard, David Swan, Ryan Turnbull and all those guys so that was their strength and then they had these young Eagles players who were top up to that. It was East Perth's core group who won them those flags and they also had some good young Eagles blokes to help out, but they had that stability of a core group so they didn’t rely on any AFL players to be their best players every week.
That's why I think East Perth will be better off than Peel next year if their senior guys like Johnson, Smith, Swan, Wulff, Seal and those types all play on. They will be a terribly difficult side to beat next year because they are a good side now this year and they only had two West Coast Eagles players against us on the weekend so they could have a side similar to the early 2000s if they were able to keep a lot of those senior players.
Off the field, things at the club have changed a lot over my career. Now there is a lot more emphasis on GPS and these sorts of things that weren’t available before. I wore one once and I blew it up, they weren’t able to actually get the data off it. I cooked it. Things like a GPS can't measure effort or commitment or desire or even your ability to find the footy, and there are more important things than how far you run. If you have that competitive desire, that will get you a lot further than winning a running race as such. There are a lot of fit people out there who wouldn’t be able to play good WAFL footy so all that sports science is nowhere near as important as people are making out.
By Kris MillerTHE WAFL is a fantastic competition and it has obviously been around for a long time and it has changed a lot over the last 25 years with the AFL kicking in, but in terms of its position in the state as a feeding competition it is hugely important.

It is a competition that I don’t think anyone would let dwindle. People can say it's struggling here and there, and whilst the AFL is the strongest sport in Australia, the second-tier competitions will never dwindle out because even the AFL knows how important they are.

It is probably even more important for the blokes who won't get to play in the AFL. It gives them a chance to play in a competition where your commitment is the biggest factor in you succeeding or not. You don’t need that commitment in the country or amateurs. We have 40 or 50 blokes at training every night, we have good facilities, we have physios and trainers here every night and you wouldn’t get that anywhere else below the AFL except in the WAFL in Western Australia.

From a playing perspective, I see that the competition is in a really good position but I wouldn’t have a clue from an administration point of view how hard it is to tap into the corporate dollar. From a playing perspective and a spectator's point of view, I think the competition is as good as it's been for a fair while though.

Whether I'm slowing down or not I don’t know, but it definitely seems like the game in the WAFL is a lot faster now than what it was when I first started when blokes would sit on the bench for three quarters and then come on and play in the last quarter. Now you come on in the first five minutes if you start on the bench so the amount of rotations has helped to speed the game up quite a bit.

Another big change in my time has been that you just don’t have the same amounts of senior players sticking around the club than there was back then but I think that is a bit of a reflection on society as well. Young kids tend to want things easier and easier these days and they aren’t as prepared to work hard for things as we were brought up to do. Even the generation before me, they had a totally different attitude to things where they persisted until they couldn’t give anymore but now if things don’t happen for young blokes straight away a lot of them don’t stick it out.

That is probably part of the reason why you don’t have a heap of senior players hang around clubs these days. A lot of guys might stay for a couple of years and as soon as it gets a bit harder or they get dropped or something, and they just disappear and give up.

The most important thing at WAFL level to maintain the players at the club, and not let them walk away just because things get a bit hard. I think sometimes the players get undervalued and forgotten when they are actually the club's greatest asset. People think that there are a lot of other people and factors more important than players, but at the end of the day without players there'd be no club. A club would survive for a year without a coach, CEO or doctor but they wouldn’t survive without players. That can get lost in translation sometimes and the club that can maintain the most senior players will end up coming out on top eventually.

When it comes to your coach, the most important thing is the way they manage people at this level. You have to man manage 50 or 60 who all have different jobs and lives away from the club, but if you are able to do it you are a long way ahead of the game. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do and you still are never going to please everyone, but if most players are enjoying being here and want to stay then I really think the rest takes care of itself. WAFL players need to have enormous commitment and dedication so if a coach can keep them happy, then he's done half his job. 

Without a doubt, John Dimmer is the best man manager as a coach I've played under and as a result he is the one I have had the most team success under as well. He really did keep things very simple but he also put a lot of trust in us senior players. If you had work commitments or couldn’t train for some reason, he would never question your commitment or anything like that and you get to a point where you just never want to do the wrong thing by him because of the trust he has put in you. No one wanted to let him down and that trust between him and his players was a big reason why he was so successful.

There is a lot of talk with the alignments next year that will come into play and I think they will have a fair impact on the competition, but it will come down to when you play a side and what sort of AFL players they have available. You might play Peel one week with all their Dockers players available so they will be a very good, but then another side might play them the next with no Fremantle players available and they could be a terribly weak side. In terms of that, it will have a big impact because you might play East Perth and Peel at full strength and another team might play them when they are weakened.

East Perth might be a bit different, but Peel will be very up and down dependant on their Dockers players. They could be very strong one week and very weak the next because I don’t think they will have the depth to be strong without their Fremantle players. If they can't have the depth there this year when it's not a full alignment, then next year is going to be a lot worse I would think.

The thing with East Perth back in the early 2000s, and I was at East Fremantle when we played them in the 2000 grand final when they won their first premiership, was that their strength was actually their senior players not the Eagles ones. They had Devan Perry, Rod Wheatley, Jeremy Barnard, David Swan, Ryan Turnbull and all those guys so that was their strength and then they had these young Eagles players who were top up to that. It was East Perth's core group who won them those flags and they also had some good young Eagles blokes to help out, but they had that stability of a core group so they didn’t rely on any AFL players to be their best players every week.

That's why I think East Perth will be better off than Peel next year if their senior guys like Johnson, Smith, Swan, Wulff, Seal and those types all play on. They will be a terribly difficult side to beat next year because they are a good side now this year and they only had two West Coast Eagles players against us on the weekend so they could have a side similar to the early 2000s if they were able to keep a lot of those senior players.

Off the field, things at the club have changed a lot over my career. Now there is a lot more emphasis on GPS and these sorts of things that weren’t available before. I wore one once and I blew it up, they weren’t able to actually get the data off it. I cooked it. Things like a GPS can't measure effort or commitment or desire or even your ability to find the footy, and there are more important things than how far you run. If you have that competitive desire, that will get you a lot further than winning a running race as such. There are a lot of fit people out there who wouldn’t be able to play good WAFL footy so all that sports science is nowhere near as important as people are making out.

By Kris Miller

Round 24 Preview v Perth

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 8:25 PM

SOUTH Fremantle is aiming to continue its strong late season form heading to Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday to take on a Perth team who hasn’t been able to capitalise on an outstanding start to 2013.

South Fremantle and Perth's seasons have followed opposite paths with the Bulldogs having a horror start but now finishing strongly while the Demons started tremendously before now finishing off in disappointing fashion.
The Bulldogs lost their first seven games of the season before breaking through with a win over Peel in Round 9. South Fremantle then scored a tremendous Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle two weeks later, but then again went on another four-game losing run.
However, South Fremantle has now found some outstanding and exciting form for the future with a 39-point win over West Perth in Round 18, eight-point win over Subiaco in Round 20, 93-point thumping of Peel in Round 22 and then last Saturday's impressive 12-point win over East Perth.
That means that South Fremantle has now won its last three games and four of its last five heading into Saturday's clash with Perth, but the Demons' season has headed in the opposite direction.
Perth started the season in exciting fashion winning its first three games and five of its first seven with the only two losses being by under a goal in thrillers against East Fremantle and Claremont.
The Demons lost three straight games between Rounds 10 and 13, but then bounced with four wins in five matches to again look set for a first finals campaign since 1997.
However, since Perth has lost to East Fremantle by 28 points in Round 20, by 60 to West Perth in Round 21, 48 to East Perth in Round 22 and then by 21 points last Saturday against Claremont to have now fallen to a 9-10 record.
The Demons and Bulldogs have met twice so far in 2013 with Perth winning two tight affairs – the first one by 13 points in Round 3 at Brownes Stadium and then the return clash by 10 points at Fremantle Oval in Round 15.
In that last meeting, Perth kicked the last two goals to win the game after South Fremantle appeared set to record the win when in front during time-on.
If Perth hoped to bounce back from a disappointing finish to the season and get a win at home in the final round, then it hasn’t been helped both at selection and with the fact that an in-form South Fremantle is coming to Lathlain looking to keep its own winning run continuing.
Perth loses four key players from the side that went down to Claremont last Saturday with ruckman Mitchell Lleyendekkers, centre half-forward Fraser McInnes, dangerous forward Simon Tunbridge and classy midfielder Jarryd Morton all out of the line-up for the Demons.
A host of players are looking to come into the Perth side for its last game of 2013 led by Jackson Sketcher who racked up 40 possessions in the reserves last week.
Joel Kalajzic, Christian Eyres, Mark Deaves, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt and Daniel O'Sullivan are the other players look to earn a spot in the Perth side.
South Fremantle's hopes of finishing the season with a fourth straight win have received a massive boost at selection with West Coast's Ashton Hams to return.
Last time he played for the Bulldogs was two weeks ago against Peel when he kicked six goals with 31 possessions while averaging 25 disposals in his eight games for the Bulldogs this season while also kicking 22 goals.
Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe does go out for South Fremantle, though, after injuring his ankle in the dying stages of last Saturday's exciting win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval.
Experienced duo Toby Bairstow and Reece Adams, and Mitch Carter and Kaiden Matera are all trying to earn a spot in the South Fremantle league team for the last game of 2013 as well.
Veteran South Fremantle forward Paul Mugambwa knows it's crucial for the Bulldogs to continue their strong recent form now on Saturday.
"It's 100 per cent crucial that we finish off strongly against Perth," Mugambwa said.
"We're not taking anything lightly and to our credit we knew six weeks ago that we weren't going to play finals and we could have flown the white flag, but we are set on finishing strong and hopefully beating Perth, and then supporting our ressies and colts in the finals."
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle is aiming to continue its strong late season form heading to Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday to take on a Perth team who hasn’t been able to capitalise on an outstanding start to 2013.

South Fremantle and Perth's seasons have followed opposite paths with the Bulldogs having a horror start but now finishing strongly while the Demons started tremendously before now finishing off in disappointing fashion.

The Bulldogs lost their first seven games of the season before breaking through with a win over Peel in Round 9. South Fremantle then scored a tremendous Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle two weeks later, but then again went on another four-game losing run.

However, South Fremantle has now found some outstanding and exciting form for the future with a 39-point win over West Perth in Round 18, eight-point win over Subiaco in Round 20, 93-point thumping of Peel in Round 22 and then last Saturday's impressive 12-point win over East Perth.

That means that South Fremantle has now won its last three games and four of its last five heading into Saturday's clash with Perth, but the Demons' season has headed in the opposite direction.

Perth started the season in exciting fashion winning its first three games and five of its first seven with the only two losses being by under a goal in thrillers against East Fremantle and Claremont.

The Demons lost three straight games between Rounds 10 and 13, but then bounced with four wins in five matches to again look set for a first finals campaign since 1997.

However, since Perth has lost to East Fremantle by 28 points in Round 20, by 60 to West Perth in Round 21, 48 to East Perth in Round 22 and then by 21 points last Saturday against Claremont to have now fallen to a 9-10 record.

The Demons and Bulldogs have met twice so far in 2013 with Perth winning two tight affairs – the first one by 13 points in Round 3 at Brownes Stadium and then the return clash by 10 points at Fremantle Oval in Round 15.

In that last meeting, Perth kicked the last two goals to win the game after South Fremantle appeared set to record the win when in front during time-on.

If Perth hoped to bounce back from a disappointing finish to the season and get a win at home in the final round, then it hasn’t been helped both at selection and with the fact that an in-form South Fremantle is coming to Lathlain looking to keep its own winning run continuing.

Perth loses four key players from the side that went down to Claremont last Saturday with ruckman Mitchell Lleyendekkers, centre half-forward Fraser McInnes, dangerous forward Simon Tunbridge and classy midfielder Jarryd Morton all out of the line-up for the Demons.

A host of players are looking to come into the Perth side for its last game of 2013 led by Jackson Sketcher who racked up 40 possessions in the reserves last week.

Joel Kalajzic, Christian Eyres, Mark Deaves, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt and Daniel O'Sullivan are the other players look to earn a spot in the Perth side.

South Fremantle's hopes of finishing the season with a fourth straight win have received a massive boost at selection with West Coast's Ashton Hams to return.

Last time he played for the Bulldogs was two weeks ago against Peel when he kicked six goals with 31 possessions while averaging 25 disposals in his eight games for the Bulldogs this season while also kicking 22 goals.

Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe does go out for South Fremantle, though, after injuring his ankle in the dying stages of last Saturday's exciting win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval.

Experienced duo Toby Bairstow and Reece Adams, and Mitch Carter and Kaiden Matera are all trying to earn a spot in the South Fremantle league team for the last game of 2013 as well.

Veteran South Fremantle forward Paul Mugambwa knows it's crucial for the Bulldogs to continue their strong recent form now on Saturday.

"It's 100 per cent crucial that we finish off strongly against Perth," Mugambwa said.

"We're not taking anything lightly and to our credit we knew six weeks ago that we weren't going to play finals and we could have flown the white flag, but we are set on finishing strong and hopefully beating Perth, and then supporting our ressies and colts in the finals."

By Chris Pike

Bulldog veterans back Pickett to go to next level

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 3:51 PM

MARLON Pickett made a remarkable WAFL debut with South Fremantle last Saturday in the win over East Perth and the Bulldogs' two oldest current players have no doubt he deserves a chance at the next level even if having played just one league game.

The 21-year-old had played the last seven matches in the reserves at South Fremantle to earn his league debut last Saturday at Fremantle Oval against East Perth, and what an immediate impact he made.
Pickett's sheer numbers in the 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win were incredible with him finishing with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.
However, there was more to his performance than just the numbers. Pickett showed he has tremendous pace and evasive ability but he also can play tall and mark strongly above his head meaning that he can virtually play any position on the ground.
With good size, all the physical attributes most can only dream of and clearly a temperament that allows him to stand tall on the big occasion, Pickett has a bright future even though his WAFL league career is just one game old.
Kris Miller has now played 297 WAFL matches since making his debut in 1999 so he has seen players of all shapes, sizes and abilities come in and make their debuts with differing levels of success over the last 14 years.
The 32-year-old, who kicked five goals himself in the win, can't recall ever seeing a better debut than the one Pickett made and he would be encouraging any AFL club to pick him up and put him on their list later this year in the National Draft.
"I would pretty strongly be suggesting that he could be one of the rare blokes who could get drafted on the back of just one game. People might have been looking at him before anyway, but those physical attributes he has don’t just drop out of trees," Miller said.
"He has done the work, he is a really good guy, he has never missed a training session and he is a quiet fella but I can't see any reason why an AFL club wouldn’t give him a chance. He is still a very raw talent who with a little bit of polish, could be very good at the next level."
When Miller first laid eyes on Pickett with his size but athleticism, he instantly thought that he resembled another South Fremantle veteran, Paul Mugambwa.
However, Mugambwa didn’t grow up playing the game having been born in South Africa and his football skills have been something that he has continued to work on during his career to go along with his incredible physical and athletic traits.
So Miller instantly thought that Pickett had all those physical attributes of Mugambwa to jump high and run fast, but also has those natural football skills as well.
"I can't think of a better debut that I have seen anyway, and certainly not one that was as exciting. His physical attributes are just fantastic with the way that he is a 6'2 player who could play in the ruck for us but also as a small forward," Miller said.
"Honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw Marlon was that he was like Paul Mugambwa but with really good skills. The best way I can describe him to people is that he is a young version of Gumby who grew up playing football.
"If Gumby was as skilled as Marlon, then Gumby would have been an all-time great. It's no disrespect to Gumby, but seeing Marlon is like seeing him although with good skills. Gumby has all those skills as well because he is quick, has a great leap, is mobile, has a great desire to compete and is versatile, and Marlon is the same. They both fly for everything."
Mugambwa also was a strong contributor in last Saturday's win over East Perth with three goals from 14 possessions and six marks, including yet another massive screamer to add to his highlight reel.
However, the 32-year-old 127-game veteran found himself in awe of what Pickett was doing out on Fremantle Oval as the game unfolded.
"I was one of the ones clapping out there half the time seeing what he was doing. Usually guys are nervous when they make their debut and it takes a while for them to get used to the pace, but I just told him to back himself and he took it in his stride," Mugambwa said.
"He was shimming guys, taking guys on, kicking goals, taking marks and he gave us a lot of the speed and drive that we've been looking for consistently over the course of the year.
"It's just exciting to see him out there and his family come here to watch him. He's got a great story and I'm really proud to see him out there and take his opportunity."
Mugambwa also has no doubt that with AFL clubs now more willing to draft players in their 20s that Pickett deserves to be given a chance to see what he can do at the top level.
The scary thought is that he has the chance to get even better if put into a full-time football environment in the AFL.
"It has changed so much now where AFL clubs are recruiting players a lot older and there isn’t really a roof on it," Mugambwa said.
"I might not get drafted at 34, but at the same time a lot of clubs are realising that they might have missed guys when they were 16, 17 or 18 but now they are doing really well and are worth looking at if they are in their 20s.
"It was only one game for Marlon and he might have harder games when he gets more attention from the opposition, but he has the potential to play AFL definitely."
 
By Chris PikeMARLON Pickett made a remarkable WAFL debut with South Fremantle last Saturday in the win over East Perth and the Bulldogs' two oldest current players have no doubt he deserves a chance at the next level even if having played just one league game.

The 21-year-old had played the last seven matches in the reserves at South Fremantle to earn his league debut last Saturday at Fremantle Oval against East Perth, and what an immediate impact he made.

Pickett's sheer numbers in the 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win were incredible with him finishing with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.

However, there was more to his performance than just the numbers. Pickett showed he has tremendous pace and evasive ability but he also can play tall and mark strongly above his head meaning that he can virtually play any position on the ground.

With good size, all the physical attributes most can only dream of and clearly a temperament that allows him to stand tall on the big occasion, Pickett has a bright future even though his WAFL league career is just one game old.

Kris Miller has now played 297 WAFL matches since making his debut in 1999 so he has seen players of all shapes, sizes and abilities come in and make their debuts with differing levels of success over the last 14 years.

The 32-year-old, who kicked five goals himself in the win, can't recall ever seeing a better debut than the one Pickett made and he would be encouraging any AFL club to pick him up and put him on their list later this year in the National Draft.

"I would pretty strongly be suggesting that he could be one of the rare blokes who could get drafted on the back of just one game. People might have been looking at him before anyway, but those physical attributes he has don’t just drop out of trees," Miller said.

"He has done the work, he is a really good guy, he has never missed a training session and he is a quiet fella but I can't see any reason why an AFL club wouldn’t give him a chance. He is still a very raw talent who with a little bit of polish, could be very good at the next level."

When Miller first laid eyes on Pickett with his size but athleticism, he instantly thought that he resembled another South Fremantle veteran, Paul Mugambwa.

However, Mugambwa didn’t grow up playing the game having been born in South Africa and his football skills have been something that he has continued to work on during his career to go along with his incredible physical and athletic traits.

So Miller instantly thought that Pickett had all those physical attributes of Mugambwa to jump high and run fast, but also has those natural football skills as well.

"I can't think of a better debut that I have seen anyway, and certainly not one that was as exciting. His physical attributes are just fantastic with the way that he is a 6'2 player who could play in the ruck for us but also as a small forward," Miller said.

"Honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw Marlon was that he was like Paul Mugambwa but with really good skills. The best way I can describe him to people is that he is a young version of Gumby who grew up playing football.

"If Gumby was as skilled as Marlon, then Gumby would have been an all-time great. It's no disrespect to Gumby, but seeing Marlon is like seeing him although with good skills. Gumby has all those skills as well because he is quick, has a great leap, is mobile, has a great desire to compete and is versatile, and Marlon is the same. They both fly for everything."

Mugambwa also was a strong contributor in last Saturday's win over East Perth with three goals from 14 possessions and six marks, including yet another massive screamer to add to his highlight reel.

However, the 32-year-old 127-game veteran found himself in awe of what Pickett was doing out on Fremantle Oval as the game unfolded.

"I was one of the ones clapping out there half the time seeing what he was doing. Usually guys are nervous when they make their debut and it takes a while for them to get used to the pace, but I just told him to back himself and he took it in his stride," Mugambwa said.

"He was shimming guys, taking guys on, kicking goals, taking marks and he gave us a lot of the speed and drive that we've been looking for consistently over the course of the year.

"It's just exciting to see him out there and his family come here to watch him. He's got a great story and I'm really proud to see him out there and take his opportunity."

Mugambwa also has no doubt that with AFL clubs now more willing to draft players in their 20s that Pickett deserves to be given a chance to see what he can do at the top level.

The scary thought is that he has the chance to get even better if put into a full-time football environment in the AFL.

"It has changed so much now where AFL clubs are recruiting players a lot older and there isn’t really a roof on it," Mugambwa said.

"I might not get drafted at 34, but at the same time a lot of clubs are realising that they might have missed guys when they were 16, 17 or 18 but now they are doing really well and are worth looking at if they are in their 20s.

"It was only one game for Marlon and he might have harder games when he gets more attention from the opposition, but he has the potential to play AFL definitely."

By Chris Pike

Debutant shines as Bulldogs beat Royals in high-scoring thriller

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 4:53 PM

SOUTH Fremantle took part in likely the most entertaining game of the WAFL season in a 43-goal thriller with debutant Marlon Pickett starring to lead the Bulldogs to an exciting 12-point victory.

The 21-year-old Pickett pulled off one of the most incredible WAFL debuts in history when he put in a best on ground display as South Fremantle recorded the eventual 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) victory in the final home match at Fremantle Oval for the 2013 season.
South Fremantle had to come back from conceding the first five goals of the game against the finals bound Royals, but were able kick an incredible 15.1 in the second half to secure the 12-point win.
The Bulldogs might have lost the first seven matches of 2013 but have now built some exciting form to close out the season having now won three straight games, and four of their last five.
Having played the last seven reserves games, Pickett earned his league debut for South Fremantle against East Perth and he put on an incredible display finishing the afternoon at Fremantle Oval with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.
Blaine Johnson also made his league debut and didn’t find the going quite as easy but he did manage three shots on goal for the day. He missed the first two badly but was able to get on the board in the third quarter.
Not only did Pickett kick three goals, but South Fremantle's forward-line helped to combine for 20-plus goals for the second straight week.
Kris Miller has moved to half-forward in the second half of 2013 despite still being one of the WAFL's most prolific ball winners in the midfield and he had a day out on Saturday kicking five goals all in the second half from 19 possessions and six inside-50 entries.
It is the first time that that the 32-year-old 297-game veteran has kicked five goals in a match in his remarkable WAFL career over both South Fremantle and East Fremantle since making his debut back in 1999.
Full-forward Ben Saunders also kicked four goals for the Bulldogs from just five kicks with Paul Mugambwa starring particularly in the second half with 14 disposals, six marks, five inside-50 entries and three goals.
The Bulldogs' back-line was also terrific led by centre half-back Dylan Ross who kept East Perth's main big forward Brock Higgins goalless while there was plenty of drive from the defence with Adam Guglielmana finishing with 21 disposals, Craig White 18, Warrick Andreoli 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Adam Carter 17.
Third-gamer James Laurino was also outstanding in keeping West Coast's Cale Morton to just 15 possessions and no impact in the game while kicking a terrific goal himself.
Mitch Banner picked up another 27 possessions to go with seven inside 50s and five clearances for the Bulldogs with Haiden Schloithe terrific with 25 touches, five tackles, seven clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.
Captain Ryan Cook picked up 24 possessions, Tim Kelly 21 and ruckman Sean Tighe 20 to go with 30 hit outs, six clearances and four inside 50s in a good battle with East Perth's Paul Johnson.
East Perth kicked the first five goals of the game in the first 20 minutes to put South Fremantle instantly on the back foot, but by quarter-time the Bulldogs had the same amount of scoring shots but inaccuracy had them still 20 points behind.
South Fremantle then came out firing to start the second quarter with goals to Guglielmana, White and Pickett in the first nine minutes tying scores up.
When the debutant Pickett kicked his second at the 19-minute mark the Bulldogs were in front for the first time but East Perth kicked the last three goals before half-time to still be 15 point on top at the long break.
Retiring West Coast veteran Selwood then remained forward for East Perth and kicked his team's three goals of the third quarter, but South Fremantle was on fire kicking eight goals straight including three to Miller, two to Saunders and two to Mugambwa to be six points in front at the last change.
East Perth got back in front to start the final term, though, with early goals to Michael Swan and Aaron Sweet before Saunders put the Bulldogs back in front with his fourth goal.
East Perth got back in front at the 17-minute mark when Arthur Bennell goaled, but Miller responded for the Bulldogs with his fourth for the afternoon and then despite two more East Perth goals, Mugambwa, Miller and Pickett all goaled for the Bulldogs in the last 10 minutes to secure the impressive 12-point win.
South Fremantle's reserves also  beat East Perth by 29 points with Kaiden Matera kicking six goals and Ben Sokol four with Toby Bairstow gathering 30 possessions, Alex Grima 24, Mitch Carter 22, Jarrad Winter 21, Jarrad Parry 18, Reece Adams 17 and Shaun Bewick 16 in his second game back from injury.
The Bulldogs colts team also opened up the day at Fremantle Oval with a 20.7 (127) to 9.7 (61) victory over East Perth.
Jarrod Garlett, Joel McComb, Jye Depane, Callum Ah Chee, Traye Bennell and Willie Rioli all kicked two goals apiece for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart gathering 25 possessions, Matthew Gundry 24, Jarrod Pickett 24, Bailey Matera 23 and Braden Fimmano 20.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.6 7.12 15.12 22.13 (145)
EAST PERTH 6.2 11.3 15.6 21.7 (133)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Miller 5; Saunders 4; Mugambwa, Pickett 3; Schloithe 2; Cook, Guglielmana, White, Laurino, Johnson.
Best: Pickett, Miller, Laurino, Schloithe, Ross, Cook, Banner, Guglielmana.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Selwood 5; Bennell 4; Oakley-Nicholls, Sweet, Cadwallader, Swan 2; Lee, Seal, Johnson, Clutterbuck.
Best: Seal, Lee, Johnson, Oakley-Nicholls, Selwood, Sweet, Wulff.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle took part in likely the most entertaining game of the WAFL season in a 43-goal thriller with debutant Marlon Pickett starring to lead the Bulldogs to an exciting 12-point victory.

The 21-year-old Pickett pulled off one of the most incredible WAFL debuts in history when he put in a best on ground display as South Fremantle recorded the eventual 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) victory in the final home match at Fremantle Oval for the 2013 season.

South Fremantle had to come back from conceding the first five goals of the game against the finals bound Royals, but were able kick an incredible 15.1 in the second half to secure the 12-point win.

The Bulldogs might have lost the first seven matches of 2013 but have now built some exciting form to close out the season having now won three straight games, and four of their last five.

Having played the last seven reserves games, Pickett earned his league debut for South Fremantle against East Perth and he put on an incredible display finishing the afternoon at Fremantle Oval with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.

Blaine Johnson also made his league debut and didn’t find the going quite as easy but he did manage three shots on goal for the day. He missed the first two badly but was able to get on the board in the third quarter.

Not only did Pickett kick three goals, but South Fremantle's forward-line helped to combine for 20-plus goals for the second straight week.

Kris Miller has moved to half-forward in the second half of 2013 despite still being one of the WAFL's most prolific ball winners in the midfield and he had a day out on Saturday kicking five goals all in the second half from 19 possessions and six inside-50 entries.

It is the first time that that the 32-year-old 297-game veteran has kicked five goals in a match in his remarkable WAFL career over both South Fremantle and East Fremantle since making his debut back in 1999.

Full-forward Ben Saunders also kicked four goals for the Bulldogs from just five kicks with Paul Mugambwa starring particularly in the second half with 14 disposals, six marks, five inside-50 entries and three goals.

The Bulldogs' back-line was also terrific led by centre half-back Dylan Ross who kept East Perth's main big forward Brock Higgins goalless while there was plenty of drive from the defence with Adam Guglielmana finishing with 21 disposals, Craig White 18, Warrick Andreoli 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Adam Carter 17.

Third-gamer James Laurino was also outstanding in keeping West Coast's Cale Morton to just 15 possessions and no impact in the game while kicking a terrific goal himself.

Mitch Banner picked up another 27 possessions to go with seven inside 50s and five clearances for the Bulldogs with Haiden Schloithe terrific with 25 touches, five tackles, seven clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.

Captain Ryan Cook picked up 24 possessions, Tim Kelly 21 and ruckman Sean Tighe 20 to go with 30 hit outs, six clearances and four inside 50s in a good battle with East Perth's Paul Johnson.

East Perth kicked the first five goals of the game in the first 20 minutes to put South Fremantle instantly on the back foot, but by quarter-time the Bulldogs had the same amount of scoring shots but inaccuracy had them still 20 points behind.

South Fremantle then came out firing to start the second quarter with goals to Guglielmana, White and Pickett in the first nine minutes tying scores up.

When the debutant Pickett kicked his second at the 19-minute mark the Bulldogs were in front for the first time but East Perth kicked the last three goals before half-time to still be 15 point on top at the long break.

Retiring West Coast veteran Selwood then remained forward for East Perth and kicked his team's three goals of the third quarter, but South Fremantle was on fire kicking eight goals straight including three to Miller, two to Saunders and two to Mugambwa to be six points in front at the last change.

East Perth got back in front to start the final term, though, with early goals to Michael Swan and Aaron Sweet before Saunders put the Bulldogs back in front with his fourth goal.

East Perth got back in front at the 17-minute mark when Arthur Bennell goaled, but Miller responded for the Bulldogs with his fourth for the afternoon and then despite two more East Perth goals, Mugambwa, Miller and Pickett all goaled for the Bulldogs in the last 10 minutes to secure the impressive 12-point win.

South Fremantle's reserves also  beat East Perth by 29 points with Kaiden Matera kicking six goals and Ben Sokol four with Toby Bairstow gathering 30 possessions, Alex Grima 24, Mitch Carter 22, Jarrad Winter 21, Jarrad Parry 18, Reece Adams 17 and Shaun Bewick 16 in his second game back from injury.

The Bulldogs colts team also opened up the day at Fremantle Oval with a 20.7 (127) to 9.7 (61) victory over East Perth.

Jarrod Garlett, Joel McComb, Jye Depane, Callum Ah Chee, Traye Bennell and Willie Rioli all kicked two goals apiece for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart gathering 25 possessions, Matthew Gundry 24, Jarrod Pickett 24, Bailey Matera 23 and Braden Fimmano 20.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.6 7.12 15.12 22.13 (145)

EAST PERTH 6.2 11.3 15.6 21.7 (133)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Miller 5; Saunders 4; Mugambwa, Pickett 3; Schloithe 2; Cook, Guglielmana, White, Laurino, Johnson.

Best: Pickett, Miller, Laurino, Schloithe, Ross, Cook, Banner, Guglielmana.

EAST PERTH – Goals: Selwood 5; Bennell 4; Oakley-Nicholls, Sweet, Cadwallader, Swan 2; Lee, Seal, Johnson, Clutterbuck.

Best: Seal, Lee, Johnson, Oakley-Nicholls, Selwood, Sweet, Wulff.

By Chris Pike

McIntosh enjoying more responsibility with Bulldogs

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 10:31 PM

ADAM McIntosh was entrusted with a spot in South Fremantle's leadership group in 2013 and he continues to emerge as a future captain of the club with outstanding form as a key part of the defensive unit.

McIntosh had played just 17 league games with the Bulldogs coming into the season, but was one of a host of emerging players added to the leadership group underneath captain Ryan Cook and vice-captain Craig White and is paid back that faith shown in him in spades throughout the season.
The 23-year-old has had a strong season but had a day out last Sunday in South Fremantle's thumping 93-point win over Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals.
Not only was McIntosh's offensive game off half-back outstanding, but defensively he also did well holding former Sydney player Kristin Thornton to just 12 disposals and one goal.
"It's good to finally get some reward off half-back, it has been pretty tough there chasing players around all year. It was good to just play well personally. I had a pretty slow start to the year, but the last few games have been pretty good so that is good going into next year," McIntosh said.
"I was lucky he didn’t kick very straight, but it was also good to keep him pretty quiet. At the start of the year I was beating my opponents but wasn’t doing enough with my offensive run so it's good to be doing both at the end of the year."
It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for McIntosh this season though.
He was dropped after a quiet game against Swan Districts in Round 5 but took it on the chin well and went back to the reserves to rack up 37 possessions the next week against Subiaco and has been cemented back in the team since with his form getting better every week.
He was solid in the first half of the year but didn’t crack 20 possessions in the first 14 rounds, but he has managed to do that in all six games since culminating in the season-best 26 against Peel last Sunday.
McIntosh actually appreciates that he was given the wake-up call from coach Paul Hasleby early on in the season and is happy with the form he has been able to build throughout the season.
"I probably needed it to be honest," he said.
"I didn’t have much form and I went back to the twos and got some confidence back, and got my own game back on track. The last few weeks now things have started to really come together."
As for the win over Peel last Sunday, it was South Fremantle's biggest of the year and the 93-point margin was the biggest win in all of the WAFL this season.
It also made it the first time that the Bulldogs have strung successive wins together and after a tough year for the club, it was good for McIntosh and his teammates to get to enjoy a game that they had sewn up early to give them a chance to just have fun playing football for an afternoon.
"It was good to have a win like that. We haven’t had much success this year so it's good to finish the season well and have some confidence running into next year," McIntosh said.
"It has been pretty disappointing but it's good to find some form running into next year and finally getting the game plan that Hase wants us to play happening.
"It was pretty enjoyable out there. Everyone gets a kick, everyone gets to kick some goals and days like that are always pretty enjoyable.
"We have shown throughout the year that if we bring four quarters of effort then we can match it with everyone. We did that this week and against a lower side we just showed how well we can play."
With so many leaders and experienced players leaving South Fremantle in recent years including Toby McGrath, Hayden North, Ryan Murphy, Josh Head, Andrew McCarrey, Callum Wilson and Theo Adams the youngsters have needed to step up.
McIntosh has been one added to the leadership group this season along with Nick Borovac and Mitch Carter with Cook, White, Adam Guglielmana and Paul Mugambwa the more experienced members of that group.
McIntosh both has enjoyed being part of the leadership group this year and also likes the look of the defensive unit he is forming part of alongside Dylan Ross, Borovac, White, Guglielmana, Mitch Carter and at times Adam Carter.
"We are all pretty young but we are all starting to gel and the more games we get to play together and experience, the better we get. If we can all stick around, then we should be a pretty force back there for a long time," he said. 
"I have enjoyed being in the leadership group. I'm not much of a big talker off the field, but on the field I don’t mind using my voice and I am starting to learn a lot of leadership qualities from guys like Whitey and Cooky."
The Bulldogs now face a big test this Saturday against East Perth in the final game of the season at Fremantle Oval in the penultimate round, but McIntosh is confident of South Fremantle doing well even though the Royals are set for a finals berth in 2013.
"East Perth is probably the form side at the moment but if we played like we did this week and like we did show against Claremont, Perth and West Perth we can match it with them I reckon."
By Chris PikeADAM McIntosh was entrusted with a spot in South Fremantle's leadership group in 2013 and he continues to emerge as a future captain of the club with outstanding form as a key part of the defensive unit.

McIntosh had played just 17 league games with the Bulldogs coming into the season, but was one of a host of emerging players added to the leadership group underneath captain Ryan Cook and vice-captain Craig White and is paid back that faith shown in him in spades throughout the season.

The 23-year-old has had a strong season but had a day out last Sunday in South Fremantle's thumping 93-point win over Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals.

Not only was McIntosh's offensive game off half-back outstanding, but defensively he also did well holding former Sydney player Kristin Thornton to just 12 disposals and one goal.

"It's good to finally get some reward off half-back, it has been pretty tough there chasing players around all year. It was good to just play well personally. I had a pretty slow start to the year, but the last few games have been pretty good so that is good going into next year," McIntosh said.

"I was lucky he didn’t kick very straight, but it was also good to keep him pretty quiet. At the start of the year I was beating my opponents but wasn’t doing enough with my offensive run so it's good to be doing both at the end of the year."

It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for McIntosh this season though.

He was dropped after a quiet game against Swan Districts in Round 5 but took it on the chin well and went back to the reserves to rack up 37 possessions the next week against Subiaco and has been cemented back in the team since with his form getting better every week.

He was solid in the first half of the year but didn’t crack 20 possessions in the first 14 rounds, but he has managed to do that in all six games since culminating in the season-best 26 against Peel last Sunday.

McIntosh actually appreciates that he was given the wake-up call from coach Paul Hasleby early on in the season and is happy with the form he has been able to build throughout the season.

"I probably needed it to be honest," he said.

"I didn’t have much form and I went back to the twos and got some confidence back, and got my own game back on track. The last few weeks now things have started to really come together."

As for the win over Peel last Sunday, it was South Fremantle's biggest of the year and the 93-point margin was the biggest win in all of the WAFL this season.

It also made it the first time that the Bulldogs have strung successive wins together and after a tough year for the club, it was good for McIntosh and his teammates to get to enjoy a game that they had sewn up early to give them a chance to just have fun playing football for an afternoon.

"It was good to have a win like that. We haven’t had much success this year so it's good to finish the season well and have some confidence running into next year," McIntosh said.

"It has been pretty disappointing but it's good to find some form running into next year and finally getting the game plan that Hase wants us to play happening.

"It was pretty enjoyable out there. Everyone gets a kick, everyone gets to kick some goals and days like that are always pretty enjoyable.

"We have shown throughout the year that if we bring four quarters of effort then we can match it with everyone. We did that this week and against a lower side we just showed how well we can play."

With so many leaders and experienced players leaving South Fremantle in recent years including Toby McGrath, Hayden North, Ryan Murphy, Josh Head, Andrew McCarrey, Callum Wilson and Theo Adams the youngsters have needed to step up.

McIntosh has been one added to the leadership group this season along with Nick Borovac and Mitch Carter with Cook, White, Adam Guglielmana and Paul Mugambwa the more experienced members of that group.

McIntosh both has enjoyed being part of the leadership group this year and also likes the look of the defensive unit he is forming part of alongside Dylan Ross, Borovac, White, Guglielmana, Mitch Carter and at times Adam Carter.

"We are all pretty young but we are all starting to gel and the more games we get to play together and experience, the better we get. If we can all stick around, then we should be a pretty force back there for a long time," he said. 

"I have enjoyed being in the leadership group. I'm not much of a big talker off the field, but on the field I don’t mind using my voice and I am starting to learn a lot of leadership qualities from guys like Whitey and Cooky."

The Bulldogs now face a big test this Saturday against East Perth in the final game of the season at Fremantle Oval in the penultimate round, but McIntosh is confident of South Fremantle doing well even though the Royals are set for a finals berth in 2013.

"East Perth is probably the form side at the moment but if we played like we did this week and like we did show against Claremont, Perth and West Perth we can match it with them I reckon."

By Chris Pike

Round 23 Preview v East Perth

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 3:40 PM

SOUTH Fremantle plays its final home game of the season at Fremantle Oval on Saturday hosting an in-form finals bound East Perth with the Bulldogs looking to continue their impressive form late in 2013.

The Bulldogs have won their last two games and three of their last four to be in their best form of the season at present to have now well and truly escaped any possibilities of finishing with the wooden spoon and having moved up into seventh position on the ladder ahead of Subiaco.
South Fremantle put in its most dominant performance of the season last Sunday thrashing Peel Thunder by 93 points at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium and now the Bulldogs will be desperate to put in a strong showing in front of its faithful at Fremantle Oval in the last home game for 2013.
However, East Perth is going to provide stiff opposition with the Royals having thumped Subiaco and Perth the last fortnight to all but secure a finals appearance.
The two teams have met just the once so far this year with East Perth winning by 19 points in Round 8 at Leederville's Medibank Stadium, but that was after South Fremantle looked to have the win sewn up early in the last quarter before the Royals piled on the last six goals of the contest.
East Perth now sits in third position on the ladder with an 11-7 record to sit a game clear of the chasing East Fremantle and Swan Districts meaning that the Royals need to win just one of their last two games against South Fremantle and Subiaco to secure a finals berth in 2013.
East Perth has now won the last three clashes with South Fremantle after the Bulldogs' run of 16 straight wins over the Royals between 2005 and 2011 came to an end.
South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby was quick to turn his team's attention onto East Perth quickly after Sunday's win over Peel and knows that with a dominant ruckman like Paul Johnson and the league's best key forward Josh Smith that the Bulldogs are going to have to be at their very best.
"Straight after the game we turned our attention to wanting to win this game against East Perth. We see them as one of the better teams in the comp at the moment and we will give it everything, and see how we measure up going into next year's pre-season," Hasleby said.
"Brendan Lee is also probably the best midfielder going around at the moment as well and when you add some Eagles guys with Rosa, Selwood and Morton as well as some young players coming through and their more experienced players like Wulff, Swann and Seal who have been in good form. We look forward to our young blokes taking them on."
South Fremantle will be desperate to continue its good recent form and also put in a strong showing in its final home game at Fremantle Oval for 2013, but the loss of West Coast's Ashton Hams to suspension won't help.
Hams came back into the Bulldogs line-up last Sunday and was brilliant with 31 possessions and six goals in the 93-point win over Peel.
However, West Coast small defender Adam Carter will be back for the Bulldogs fresh off earning some AFL experience while South Fremantle looks set to blood at least one more exciting debutant.
Blaine Johnson has been a star in South Fremantle's colts and then in the WA State 18s campaign showed himself as one of the most exciting forward prospects in the country.
Since returning from that, he has played in the reserves the last three weeks and put in his most impressive performance last Sunday against Peel finishing with 19 possessions, seven marks and three goals.
With Hams out of the Bulldogs team this week, it looks like being the perfect chance to blood Johnson for his league debut and giving him a chance in the forward-line alongside Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa and Alistair Gillespie.
Another exciting young talent Marlon Pickett is also a chance to make his debut with Tyler Hall also in the mix to line-up for the Bulldogs.
East Perth is now all but assured of a finals spot unless it loses its last two games against South Fremantle and Subiaco.
The Royals do lose West Coast pair Matt Rosa and Blayne Wilson this week, though, with both earning a call up to play for the Eagles on Friday night against Collingwood at the MCG.
Both were outstanding last Saturday in East Perth's 48-point win over Perth with Rosa finishing with 34 possessions and Wilson 26 from defence.
Marcus White looms as the most likely replacement in the Royals' defence for Wilson even though he hasn’t played a league game since Round 8.
Arthur Bennell could also come in for East Perth and provide another small forward option while Callum Hart, Mitch Howlett and Rowan Brookes are fighting to return to the Royals line-up as well.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle plays its final home game of the season at Fremantle Oval on Saturday hosting an in-form finals bound East Perth with the Bulldogs looking to continue their impressive form late in 2013.

The Bulldogs have won their last two games and three of their last four to be in their best form of the season at present to have now well and truly escaped any possibilities of finishing with the wooden spoon and having moved up into seventh position on the ladder ahead of Subiaco.

South Fremantle put in its most dominant performance of the season last Sunday thrashing Peel Thunder by 93 points at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium and now the Bulldogs will be desperate to put in a strong showing in front of its faithful at Fremantle Oval in the last home game for 2013.

However, East Perth is going to provide stiff opposition with the Royals having thumped Subiaco and Perth the last fortnight to all but secure a finals appearance.

The two teams have met just the once so far this year with East Perth winning by 19 points in Round 8 at Leederville's Medibank Stadium, but that was after South Fremantle looked to have the win sewn up early in the last quarter before the Royals piled on the last six goals of the contest.

East Perth now sits in third position on the ladder with an 11-7 record to sit a game clear of the chasing East Fremantle and Swan Districts meaning that the Royals need to win just one of their last two games against South Fremantle and Subiaco to secure a finals berth in 2013.

East Perth has now won the last three clashes with South Fremantle after the Bulldogs' run of 16 straight wins over the Royals between 2005 and 2011 came to an end.

South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby was quick to turn his team's attention onto East Perth quickly after Sunday's win over Peel and knows that with a dominant ruckman like Paul Johnson and the league's best key forward Josh Smith that the Bulldogs are going to have to be at their very best.

"Straight after the game we turned our attention to wanting to win this game against East Perth. We see them as one of the better teams in the comp at the moment and we will give it everything, and see how we measure up going into next year's pre-season," Hasleby said.

"Brendan Lee is also probably the best midfielder going around at the moment as well and when you add some Eagles guys with Rosa, Selwood and Morton as well as some young players coming through and their more experienced players like Wulff, Swann and Seal who have been in good form. We look forward to our young blokes taking them on."

South Fremantle will be desperate to continue its good recent form and also put in a strong showing in its final home game at Fremantle Oval for 2013, but the loss of West Coast's Ashton Hams to suspension won't help.

Hams came back into the Bulldogs line-up last Sunday and was brilliant with 31 possessions and six goals in the 93-point win over Peel.

However, West Coast small defender Adam Carter will be back for the Bulldogs fresh off earning some AFL experience while South Fremantle looks set to blood at least one more exciting debutant.

Blaine Johnson has been a star in South Fremantle's colts and then in the WA State 18s campaign showed himself as one of the most exciting forward prospects in the country.

Since returning from that, he has played in the reserves the last three weeks and put in his most impressive performance last Sunday against Peel finishing with 19 possessions, seven marks and three goals.

With Hams out of the Bulldogs team this week, it looks like being the perfect chance to blood Johnson for his league debut and giving him a chance in the forward-line alongside Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa and Alistair Gillespie.

Another exciting young talent Marlon Pickett is also a chance to make his debut with Tyler Hall also in the mix to line-up for the Bulldogs.

East Perth is now all but assured of a finals spot unless it loses its last two games against South Fremantle and Subiaco.

The Royals do lose West Coast pair Matt Rosa and Blayne Wilson this week, though, with both earning a call up to play for the Eagles on Friday night against Collingwood at the MCG.

Both were outstanding last Saturday in East Perth's 48-point win over Perth with Rosa finishing with 34 possessions and Wilson 26 from defence.

Marcus White looms as the most likely replacement in the Royals' defence for Wilson even though he hasn’t played a league game since Round 8.

Arthur Bennell could also come in for East Perth and provide another small forward option while Callum Hart, Mitch Howlett and Rowan Brookes are fighting to return to the Royals line-up as well.

By Chris Pike

Hasleby pleased to see Bulldogs coming together

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 1:37 PM

SOUTH Fremantle has now won consecutive games for the first time in 2013 and recorded the biggest win in the WAFL last Sunday with coach Paul Hasleby glad to see his team playing with confidence and to the game plan.

The Bulldogs were in control from the outset last Sunday against Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium to end up winning by 93 points to back up the win two weeks prior against Subiaco that was set up with a six-goal to two final quarter.
While there was a disappointing derby loss to East Fremantle prior to that win over Subiaco, before that the Bulldogs beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup and that was on the back of strong, albeit losing, efforts against Claremont and Perth.
That all adds up to South Fremantle's form being greatly improved for the most part over the last third of the 2013 season and Hasleby was glad to see his players get the chance to enjoy themselves on Sunday in Mandurah with such a dominant, comfortable and impressive performance.
"It's good for them to get confidence in everything they have been working on so from that point of view it's good. It's also good from a coaching point of view because you can try guys in different positions and throw them around," Hasleby said.
"We haven’t been able to string two wins together this year until now so the challenge was put to the boys to do that before the game, and as a coach you know they are certainly there to play when you are already four goals up in the first five or six minutes. It was pleasing from that point of view."
West Coast's Ashton Hams returned for the Bulldogs last Sunday and was outstanding with six goals and 31 possessions but Hasleby also felt his presence helped Mitch Banner (32 disposals), Ryan Cook (34), Haiden Schloithe (23, two goals), Tim Kelly (24), Jacob Martinez (25, two goals), Reece Adams (17), Brendan Verrier (32) and James Laurino (22) all have strong games as well.
"He makes a massive different to us with that extra midfielder which frees Banner, Cook and Schloithe up," he said.
"We are actually developing a very good midfield in there and the challenge for us is to see what happens next year and try to keep that group together along.
"With Tim Kelly, Martinez, Adams, Verrier and Laurino as well there is the basis for one of the best midfields in the comp if we can keep them together and keep improving them."
Adam McIntosh was another star performer for South Fremantle against Peel with the half-back finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals while also holding the dangerous Kristin Thornton to just 12 touches and a goal.
Hasleby was impressed with his performance and of Adam Guglielmana, Craig White, Mitch Carter, Nick Borovac, Warrick Andreoli and Dylan Ross also down back.
"He (McIntosh) is a really good player for us. He can play tall, he can play small and he's had some big challenges across the year playing on some AFL-listed small forwards. He still has a few aspects he needs to work on but he's developing into a very good WAFL player," Hasleby said.
"The boys know the direction they want to go and when they can get some predictability with how they want to move the ball they can take off with confidence from half-back.
"Adam McIntosh drifted forward to kick three goals as a half-back and a lot of our back-line was involved in setting up goals which was a pleasing aspect."
Hasleby certainly does see the makings of a strong side in his current South Fremantle group now.
The midfield has great depth with Schloithe, Adams, Kris Miller, Banner, Martinez, Cook, Laurino, Kelly and Verrier while the forward-line is dangerous with Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa, and Alistair Gillespie with a blend of smalls while the back-line is coming together nicely.
A potential key forward and back is now the focus for the Bulldogs over the off-season.
"We still probably lack a real key position player in both parts of the ground so the challenge for us over the summer period is to find one or two, but Dylan Ross has turned into a very good defender and we have the confidence in Borovac to play on the biggest and smallest going around," he said.
"McIntosh is down back and Andreoli did a good job this week. With the forward-line, Saundo gives us that target, Gumby is always giving a contest and his pressure is probably the best in the team and 'Dizzy' over the last four or five weeks has really started to figure out what footy is all about. It's all about him applying the intensity and pressure 100 per cent of the time and he's getting the results."
Andreoli has returned from St Kilda to South Fremantle this season and struggled to adjust back to WAFL football, but his last two games against Peel and Subiaco have been by far his best of the season showing his good skills out of the back-line and terrific pace.
"When he plays with intensity he is a very good player for us," Hasleby said.
"He is very good with the ball in hand, he uses it well, and he is very speedy and is a good handball receive player. Because he has been in the AFL system he also gets what we are trying to do so he is quite clever in that aspect as well."
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle has now won consecutive games for the first time in 2013 and recorded the biggest win in the WAFL last Sunday with coach Paul Hasleby glad to see his team playing with confidence and to the game plan.

The Bulldogs were in control from the outset last Sunday against Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium to end up winning by 93 points to back up the win two weeks prior against Subiaco that was set up with a six-goal to two final quarter.

While there was a disappointing derby loss to East Fremantle prior to that win over Subiaco, before that the Bulldogs beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup and that was on the back of strong, albeit losing, efforts against Claremont and Perth.

That all adds up to South Fremantle's form being greatly improved for the most part over the last third of the 2013 season and Hasleby was glad to see his players get the chance to enjoy themselves on Sunday in Mandurah with such a dominant, comfortable and impressive performance.

"It's good for them to get confidence in everything they have been working on so from that point of view it's good. It's also good from a coaching point of view because you can try guys in different positions and throw them around," Hasleby said.

"We haven’t been able to string two wins together this year until now so the challenge was put to the boys to do that before the game, and as a coach you know they are certainly there to play when you are already four goals up in the first five or six minutes. It was pleasing from that point of view."

West Coast's Ashton Hams returned for the Bulldogs last Sunday and was outstanding with six goals and 31 possessions but Hasleby also felt his presence helped Mitch Banner (32 disposals), Ryan Cook (34), Haiden Schloithe (23, two goals), Tim Kelly (24), Jacob Martinez (25, two goals), Reece Adams (17), Brendan Verrier (32) and James Laurino (22) all have strong games as well.

"He makes a massive different to us with that extra midfielder which frees Banner, Cook and Schloithe up," he said.

"We are actually developing a very good midfield in there and the challenge for us is to see what happens next year and try to keep that group together along.

"With Tim Kelly, Martinez, Adams, Verrier and Laurino as well there is the basis for one of the best midfields in the comp if we can keep them together and keep improving them."

Adam McIntosh was another star performer for South Fremantle against Peel with the half-back finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals while also holding the dangerous Kristin Thornton to just 12 touches and a goal.

Hasleby was impressed with his performance and of Adam Guglielmana, Craig White, Mitch Carter, Nick Borovac, Warrick Andreoli and Dylan Ross also down back.

"He (McIntosh) is a really good player for us. He can play tall, he can play small and he's had some big challenges across the year playing on some AFL-listed small forwards. He still has a few aspects he needs to work on but he's developing into a very good WAFL player," Hasleby said.

"The boys know the direction they want to go and when they can get some predictability with how they want to move the ball they can take off with confidence from half-back.

"Adam McIntosh drifted forward to kick three goals as a half-back and a lot of our back-line was involved in setting up goals which was a pleasing aspect."

Hasleby certainly does see the makings of a strong side in his current South Fremantle group now.

The midfield has great depth with Schloithe, Adams, Kris Miller, Banner, Martinez, Cook, Laurino, Kelly and Verrier while the forward-line is dangerous with Ben Saunders, Paul Mugambwa, and Alistair Gillespie with a blend of smalls while the back-line is coming together nicely.

A potential key forward and back is now the focus for the Bulldogs over the off-season.

"We still probably lack a real key position player in both parts of the ground so the challenge for us over the summer period is to find one or two, but Dylan Ross has turned into a very good defender and we have the confidence in Borovac to play on the biggest and smallest going around," he said.

"McIntosh is down back and Andreoli did a good job this week. With the forward-line, Saundo gives us that target, Gumby is always giving a contest and his pressure is probably the best in the team and 'Dizzy' over the last four or five weeks has really started to figure out what footy is all about. It's all about him applying the intensity and pressure 100 per cent of the time and he's getting the results."

Andreoli has returned from St Kilda to South Fremantle this season and struggled to adjust back to WAFL football, but his last two games against Peel and Subiaco have been by far his best of the season showing his good skills out of the back-line and terrific pace.

"When he plays with intensity he is a very good player for us," Hasleby said.

"He is very good with the ball in hand, he uses it well, and he is very speedy and is a good handball receive player. Because he has been in the AFL system he also gets what we are trying to do so he is quite clever in that aspect as well."

By Chris Pike

Young players on the way up

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 1:13 PM

FIVE young South Fremantle Football Club members are a step closer to their dream of playing in the AFL after being selected in the AIS-AFL Academy Squads.

Callum Ah Chee, Kade Stewart, Jarrod Pickett, Jermaine Miller-Lewis and Matthew Ah Siu were among more than 60 players from around the country selected for the squads, allowing them to come together four times in the next 12 months for training camps as well as the opportunity to travel overseas.

South Fremantle player development manager Daniel Vidovich said the selection was exciting for the club and the players.

“The boys have worked extremely hard through the club’s development programs over the past couple of seasons and to be awarded with an AIS Scholarship, the club is extremely proud of them,” he said.

“It is a great achievement being selected and the boys realise that they still need to continue to do the right things on and off the field to maintain a high level of professionalism and continue their development moving forward.

“The boys have worked extremely hard through the club’s development programs over the past couple of seasons and to be awarded with an AIS Scholarship, the club is extremely proud of them,” he said.    “It is a great achievement being selected and the boys realise that they still need to continue to do the right things on and off the field to maintain a high level of professionalism and continue their development moving forward.    “It gives the players an insight of the level of professionalism required to make it to the elite level.”

AIS-AFL Academy Squad members Callum Ah Chee, Kade Stewart, Jarrod Pickett, Jermaine Miller-Lewis and Matthew Ah Siu.
Picture: Louise White www.communitypix.com.au ? d405776
Story courtesy Community News, Fremantle Gazette, 20 August 2013

 

Red and WHITE – Craig White column August 22

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 4:22 PM

The Break. Mad Monday, Footy Trips, Holidays, Cricket, Golf, Fishing, Races and Beers - everything that can be enjoyed in a players off-season.

Most footballers and l will use the word 'most' because a small minority may not agree that the eight weeks we get off a year is the most enjoyable eight weeks of the year with no meetings, ice baths, sore bodies, 400m runs and weights.
You enjoy the spare time like every other person would normally.
Mad Monday (don’t be late) signals the start of the off-season and it's a chance for all the boys to let their hair down and have a beer (or 20).
Normally beginning at 9am on the Monday after the last game, Mad Monday normally brings about some great memories. Over the years l have witnessed a 100 beer shots in 100 minutes, a player get a bull ring through his nose and a player lighting all his hair on fire.
Next to follow is the footy trip and I think l have experienced the highs and lows of what footy trips can be.
My first ever footy trip in 2004 was to Geraldton for the weekend (what a blast). The last footy trip that l was on in 2010 was to Las Vegas and in between we had trips to Thailand, Sydney, Bali and New Zealand.
I am thankful, as are a lot of other boys at Souths, that we have had an opportunity to travel and see the world (mostly bars and clubs). By the end of a footy trip and a full 10 months of training and playing with the boys it is finally time to say "I don’t want to see you boys for the next eight week."
The next eight weeks for me is about switching off completely from football.
I enjoy some time playing golf, I enjoy a Friday beer after work and maybe even a sneaky trip away with the girlfriend (if she’s lucky).
I put on my Australian cricket selectors cap and find ways to get Shane Watson out of the team, and his hundred last night in a dead rubber game of the Ashes series is going to make my job even harder now.
For other boys at the club there is a common interest of fishing, surfing and punting on the horses which takes up plenty of spare time.
By the time this eight weeks is up you start to get the itch back to catch up with the boys from the club.
Don’t get me wrong, though, there is no itch whatsoever to start running time trials or pushing weights but the banter and camaraderie of being at the football club is what you look forward to and what gets you through the next pre-season. 
I will finish off in saying that the year has not gone to plan on the field in term of wins, but we have seen some major improvement in effort and consistency over the course of the year.
I am sure that after the players have had their well earned break and a big pre-season that you will see a vastly improved side in 2014.
By Craig WhiteTHE Break. Mad Monday, Footy Trips, Holidays, Cricket, Golf, Fishing, Races and Beers - everything that can be enjoyed in a players off-season.

Most footballers and l will use the word 'most' because a small minority may not agree that the eight weeks we get off a year is the most enjoyable eight weeks of the year with no meetings, ice baths, sore bodies, 400m runs and weights.

You enjoy the spare time like every other person would normally.

Mad Monday (don’t be late) signals the start of the off-season and it's a chance for all the boys to let their hair down and have a beer (or 20).

Normally beginning at 9am on the Monday after the last game, Mad Monday normally brings about some great memories. Over the years l have witnessed a 100 beer shots in 100 minutes, a player get a bull ring through his nose and a player lighting all his hair on fire.

Next to follow is the footy trip and I think l have experienced the highs and lows of what footy trips can be.

My first ever footy trip in 2004 was to Geraldton for the weekend (what a blast). The last footy trip that l was on in 2010 was to Las Vegas and in between we had trips to Thailand, Sydney, Bali and New Zealand.

I am thankful, as are a lot of other boys at Souths, that we have had an opportunity to travel and see the world (mostly bars and clubs). By the end of a footy trip and a full 10 months of training and playing with the boys it is finally time to say "I don’t want to see you boys for the next eight week."

The next eight weeks for me is about switching off completely from football.

I enjoy some time playing golf, I enjoy a Friday beer after work and maybe even a sneaky trip away with the girlfriend (if she’s lucky).

I put on my Australian cricket selectors cap and find ways to get Shane Watson out of the team, and his hundred last night in a dead rubber game of the Ashes series is going to make my job even harder now.

For other boys at the club there is a common interest of fishing, surfing and punting on the horses which takes up plenty of spare time.

By the time this eight weeks is up you start to get the itch back to catch up with the boys from the club.

Don’t get me wrong, though, there is no itch whatsoever to start running time trials or pushing weights but the banter and camaraderie of being at the football club is what you look forward to and what gets you through the next pre-season. 

I will finish off in saying that the year has not gone to plan on the field in term of wins, but we have seen some major improvement in effort and consistency over the course of the year.

I am sure that after the players have had their well earned break and a big pre-season that you will see a vastly improved side in 2014.

By Craig White

Volunteers recognised

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 2:28 PM

SOUTH Fremantle Football club acknowledged the contributions of their volunteers at a special BBQ award presentation on Wednesday 21 August.

More than 50 people joined President Haydn Raitt, CEO Stuart Kemp, coaching staff and board members to acknowledge some of the hard-working members of the South Fremantle community.

Volunteer of the Year awards were presented in the categories of Colts, Reserves, League and Functions/House and Bar Area. Winners were:
Colts - Matt Hall
Reserves - Peter Matier
League - Tony Mollica
Functions/House and Bar Area - Marian Reid

Special mention was also paid to Linton Davies, Sandy Cuccovia, Cliff Collard, Merv Lockhart, Marty Boss, students from Notre Dame, as well as Alf and Ange Sirna and Lenny Covich.

The overall winner of the Volunteer of the Year went to Tony Mollica.

CEO Stuart Kemp also acknowledged the assistance of Bertha Scobie, Margaret Redpath, Marion Reid, Joan Jones and Liz Houston.