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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.

Bulldogs dominate Peel in 93-point thrashing in Mandurah

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 1:13 AM

SOUTH Fremantle continued its impressive form nearing the end of the 2013 season recording the biggest win in the WAFL this year with a 93-point thumping of Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Sunday.
The Bulldogs kicked the first five goals of the game inside the first 15 minutes to virtually have the match sewn up at that point, and they went on with it the entire afternoon at Bendigo Bank Stadium to run out 24.16 (160) to 9.13 (67) winners.
The victory means that South Fremantle is now no chance of finishing on the bottom and in fact the Bulldogs have now climbed up into seventh position on the ladder ahead of Subiaco with the win ahead of the last two games of the 2013 season against East Perth and Perth.
Remarkably even though the Bulldogs have just five wins for the year, four of them have resulted in cups coming to Fremantle Oval. Sunday's win was for the Gary Holland Shield and now that joins the Garlic Munchers, Big Boots and Foundation trophies as the spoils of victories in 2013.
The Bulldogs completed dominated the contest against Peel on Sunday finishing with a massive 150 more possessions and 40 scoring shots to 22 to set up the 93-point victory.
West Coast's Ashton Hams returned on Sunday for South Fremantle and continued his outstanding WAFL form this season finishing with 31 possessions, six clearances, four inside-50 entries and six goals.
The Bulldogs' other AFL-listed player on the day, Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe, was also terrific particularly in the first half with 23 disposals, six clearances and two goals.
Three of South Fremantle's young midfielders were particularly outstanding with Brendan Verrier racking up 30 possessions, Jacob Martinez 25 and two goals, and Tim Kelly 24 touches.
Captain Ryan Cook continued his strong season with another 34 possessions as well with Mitch Banner having it 32 times, second-gamer James Laurino 22 (as well as a mercurial goal), Reece Adams 17 and Kris Miller 17.
Peel still managed to go inside its forward 50 on 41 occasions but South Fremantle's back-line was well in control led by Adam McIntosh who not only restricted Kristin Thornton to 12 touches, but had 26 possessions and a career-best three goals himself.
Nick Borovac had a good battle with lively Peel forward Brad Holmes and had 22 disposals himself while Warrick Andreoli played his best game for South Fremantle with 21 touches.
Dylan Ross was again a standout performer at centre half-back with 20 touches and five marks with Adam Guglielmana picking up 18 disposals and Mitch Carter 16 to go with a good goal.
It took just over two minutes for Paul Mugambwa to kick the first goal of the day for South Fremantle with Ben Saunders adding another at the six-minute mark with Schloithe, Martinez and then Schloithe again helping the Bulldogs to the first five goals of the game and an early 33-point lead.
The Bulldogs were still in front by 33 points at quarter-time and that extended to a massive 75 by half-time after a dominant nine-goal to two second term punctuated by a Sean Tighe major after the half-time siren.
It took 10 minutes for the first of the third quarter, but it came when McIntosh booted his second of the day and when he kicked his third just before three quarter-time, South Fremantle was leading by 95 points.
That lead got out to as much 107 points when Hams booted two goals in the first two minutes of the final quarter before the Bulldogs eventually won by 93 points.
It is the biggest win of the WAFL season to date eclipsing East Perth's 91-point win over Peel in Round 15.
South Fremantle's reserves also recorded a comfortable 49-point win over Peel but it could have been by so much more if the Bulldogs had kicked straighter than the 11.24.
Blaine Johnson booted three goals from 19 possessions, seven marks and four tackles in an impressive display with Kaiden Matera also booting two majors.
Alex Grima racked up a game-high 29 possessions with Jarrod Parry having it 28 times, Toby Bairstow 26, Jarrad Winter 25, Tyler Hall 23 and Dylan Main 20.
Shaun Bewick also came in for his first appearance of the season after a knee injury and picked up 13 possessions.
The Bulldogs colts got the day off in Mandurah to a perfect stat with a massive 20.11 (131) to 2.4 (16) win over the Thunder.
Willie Rioli booted five goals from 17 possessions for South Fremantle with Jarrod Pickett kicking three goals and Traye Bennell and Jarrod Garlett booting two apiece.
Jacob Dragovich racked up 32 possessions while laying eight tackles with Braden Fimmano gathering 25 disposals, Matthew Gundry 22 and Jakeb Tartaglia 21.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 6.7 15.9 20.15 24.16 (160)
PEEL THUNDER 1.4 3.6 5.10 9.13 (67)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Hams 6; McIntosh 3; Saunders, Schloithe, Martinez 2; Cook, Verrier, Kelly, Laurino, Tighe, Gillespie, Carter, Miller, Mugambwa.
Best: Hams, McIntosh, Cook, Verrier, Martinez, Kelly, Banner, Schloithe.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Motlop, Holmes 3; Jones, Taberner, Thornton.
Best: Jones, Flaherty, Wilkins, Holmes, Motlop.
By Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle continued its impressive form nearing the end of the 2013 season recording the biggest win in the WAFL this year with a 93-point thumping of Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Sunday.

The Bulldogs kicked the first five goals of the game inside the first 15 minutes to virtually have the match sewn up at that point, and they went on with it the entire afternoon at Bendigo Bank Stadium to run out 24.16 (160) to 9.13 (67) winners.

The victory means that South Fremantle is now no chance of finishing on the bottom and in fact the Bulldogs have now climbed up into seventh position on the ladder ahead of Subiaco with the win ahead of the last two games of the 2013 season against East Perth and Perth.

Remarkably even though the Bulldogs have just five wins for the year, four of them have resulted in cups coming to Fremantle Oval. Sunday's win was for the Gary Holland Shield and now that joins the Garlic Munchers, Big Boots and Foundation trophies as the spoils of victories in 2013.

The Bulldogs completed dominated the contest against Peel on Sunday finishing with a massive 150 more possessions and 40 scoring shots to 22 to set up the 93-point victory.

West Coast's Ashton Hams returned on Sunday for South Fremantle and continued his outstanding WAFL form this season finishing with 31 possessions, six clearances, four inside-50 entries and six goals.

The Bulldogs' other AFL-listed player on the day, Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe, was also terrific particularly in the first half with 23 disposals, six clearances and two goals.

Three of South Fremantle's young midfielders were particularly outstanding with Brendan Verrier racking up 30 possessions, Jacob Martinez 25 and two goals, and Tim Kelly 24 touches.

Captain Ryan Cook continued his strong season with another 34 possessions as well with Mitch Banner having it 32 times, second-gamer James Laurino 22 (as well as a mercurial goal), Reece Adams 17 and Kris Miller 17.

Peel still managed to go inside its forward 50 on 41 occasions but South Fremantle's back-line was well in control led by Adam McIntosh who not only restricted Kristin Thornton to 12 touches, but had 26 possessions and a career-best three goals himself.

Nick Borovac had a good battle with lively Peel forward Brad Holmes and had 22 disposals himself while Warrick Andreoli played his best game for South Fremantle with 21 touches.

Dylan Ross was again a standout performer at centre half-back with 20 touches and five marks with Adam Guglielmana picking up 18 disposals and Mitch Carter 16 to go with a good goal.

It took just over two minutes for Paul Mugambwa to kick the first goal of the day for South Fremantle with Ben Saunders adding another at the six-minute mark with Schloithe, Martinez and then Schloithe again helping the Bulldogs to the first five goals of the game and an early 33-point lead.

The Bulldogs were still in front by 33 points at quarter-time and that extended to a massive 75 by half-time after a dominant nine-goal to two second term punctuated by a Sean Tighe major after the half-time siren.

It took 10 minutes for the first of the third quarter, but it came when McIntosh booted his second of the day and when he kicked his third just before three quarter-time, South Fremantle was leading by 95 points.

That lead got out to as much 107 points when Hams booted two goals in the first two minutes of the final quarter before the Bulldogs eventually won by 93 points.

It is the biggest win of the WAFL season to date eclipsing East Perth's 91-point win over Peel in Round 15.

South Fremantle's reserves also recorded a comfortable 49-point win over Peel but it could have been by so much more if the Bulldogs had kicked straighter than the 11.24.

Blaine Johnson booted three goals from 19 possessions, seven marks and four tackles in an impressive display with Kaiden Matera also booting two majors.

Alex Grima racked up a game-high 29 possessions with Jarrod Parry having it 28 times, Toby Bairstow 26, Jarrad Winter 25, Tyler Hall 23 and Dylan Main 20.

Shaun Bewick also came in for his first appearance of the season after a knee injury and picked up 13 possessions.

The Bulldogs colts got the day off in Mandurah to a perfect stat with a massive 20.11 (131) to 2.4 (16) win over the Thunder.

Willie Rioli booted five goals from 17 possessions for South Fremantle with Jarrod Pickett kicking three goals and Traye Bennell and Jarrod Garlett booting two apiece.

Jacob Dragovich racked up 32 possessions while laying eight tackles with Braden Fimmano gathering 25 disposals, Matthew Gundry 22 and Jakeb Tartaglia 21.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 6.7 15.9 20.15 24.16 (160)

PEEL THUNDER 1.4 3.6 5.10 9.13 (67)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Hams 6; McIntosh 3; Saunders, Schloithe, Martinez 2; Cook, Verrier, Kelly, Laurino, Tighe, Gillespie, Carter, Miller, Mugambwa.

Best: Hams, McIntosh, Cook, Verrier, Martinez, Kelly, Banner, Schloithe.

PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Motlop, Holmes 3; Jones, Taberner, Thornton.

Best: Jones, Flaherty, Wilkins, Holmes, Motlop.

By Chris Pike

Colts Report - Round 22

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 6:30 PM

THE South Fremantle’s colts kicked off what turned out to be a great day for the club with a dominant display early Sunday at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

Waking up early for the long trip down to Mandurah it was pleasing to see the ground surface much drier than previous weeks. The South players revelled in the conditions using the ball with aplomb. The Peel side struggled to compete with the well drilled and skilful Bulldogs side and did well to stay in touch early.

Peel were held at bay by the confident and composed backline lead by Matty Gundry and Bradd McPhail, while drive was delivered by speedsters Tom Vanderluer, Jordan Comeagain and Jermaine Lewis off the half back line.

Though not showing it early on the scoreboard, the forwards were able to create many headaches for the younger Peel backline.

Willie Rioli continues to score at will and shares a desire to share the spoils with his teammates. Bailey Matera and Matty Ah Siu along with youngster Callum Ah Chee were able to show they will be a handful for back men for many seasons to come as they combine to display some exciting skills.

The tall brigade was outstanding this week as Daniel Moore (K Craft Bull Bars' Best Player Award winner) produced his best game of colts football taking many telling marks around the ground. He along with Josh Hall were instrumental in giving their following brigade many opportunities to win possession of the ball.

Bill Frampton was more than serviceable at half forward, in his first game back after an extended injury break.

After half-time it was all one way traffic as the first goal of the half giving little time for spectators to get seated as Rioli dribbled a clever kick through the sticks in less than 20 seconds.

This started what was to be a very entertaining second half. The two Jarrods, Pickett and Garlett, dazzled their opponents were sublime skill and speed that kept all entertained that watched. The midfield boys came to the fore with Jacob Tartaglia, Braden Fimmano and the gritty pair of Jacob Dragovich and James Culleton giving the outside midfielders’ plenty of opportunity with their ability to win the tough contests.  

All in all the team is developing well as we expose many new faces to an already young side. First gamer Harley Brown was the newest face to represent the side. He has given up living at home in the Gascoyne to fulfill his hopes of playing football for South Fremantle. It was pleasing to see him start his career with a sound performance and it was even more pleasing to see the team win in style.

Arthur Maskos
SFFC Colts Coach

Googs' Gabble – Adam Guglielmana column August 16

Friday, August 16, 2013 - 4:08 PM

IN JANUARY 2006, after finishing 12 years of schooling and the obligatory celebrations that follow, I found myself at my first day of pre-season for the South Fremantle Football Club. Seven and a bit years later I’ve been asked to share what has gone on between now and then.

The 2006 season was a bad year for the South Fremantle colts and from memory we lost something like our first 10 games.  
Personally I found the going tough moving to Perth from Carnarvon and I was a long way out of my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I was working for the first time, didn’t know many people in Perth, and had never met anybody from the football club until I moved down. I definitely did not enjoy my footy in the first half of the year and was dropped about halfway through.
Things started to change for the better after that point as I started to develop friendships with my new teammates and our football form improved as a consequence. Players like Cory Dell'Olio, Callum Wilson, Adam McIntosh and Reece Adams started playing some good football and took us to a few (though not many) wins for the year.
The next year I was lucky enough to be made captain of the colts as a top age player. We ended up losing in a preliminary final to Claremont, and for the first time in my fledgling career I’d played the majority of the season in the back-line, having played as a midfielder/forward up until that point.
In 2008 I moved back into the midfield in the reserves and was lucky enough to play three games as a small forward in the league side without contributing much, and eventually getting dropped.  
The 2009 season was much the same; I played a couple of games early on as a small forward before being dropped until the back half of the year where I snuck in as a midfielder for a game against Perth. I hadn’t been playing well but we had the game sewn up so in the last quarter John Dimmer, who was coaching at the time, asked me to tag Ross Young. 
At the end of the game John thought I had done a reasonable job restricting Ross and played me as a tagger for the next four or five games before I was dropped back to the reserves again, where I would finish off the year and be a part of a premiership.
The next year was a make or break year for me as we had lost a lot of experience after the league and reserves had both won premierships and I knew I would get a lot more opportunity. Up until that point I’d played mainly as a small forward at league level in a time when rotations were not in vogue, so I was looking forward to the prospect of more game time and time in the midfield.
Unfortunately, although getting the opportunities early in 2010 I didn’t take them, and after about four games of the season I was thrown to half-back in the last quarter in a game against Swan Districts. Luckily I managed to find a bit of the football for the first time in my career and played the next few games as a backman where I gained a lot of confidence that I could compete at WAFL level.
I was lucky enough to play every game in 2010, playing primarily as a midfielder after the first third of the year. I started to feel comfortable at league level, although I always worried on a Thursday night if I would be called into John’s room to be dropped back to the reserves.
In 2011, I played the first half of the year in the midfield and I enjoyed it a lot. Playing next to guys like Kris Miller, Ryan Cook and Ashton Hams, with Jaymie Graham in the ruck I was excited by what the near future held for the club. Unfortunately Jaymie went down with a horrific knee injury early in the year and I tore my ACL not long after.
The league side did make finals but were bundled out in the first semi-final against Subiaco.
After a long road back from a knee reconstruction I started 2012 in the reserves again before finally making it back to league level in Round 2. I had a poor year mainly playing half-forward and sometimes in the midfield and ended up dropped once again after about 15 rounds.  
Coming back from my first major injury was a lot harder than I thought. Regaining the confidence in my body was one thing but I never really regained confidence in my ability in 2012 and failed to put together many good performances.
This year I have been lucky enough to play all my games in the league side so far (touch wood) and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of playing both back and forward.
I started the year as a small forward and really enjoyed playing with guys like Gumby, Alistair Gillespie and Kingsley Smith. The pressure they put on the opposition backline is amazing and you definitely get the spoils of that at times.
Since Adam Carter’s elevation to the Eagles I’ve been lucky enough to play in one of the youngest back-lines in the WAFL and I’m really enjoying it. 
To me playing as a small forward is still the hardest position on the ground. Firstly you need the ball to come down there, then hope the tall forwards spill it, all so you can have the opportunity to try and beat a bloke that hangs off you all day.
Playing back is a lot more stressful, you have to concentrate every second of the game as those cheeky small forwards only need a small window of time to make you look stupid.
Playing league football for South Fremantle is something that I hold highly and being able to play in more than one position was definitely borne out of necessity rather than ability.
I have been dropped more times than I can remember but I may never have got the opportunities I have if I hadn’t developed some flexibility in my game.
By Adam GuglielmanaIN JANUARY 2006, after finishing 12 years of schooling and the obligatory celebrations that follow, I found myself at my first day of pre-season for the South Fremantle Football Club. Seven and a bit years later I’ve been asked to share what has gone on between now and then.

The 2006 season was a bad year for the South Fremantle colts and from memory we lost something like our first 10 games.  

Personally I found the going tough moving to Perth from Carnarvon and I was a long way out of my comfort zone in all aspects of life. I was working for the first time, didn’t know many people in Perth, and had never met anybody from the football club until I moved down. I definitely did not enjoy my footy in the first half of the year and was dropped about halfway through.

Things started to change for the better after that point as I started to develop friendships with my new teammates and our football form improved as a consequence. Players like Cory Dell'Olio, Callum Wilson, Adam McIntosh and Reece Adams started playing some good football and took us to a few (though not many) wins for the year.

The next year I was lucky enough to be made captain of the colts as a top age player. We ended up losing in a preliminary final to Claremont, and for the first time in my fledgling career I’d played the majority of the season in the back-line, having played as a midfielder/forward up until that point.

In 2008 I moved back into the midfield in the reserves and was lucky enough to play three games as a small forward in the league side without contributing much, and eventually getting dropped.  

The 2009 season was much the same; I played a couple of games early on as a small forward before being dropped until the back half of the year where I snuck in as a midfielder for a game against Perth. I hadn’t been playing well but we had the game sewn up so in the last quarter John Dimmer, who was coaching at the time, asked me to tag Ross Young. 

At the end of the game John thought I had done a reasonable job restricting Ross and played me as a tagger for the next four or five games before I was dropped back to the reserves again, where I would finish off the year and be a part of a premiership.

The next year was a make or break year for me as we had lost a lot of experience after the league and reserves had both won premierships and I knew I would get a lot more opportunity. Up until that point I’d played mainly as a small forward at league level in a time when rotations were not in vogue, so I was looking forward to the prospect of more game time and time in the midfield.

Unfortunately, although getting the opportunities early in 2010 I didn’t take them, and after about four games of the season I was thrown to half-back in the last quarter in a game against Swan Districts. Luckily I managed to find a bit of the football for the first time in my career and played the next few games as a backman where I gained a lot of confidence that I could compete at WAFL level.

I was lucky enough to play every game in 2010, playing primarily as a midfielder after the first third of the year. I started to feel comfortable at league level, although I always worried on a Thursday night if I would be called into John’s room to be dropped back to the reserves.

In 2011, I played the first half of the year in the midfield and I enjoyed it a lot. Playing next to guys like Kris Miller, Ryan Cook and Ashton Hams, with Jaymie Graham in the ruck I was excited by what the near future held for the club. Unfortunately Jaymie went down with a horrific knee injury early in the year and I tore my ACL not long after.

The league side did make finals but were bundled out in the first semi-final against Subiaco.

After a long road back from a knee reconstruction I started 2012 in the reserves again before finally making it back to league level in Round 2. I had a poor year mainly playing half-forward and sometimes in the midfield and ended up dropped once again after about 15 rounds.  

Coming back from my first major injury was a lot harder than I thought. Regaining the confidence in my body was one thing but I never really regained confidence in my ability in 2012 and failed to put together many good performances.

This year I have been lucky enough to play all my games in the league side so far (touch wood) and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of playing both back and forward.

I started the year as a small forward and really enjoyed playing with guys like Gumby, Alistair Gillespie and Kingsley Smith. The pressure they put on the opposition backline is amazing and you definitely get the spoils of that at times.

Since Adam Carter’s elevation to the Eagles I’ve been lucky enough to play in one of the youngest back-lines in the WAFL and I’m really enjoying it. 

To me playing as a small forward is still the hardest position on the ground. Firstly you need the ball to come down there, then hope the tall forwards spill it, all so you can have the opportunity to try and beat a bloke that hangs off you all day.

Playing back is a lot more stressful, you have to concentrate every second of the game as those cheeky small forwards only need a small window of time to make you look stupid.

Playing league football for South Fremantle is something that I hold highly and being able to play in more than one position was definitely borne out of necessity rather than ability.

I have been dropped more times than I can remember but I may never have got the opportunities I have if I hadn’t developed some flexibility in my game.

By Adam Guglielmana

Round 22 Preview v Peel Thunder

Friday, August 16, 2013 - 3:53 PM

PEEL Thunder and South Fremantle might not have a finals spot on the line when the two meet at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium on Sunday, but both will be desperate to win to try and avoid a wooden spoon.

Peel and South Fremantle has won just seven wins between them for the season but both at times have shown an ability to play some terrific football in patches so whichever team brings that for the longest on Sunday will likely come away victorious.
South Fremantle, however, has been finding some improved form and consistency through the second half of the season and that began with a 15-point win over Peel at Fremantle Oval back in Round 9.
The Bulldogs then played tremendously to thump East Fremantle by 67 points in the Foundation Derby before four-straight losses but competitive efforts in particular against Perth and Claremont.
South Fremantle then was outstanding to beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup and after a slip up against East Fremantle, beat Subiaco prior to last week's bye.
Bulldogs coach Paul Hasleby knows that it's a different type of challenge for his young team to now go into a game where they are perhaps expected to win, but he knows that is something they need to overcome themselves and it won't be easy against a dangerous Peel team in Mandurah.
"That is a challenge that the players have to overcome themselves and if we are going to be a good playing group, as a coach you have to make sure the playing group brings the right attitude and intensity to every game," Hasleby said.
"It doesn’t matter who the opposition is. Peel has proven it can win games on their day, they have some talented players and they will be doing everything they can to get off the bottom of the ladder. I'm very confident that our guys will bring the right attitude."
The Thunder is currently on the bottom with a 3-15 record and with a far inferior percentage to South Fremantle so to avoid the wooden spoon they likely will not only need to win on Sunday, but also beat Subiaco next week before having the bye in the final round.
Remarkably if Peel is able to win both its last two games, it could actually finish as high as seventh on the ladder still with Subiaco a chance to finish last if the Thunder wins their last two games, and the Bulldogs manage to win one of their last two as well.
Peel is a much better team at home as well having won all three of its games at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth while also putting in strong performances against East Fremantle, Claremont, West Perth and Swan Districts last Saturday before only narrowly losing by six points.
South Fremantle finished strongly two weeks ago against Subiaco to get its fourth win of the season and now the Bulldogs will regain Ashton Hams from West Coast unless the Eagles make a late change ahead of their clash with Geelong on Saturday night at Patersons Stadium.
Hams has been outstanding in his seven matches for South Fremantle this season averaging 24 possessions a game and kicking 16 goals.
Myles Bolger is a chance to come in and make his league debut to help out Sean Tighe in the ruck against Peel's Dockers pair Moller and Hannath.
South Fremantle could also blood another debutant in excitement machine from the colts Marlon Pickett with Tyler Hall another potential debutant.
Wingmen come midfielders Toby Bairstow and Alex Grima are also a chance to come in and add some experience, run and quality to the South Fremantle line-up.
The only out from the Bulldogs team that beat Subiaco a fortnight ago at this stage is lively forward John Sgherza.
Peel had a real chance to beat Swan Districts last week in Mandurah which would have moved the Thunder onto four wins along with South Fremantle, but it wasn’t to be and not having Fremantle pair Jesse Crichton and Viv Michie in the second half no doubt played a part late in the contest.
Michie now goes out of the side with his injury that will end a strong season for Peel that saw him average 25.6 possessions in his 16 games while Crichton remains in the line-up after being made unavailable in the second half last week by the Dockers.
Hayden Crozier and Matt Taberner have both been added to Fremantle's extended squad to take on Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday but both could still be a chance to play for Peel if not picked in the final team.
If they are, then Taberner gives Peel a good forward target while Crozier a ball-winning midfielder who can also go forward and kick a goal on his powerful left boot.
Peel could blood another debutant with Dylan Winton a chance to play after Brad Walsh was impressive last week against Swan Districts in his first league game.
Fremantle ruckman Jack Hannath also returns to partner Craig Moller in the Thunder line-up with Kelvin Lawrence, Corey Morris, Liam McKenna and Brennan Gillam all pressing for selection as well.
By Chris PikePEEL Thunder and South Fremantle might not have a finals spot on the line when the two meet at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium on Sunday, but both will be desperate to win to try and avoid a wooden spoon.

Peel and South Fremantle has won just seven wins between them for the season but both at times have shown an ability to play some terrific football in patches so whichever team brings that for the longest on Sunday will likely come away victorious.

South Fremantle, however, has been finding some improved form and consistency through the second half of the season and that began with a 15-point win over Peel at Fremantle Oval back in Round 9.

The Bulldogs then played tremendously to thump East Fremantle by 67 points in the Foundation Derby before four-straight losses but competitive efforts in particular against Perth and Claremont.

South Fremantle then was outstanding to beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup and after a slip up against East Fremantle, beat Subiaco prior to last week's bye.

Bulldogs coach Paul Hasleby knows that it's a different type of challenge for his young team to now go into a game where they are perhaps expected to win, but he knows that is something they need to overcome themselves and it won't be easy against a dangerous Peel team in Mandurah.

"That is a challenge that the players have to overcome themselves and if we are going to be a good playing group, as a coach you have to make sure the playing group brings the right attitude and intensity to every game," Hasleby said.

"It doesn’t matter who the opposition is. Peel has proven it can win games on their day, they have some talented players and they will be doing everything they can to get off the bottom of the ladder. I'm very confident that our guys will bring the right attitude."

The Thunder is currently on the bottom with a 3-15 record and with a far inferior percentage to South Fremantle so to avoid the wooden spoon they likely will not only need to win on Sunday, but also beat Subiaco next week before having the bye in the final round.

Remarkably if Peel is able to win both its last two games, it could actually finish as high as seventh on the ladder still with Subiaco a chance to finish last if the Thunder wins their last two games, and the Bulldogs manage to win one of their last two as well.

Peel is a much better team at home as well having won all three of its games at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth while also putting in strong performances against East Fremantle, Claremont, West Perth and Swan Districts last Saturday before only narrowly losing by six points.

South Fremantle finished strongly two weeks ago against Subiaco to get its fourth win of the season and now the Bulldogs will regain Ashton Hams from West Coast unless the Eagles make a late change ahead of their clash with Geelong on Saturday night at Patersons Stadium.

Hams has been outstanding in his seven matches for South Fremantle this season averaging 24 possessions a game and kicking 16 goals.

Myles Bolger is a chance to come in and make his league debut to help out Sean Tighe in the ruck against Peel's Dockers pair Moller and Hannath.

South Fremantle could also blood another debutant in excitement machine from the colts Marlon Pickett with Tyler Hall another potential debutant.

Wingmen come midfielders Toby Bairstow and Alex Grima are also a chance to come in and add some experience, run and quality to the South Fremantle line-up.

The only out from the Bulldogs team that beat Subiaco a fortnight ago at this stage is lively forward John Sgherza.

Peel had a real chance to beat Swan Districts last week in Mandurah which would have moved the Thunder onto four wins along with South Fremantle, but it wasn’t to be and not having Fremantle pair Jesse Crichton and Viv Michie in the second half no doubt played a part late in the contest.

Michie now goes out of the side with his injury that will end a strong season for Peel that saw him average 25.6 possessions in his 16 games while Crichton remains in the line-up after being made unavailable in the second half last week by the Dockers.

Hayden Crozier and Matt Taberner have both been added to Fremantle's extended squad to take on Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday but both could still be a chance to play for Peel if not picked in the final team.

If they are, then Taberner gives Peel a good forward target while Crozier a ball-winning midfielder who can also go forward and kick a goal on his powerful left boot.

Peel could blood another debutant with Dylan Winton a chance to play after Brad Walsh was impressive last week against Swan Districts in his first league game.

Fremantle ruckman Jack Hannath also returns to partner Craig Moller in the Thunder line-up with Kelvin Lawrence, Corey Morris, Liam McKenna and Brennan Gillam all pressing for selection as well.

By Chris Pike

Hasleby in no doubt Bulldogs on the right track

Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 7:23 PM

SOUTH Fremantle entered last week's bye in winning form after more youngsters continued to stand up while veteran Kris Miller was in top form and Ben Saunders was back kicking goals, and now coach Paul Hasleby hopes it continues.

The Bulldogs won their fourth game for the 2013 season by beating Subiaco on the back of six goals to two in the final quarter at Leederville's Medibank Stadium ahead of this Sunday's clash against the bottom-placed Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.
South Fremantle did win two of its last three games before the bye with a terrific 39-point win over the second-placed West Perth in Round 18. However, the derby loss the next week was terrible but the Bulldogs rebounded to then down the Lions by eight points.
Hasleby certainly sees enough signs that the Bulldogs are finishing the season off with enough positives to look forward towards 2014 with buoyancy but it's now crucial to finish the year off strongly against Peel, East Perth and Perth with just one of those games at Fremantle Oval.
"No doubt we are on the right track. Over the last six weeks we have played the top teams and beaten one of them, we lost to the top team by four points and lost to Perth who were third at the time by nine and we beat Subiaco as well," Hasleby said.
"We are showing that when we do apply ourselves for four quarters we can win games of footy. When we don’t, we get smashed like we did against East Fremantle. We are getting confidence in the way we are trying to play the game plan and the results are starting to come. The whole focus throughout the year has been on winning every game and the development of players.
"That just comes naturally I guess by giving guys opportunities but we want to finish on a high and go into the pre-season with some confidence about the way we are trying to play. Then we will certainly look to recruit over the off-season and bring guys into positions where we feel we are a little bit weak in. We will obviously now be aiming to win the last three games as well."
Hasleby was pleased to see his South Fremantle players bounce back from the loss to East Fremantle to beat Subiaco prior to the bye, but it took a big last quarter to come away with the win after the Bulldogs again let a strong position midway through the third term slip.
"The boys were always going to bounce back after our worst loss of the year against the Sharks. We've had some good games against Subi, they play a pretty tough, one-on-one accountable style of footy so they are really hard to break away from," he said.
"For the first two and-a-half quarters we felt like we were playing well, but we couldn’t get that advantage. To then give it away in the third quarter was disappointing but I was really proud of the way the boys stood up in the last quarter and showed some good leadership to get over the line."
Hasleby had seen the Bulldogs blow too many strong positions this season during the second half only to lose for him to let it happen again so he let his team know exactly what he thought of their efforts late in the third quarter to let Subiaco get back on top.
He pointed out that Kris Miller and Brendan Verrier were pulling their weight but few others were, and to the Bulldogs' credit they put in a terrific last quarter to kick six goals to two.
"It was one of the bigger ones I have given in my career, but it was just borne out of a bit of frustration. We have probably been in that situation 10 times across the year and we again gave up easy goals in a short period of the game, and I just wanted to stamp it out," Hasleby said.
"At the end of the day, it's all based on on-field leadership and I set the challenge for the guys, and they responded in really good fashion. I just felt like Millsy at that point in time as our oldest player on the list was having a terrific day and leadership is about winning those contests.
"He was certainly doing that and Brendan Verrier is one of our youngest guys and he was winning key contests as well and running really hard. It was pleasing what those two guys were doing, but we showed in the last quarter when we get 18 guys weighing in in that fashion we can be a very dangerous side."
Bulldogs veteran Miller was still playing outstanding football in the midfield through the first half of the year but over the past two months Hasleby has moved him to play more across half-forward and it's paying off for a number of reasons.
Not only is it giving Jacob Martinez, Tim Kelly and Brendan Verrier more time and responsibility on the ball, but Miller is playing superb football as a forward and he was brilliant against Subiaco finishing with 20 possessions and three goals, but he also had a direct hand in most of South Fremantle's goals for the day.
"No doubt he could still do it in the midfield but the benefit of him going forward is that he has developed another area of his game which has been really good for us. He has not only been kicking goals, but he's been a very high goal assist player for us," Hasleby said.
"The most pleasing thing, though, is that Tim Kelly has been able to step into the midfield and have a big impact. Brendan Verrier is another one who we've been able to give a lot more midfield time to because Millsy has gone forward."
A big part of the reason for Hasleby's buoyancy about South Fremantle's future is because of the young players to have stepped up this season including Dylan Ross and Nick Borovac in defence, and Kelly, Martinez and Verrier through the middle.
"There has been a deliberate ploy to give these guys an opportunity to show what they can do and you don’t find out about a player in two or three games, you find out over 20 and 30. Dylan Ross has been terrific down back for us all year and so has Borovac," he said.
"Tim Kelly is a star in the midfield, Martinez has been doing it for two years now and they are going to be really valuable players for us going forward. To have that next tier coming up now like Laurino, Verrier and guys like that the club is in a good position. We just have to maintain the playing list and continue to develop some of those guys and add other blokes around them."
Another youngster who received a chance against Subiaco was James Laurino who made his debut and was giving the job of shutting down Lions' wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson, and he did a terrific job and Hasleby is now confident he can keep that up over the last three weeks.
"It was a big step for him going into that game. We had given him a few jobs in the reserves and he'd done a terrific job, so we had the confidence that he could do it on one of the best play makers in the competition who has been dominant against us the first two times we played them," Hasleby said.
"To keep him to just 15 was a really disciplined effort from James and he needs to continually improve, and maintain that intensity and attitude now in every game he plays."
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle entered last week's bye in winning form after more youngsters continued to stand up while veteran Kris Miller was in top form and Ben Saunders was back kicking goals, and now coach Paul Hasleby hopes it continues.

The Bulldogs won their fourth game for the 2013 season by beating Subiaco on the back of six goals to two in the final quarter at Leederville's Medibank Stadium ahead of this Sunday's clash against the bottom-placed Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium.

South Fremantle did win two of its last three games before the bye with a terrific 39-point win over the second-placed West Perth in Round 18. However, the derby loss the next week was terrible but the Bulldogs rebounded to then down the Lions by eight points.

Hasleby certainly sees enough signs that the Bulldogs are finishing the season off with enough positives to look forward towards 2014 with buoyancy but it's now crucial to finish the year off strongly against Peel, East Perth and Perth with just one of those games at Fremantle Oval.

"No doubt we are on the right track. Over the last six weeks we have played the top teams and beaten one of them, we lost to the top team by four points and lost to Perth who were third at the time by nine and we beat Subiaco as well," Hasleby said.

"We are showing that when we do apply ourselves for four quarters we can win games of footy. When we don’t, we get smashed like we did against East Fremantle. We are getting confidence in the way we are trying to play the game plan and the results are starting to come. The whole focus throughout the year has been on winning every game and the development of players.

"That just comes naturally I guess by giving guys opportunities but we want to finish on a high and go into the pre-season with some confidence about the way we are trying to play. Then we will certainly look to recruit over the off-season and bring guys into positions where we feel we are a little bit weak in. We will obviously now be aiming to win the last three games as well."

Hasleby was pleased to see his South Fremantle players bounce back from the loss to East Fremantle to beat Subiaco prior to the bye, but it took a big last quarter to come away with the win after the Bulldogs again let a strong position midway through the third term slip.

"The boys were always going to bounce back after our worst loss of the year against the Sharks. We've had some good games against Subi, they play a pretty tough, one-on-one accountable style of footy so they are really hard to break away from," he said.

"For the first two and-a-half quarters we felt like we were playing well, but we couldn’t get that advantage. To then give it away in the third quarter was disappointing but I was really proud of the way the boys stood up in the last quarter and showed some good leadership to get over the line."

Hasleby had seen the Bulldogs blow too many strong positions this season during the second half only to lose for him to let it happen again so he let his team know exactly what he thought of their efforts late in the third quarter to let Subiaco get back on top.

He pointed out that Kris Miller and Brendan Verrier were pulling their weight but few others were, and to the Bulldogs' credit they put in a terrific last quarter to kick six goals to two.

"It was one of the bigger ones I have given in my career, but it was just borne out of a bit of frustration. We have probably been in that situation 10 times across the year and we again gave up easy goals in a short period of the game, and I just wanted to stamp it out," Hasleby said.

"At the end of the day, it's all based on on-field leadership and I set the challenge for the guys, and they responded in really good fashion. I just felt like Millsy at that point in time as our oldest player on the list was having a terrific day and leadership is about winning those contests.

"He was certainly doing that and Brendan Verrier is one of our youngest guys and he was winning key contests as well and running really hard. It was pleasing what those two guys were doing, but we showed in the last quarter when we get 18 guys weighing in in that fashion we can be a very dangerous side."

Bulldogs veteran Miller was still playing outstanding football in the midfield through the first half of the year but over the past two months Hasleby has moved him to play more across half-forward and it's paying off for a number of reasons.

Not only is it giving Jacob Martinez, Tim Kelly and Brendan Verrier more time and responsibility on the ball, but Miller is playing superb football as a forward and he was brilliant against Subiaco finishing with 20 possessions and three goals, but he also had a direct hand in most of South Fremantle's goals for the day.

"No doubt he could still do it in the midfield but the benefit of him going forward is that he has developed another area of his game which has been really good for us. He has not only been kicking goals, but he's been a very high goal assist player for us," Hasleby said.

"The most pleasing thing, though, is that Tim Kelly has been able to step into the midfield and have a big impact. Brendan Verrier is another one who we've been able to give a lot more midfield time to because Millsy has gone forward."

A big part of the reason for Hasleby's buoyancy about South Fremantle's future is because of the young players to have stepped up this season including Dylan Ross and Nick Borovac in defence, and Kelly, Martinez and Verrier through the middle.

"There has been a deliberate ploy to give these guys an opportunity to show what they can do and you don’t find out about a player in two or three games, you find out over 20 and 30. Dylan Ross has been terrific down back for us all year and so has Borovac," he said.

"Tim Kelly is a star in the midfield, Martinez has been doing it for two years now and they are going to be really valuable players for us going forward. To have that next tier coming up now like Laurino, Verrier and guys like that the club is in a good position. We just have to maintain the playing list and continue to develop some of those guys and add other blokes around them."

Another youngster who received a chance against Subiaco was James Laurino who made his debut and was giving the job of shutting down Lions' wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson, and he did a terrific job and Hasleby is now confident he can keep that up over the last three weeks.

"It was a big step for him going into that game. We had given him a few jobs in the reserves and he'd done a terrific job, so we had the confidence that he could do it on one of the best play makers in the competition who has been dominant against us the first two times we played them," Hasleby said.

"To keep him to just 15 was a really disciplined effort from James and he needs to continually improve, and maintain that intensity and attitude now in every game he plays."

By Chris Pike

Saunders and Bulldogs aim to finish 2013 with a bang

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 5:15 PM

REIGNING Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders is just starting to strike form after a horror injury run in 2013 but is focused on helping South Fremantle finish off the season strongly over the final three weeks.

Saunders kicked 66 goals in his first season with South Fremantle in 2012 after crossing from Claremont and started 2013 brightly with two goals against his former team at Claremont Oval in Round 1, but then he went down with a broken collarbone.
The 21-year-old worked hard to return in Round 9 against Peel at Fremantle Oval and while he kicked three goals and South Fremantle won its first game of the season over the Thunder, Saunders again broke the same collarbone to put him back on the sidelines.
This time it took until Round 18 against West Perth at Arena Joondalup for him to return and he again kicked three goals as South Fremantle beat the Falcons impressively by 39 points.
Saunders then kicked two in the disappointing derby loss to East Fremantle before pulling off a season-best six goals in an eight-point win over Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium ahead of last weekend's bye.
The Bulldogs now finish the season against Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium, East Perth at Fremantle Oval and Perth at Brownes Stadium.
For Saunders it's disappointing there is only three weeks to go as he's now just warming into the season, but he is hoping he can help the Bulldogs finish off what has been a tough year strongly.
"These last three games are really important for us going into next year. To get these last three under the belt would be great and we would probably take two of them, but we really want to finish well," Saunders said.
"Before that the boys will try to freshen up, but I feel like I have just come back into it and my year is going to be over in three games time. For now, I'm excited for the rest of the season and then I'll set my sights on next year."
Saunders hasn’t been allowed to ease his way back into his return either coming up against Michael Pettigrew with West Perth, Steven Dodd with East Fremantle and Darren Rumble from Subiaco as opponents the last three weeks, but he does feel his touch is now starting to return.
"They are all good players too and proven players in the competition, and pretty hard to play against especially on the way back I wouldn’t have minded an easier opponent. You get what you are given, though, and just have to make the most of it," he said.
"It definitely does take a while. Especially that first game I played coming back from injury the second time I was terrible up against West Perth. I was flying and landing, and then attempting to mark by the time the ball arrived but those are the types of things you can't train for. It's just all about getting back into it and then two or three games later you start to find some form again."
Saunders can't help but be frustrated about how his 2013 season has panned out coming off his brilliant personal 2012 year where he was the league's leading goalkicker. It made it even harder when the team was struggling, but Saunders has just tried to keep as positive as he can.
"It has been an extremely frustrating year. I'm a very active person and work full-time, and I like to dive fully into everything I do so the first time I did the injury I was out for five weeks and couldn’t do anything at all," Saunders said.
"That was real frustrating and then to watch the boys lose six games by under three goals you couldn’t help but think how much you could have helped if you were out there with the boys.
"It's really hard to watch, but it happened and you just have to suck it up and try to get back out there as quickly as you can."
As for the win over Subiaco before the bye last weekend, South Fremantle looked in control of the contest midway through the third quarter before Subiaco got some late cheap goals to be in front at three quarter-time.
That saw coach Paul Hasleby pull out one of his best sprays of the season where he pointed out the rest of the team needed to follow example set by Kris Miller and Brendan Verrier, and the whole group responded to record their fourth win of the year.
"He fairly gave it to us at three quarter-time, but he was within his right to. We were leaving it to the old boy 'Chewy' and the young kid 'Freshy' to do too much of the work in that third quarter so it was good we were able to turn that around in the last quarter," he said.
"Especially because we are such a young team it was good to finish off strongly. Last year we struggled with our last quarters and it was really nice to finish off by coming back from behind after giving up a few goals late in the third to end up coming over the top of them."
Saunders kicked six goals against Subiaco but most of them were set up from good work from his teammates especially veteran Miller who gave him several handballs over the top in the goal square.
Saunders is happy with how the forward-line is shaping up with Miller now settling there along with Paul Mugambwa, his former Claremont teammate Alistair Gillespie and Mitch Banner spending time off the half-forward flank.
"Before the game we were talking and just trying to focus on goal assists, and making sure we gave that extra handball over the top. Luckily enough this week I was able to be in the goal square to get on the end of it which was good," he said.
"I think our forward-line is very dangerous especially on paper. A few times this year from watching and the couple of games I've played I don’t think we have quite gelled enough and linked up, but it's exciting for the future.
"Millsy is unbelievable and is such a great player, and his experience just brings so much to our forward-line and then you've got Gumby as well who is a 100-game player and he's just a freak with the way that he plays."
Another South Fremantle youngster to shine against Subiaco was James Laurino who made his debut and did a good job shutting down Subiaco wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson.
His form is on the back of the likes Tim Kelly, Jacob Martinez and a host of other youngsters showing good signs for South Fremantle.
"He (Laurino) shut him down and played real well. That kind of stuff excites the rest of us because you don’t go through the motions, but it has been a hard year and are in a real big building phase at the moment. To have someone like Jimmy, who has been at the club for three years, to find some form and break into the ones excites all of the rest of us especially to see him to a good job," Saunders said.
"Timmy Kelly is killing it and he's only 19 years of age. We might not have him for too long, but seeing that kind of promise with guys like 'Spaniard', Jimmy Laurino and 'Freshy' it's very exciting. I still feel like I've got 10 years left in me and then they are even younger, so we could be really lethal as a team in two or three years and for a sustained period of time."
By Chris PikeREIGNING Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders is just starting to strike form after a horror injury run in 2013 but is focused on helping South Fremantle finish off the season strongly over the final three weeks.

Saunders kicked 66 goals in his first season with South Fremantle in 2012 after crossing from Claremont and started 2013 brightly with two goals against his former team at Claremont Oval in Round 1, but then he went down with a broken collarbone.

The 21-year-old worked hard to return in Round 9 against Peel at Fremantle Oval and while he kicked three goals and South Fremantle won its first game of the season over the Thunder, Saunders again broke the same collarbone to put him back on the sidelines.

This time it took until Round 18 against West Perth at Arena Joondalup for him to return and he again kicked three goals as South Fremantle beat the Falcons impressively by 39 points.

Saunders then kicked two in the disappointing derby loss to East Fremantle before pulling off a season-best six goals in an eight-point win over Subiaco at Leederville's Medibank Stadium ahead of last weekend's bye.

The Bulldogs now finish the season against Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium, East Perth at Fremantle Oval and Perth at Brownes Stadium.

For Saunders it's disappointing there is only three weeks to go as he's now just warming into the season, but he is hoping he can help the Bulldogs finish off what has been a tough year strongly.

"These last three games are really important for us going into next year. To get these last three under the belt would be great and we would probably take two of them, but we really want to finish well," Saunders said.

"Before that the boys will try to freshen up, but I feel like I have just come back into it and my year is going to be over in three games time. For now, I'm excited for the rest of the season and then I'll set my sights on next year."

Saunders hasn’t been allowed to ease his way back into his return either coming up against Michael Pettigrew with West Perth, Steven Dodd with East Fremantle and Darren Rumble from Subiaco as opponents the last three weeks, but he does feel his touch is now starting to return.

"They are all good players too and proven players in the competition, and pretty hard to play against especially on the way back I wouldn’t have minded an easier opponent. You get what you are given, though, and just have to make the most of it," he said.

"It definitely does take a while. Especially that first game I played coming back from injury the second time I was terrible up against West Perth. I was flying and landing, and then attempting to mark by the time the ball arrived but those are the types of things you can't train for. It's just all about getting back into it and then two or three games later you start to find some form again."

Saunders can't help but be frustrated about how his 2013 season has panned out coming off his brilliant personal 2012 year where he was the league's leading goalkicker. It made it even harder when the team was struggling, but Saunders has just tried to keep as positive as he can.

"It has been an extremely frustrating year. I'm a very active person and work full-time, and I like to dive fully into everything I do so the first time I did the injury I was out for five weeks and couldn’t do anything at all," Saunders said.

"That was real frustrating and then to watch the boys lose six games by under three goals you couldn’t help but think how much you could have helped if you were out there with the boys.

"It's really hard to watch, but it happened and you just have to suck it up and try to get back out there as quickly as you can."

As for the win over Subiaco before the bye last weekend, South Fremantle looked in control of the contest midway through the third quarter before Subiaco got some late cheap goals to be in front at three quarter-time.

That saw coach Paul Hasleby pull out one of his best sprays of the season where he pointed out the rest of the team needed to follow example set by Kris Miller and Brendan Verrier, and the whole group responded to record their fourth win of the year.

"He fairly gave it to us at three quarter-time, but he was within his right to. We were leaving it to the old boy 'Chewy' and the young kid 'Freshy' to do too much of the work in that third quarter so it was good we were able to turn that around in the last quarter," he said.

"Especially because we are such a young team it was good to finish off strongly. Last year we struggled with our last quarters and it was really nice to finish off by coming back from behind after giving up a few goals late in the third to end up coming over the top of them."

Saunders kicked six goals against Subiaco but most of them were set up from good work from his teammates especially veteran Miller who gave him several handballs over the top in the goal square.

Saunders is happy with how the forward-line is shaping up with Miller now settling there along with Paul Mugambwa, his former Claremont teammate Alistair Gillespie and Mitch Banner spending time off the half-forward flank.

"Before the game we were talking and just trying to focus on goal assists, and making sure we gave that extra handball over the top. Luckily enough this week I was able to be in the goal square to get on the end of it which was good," he said.

"I think our forward-line is very dangerous especially on paper. A few times this year from watching and the couple of games I've played I don’t think we have quite gelled enough and linked up, but it's exciting for the future.

"Millsy is unbelievable and is such a great player, and his experience just brings so much to our forward-line and then you've got Gumby as well who is a 100-game player and he's just a freak with the way that he plays."

Another South Fremantle youngster to shine against Subiaco was James Laurino who made his debut and did a good job shutting down Subiaco wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson.

His form is on the back of the likes Tim Kelly, Jacob Martinez and a host of other youngsters showing good signs for South Fremantle.

"He (Laurino) shut him down and played real well. That kind of stuff excites the rest of us because you don’t go through the motions, but it has been a hard year and are in a real big building phase at the moment. To have someone like Jimmy, who has been at the club for three years, to find some form and break into the ones excites all of the rest of us especially to see him to a good job," Saunders said.

"Timmy Kelly is killing it and he's only 19 years of age. We might not have him for too long, but seeing that kind of promise with guys like 'Spaniard', Jimmy Laurino and 'Freshy' it's very exciting. I still feel like I've got 10 years left in me and then they are even younger, so we could be really lethal as a team in two or three years and for a sustained period of time."

By Chris Pike

Chewin' the Fat – Kris Miller column August 9

Friday, August 9, 2013 - 4:44 PM

THERE are a lot of things you have to weigh up when deciding to continue playing on next year or not and you can change your mind weekly or daily at this point of the season.

What I have decided is that I won't make the decision until the season is over because you could have a bad week at work or in life and think it's not worth playing anymore. Then you could have a really good week and decide to play on, but if I wait until the end of the year it will be a lot more of an informed decision and not one based on emotion.
In terms of a timeline, I will aim to make the decision before pre-season starts basically. That would be the only timeline I will put on it. There's no other real reason that I would have to decide before then I would have thought. If I decide to retire and the season's over that wouldn’t bother me and I've never liked having much of a song and dance made of me.
To be honest, the fact that I will finish the year so close to 300 games might come into my thinking as well. That definitely is one factor that will come into it and it definitely gives me a reason to potentially go on, but it's certainly not the be all and end all. I might look back in 20 years time and if I decide not to play on then think it might have been good to get to 300 games. It's not the biggest factor, but it is one that will come into it and so will the fact that if I play on I should reach 150 games at South Fremantle as well which would give me life membership. That would be a pretty good achievement as well to reach.
I have been playing a different in recent weeks as well across half-forward. It was something that I did when I first started as a 17 or 18-year-old coming into the WAFL so it's not totally foreign to me. It's a difficult role especially when you are playing in a team that has been struggling a little bit so the ball hasn’t been coming down too much and with a key forward like Saunders out it has been a bit of a graveyard at times.
Having Saunders back the last few weeks has been great for us. He is a massive part of our side as the Bernie Naylor Medallist from last year. He gives us that direction and straightens us up and with Gumby and Dizzy down there as well, we have a pretty potent and high-flying forward-line. Sides must shudder when they see Mugambwa and Saunders getting a free run and jump at a ball. Saundo makes a massive contest for us and if he doesn't mark it, it comes to ground and he fights and scraps. He brings everyone else into the game.
The only downside to it, though, is that before I went there I was playing good footy in the midfield and I still think I can do that. It's a situational thing in terms of where the team is and what we have to do for the young blokes. If I was struggling with form and this was the position I needed to play going forward to help impact the side then it would be easier, but the fact that I was still getting the job done in the midfield makes it a bit harder to settle there at half-forward. At the end of the day, it's about giving the young blokes a go and if that helps them going forward, and I can still play decent footy, then it's all well and good.
'Spaniard' Martinez was playing good footy for us towards the end of last year and Timmy Kelly was coming through the colts but both of them have been really good for us this year in the midfield. Timmy is playing outstanding footy in my opinion and the unfortunate thing for us is that he is playing too good and we won't see him this year. It would be a travesty if someone didn’t give him a chance even on a rookie-list because he is clean, is pretty sharp and is good both ways, and he's not frightened to put his head over the ball. While some of these opportunities for these blokes are good for the club, in some ways it has given them enough exposure where they will get to the next level.
When it's all said and done, the three biggest factors in my decision will be whether or not I can still contribute to the side first and foremost. I can't see myself being the 21st or 22nd bloke picked and coming in and out of the side because I don’t think that would work. The second consideration is how good we are going to be as a team. I couldn’t see myself playing if I thought we were going to be a bottom three side again and that's a double-edged sword, because if I am playing more as a forward in a better side then the more opportunities there will be down there. The third thing is family and weighing up whether or not I can still spend enough time with them.
Last year Hase as the coach left the decision up to myself and Toby, and it's going to be a similar thing again this year. I spoke to him three weeks ago and he asked me what I was thinking, and I told him that I won't decide until after the year. He didn’t tell me that he wanted me to play on or that he didn’t, I think he is comfortable that I will know myself if I want to play on or not and if I still will be good enough. I think he is comfortable that I'm smart enough to make the right decision, for the team and him ultimately as the coach.
By Kris MillerTHERE are a lot of things you have to weigh up and you can change your mind weekly or daily at this point of the season.

What I have decided is that I won't make the decision until the season is over because you could have a bad week at work or in life and think it's not worth playing anymore. Then you could have a really good week and decide to play on, but if I wait until the end of the year it will be a lot more of an informed decision and not one based on emotion.

In terms of a timeline, I will aim to make the decision before pre-season starts basically. That would be the only timeline I will put on it. There's no other real reason that I would have to decide before then I would have thought. If I decide to retire and the season's over that wouldn’t bother me and I've never liked having much of a song and dance made of me.

To be honest, the fact that I will finish the year so close to 300 games might come into my thinking as well. That definitely is one factor that will come into it and it definitely gives me a reason to potentially go on, but it's certainly not the be all and end all. I might look back in 20 years time and if I decide not to play on then think it might have been good to get to 300 games. It's not the biggest factor, but it is one that will come into it and so will the fact that if I play on I should reach 150 games at South Fremantle as well which would give me life membership. That would be a pretty good achievement as well to reach.

I have been playing a different in recent weeks as well across half-forward. It was something that I did when I first started as a 17 or 18-year-old coming into the WAFL so it's not totally foreign to me. It's a difficult role especially when you are playing in a team that has been struggling a little bit so the ball hasn’t been coming down too much and with a key forward like Saunders out it has been a bit of a graveyard at times.

Having Saunders back the last few weeks has been great for us. He is a massive part of our side as the Bernie Naylor Medallist from last year. He gives us that direction and straightens us up and with Gumby and Dizzy down there as well, we have a pretty potent and high-flying forward-line. Sides must shudder when they see Mugambwa and Saunders getting a free run and jump at a ball. Saundo makes a massive contest for us and if he doesn't mark it, it comes to ground and he fights and scraps. He brings everyone else into the game.

The only downside to it, though, is that before I went there I was playing good footy in the midfield and I still think I can do that. It's a situational thing in terms of where the team is and what we have to do for the young blokes. If I was struggling with form and this was the position I needed to play going forward to help impact the side then it would be easier, but the fact that I was still getting the job done in the midfield makes it a bit harder to settle there at half-forward. At the end of the day, it's about giving the young blokes a go and if that helps them going forward, and I can still play decent footy, then it's all well and good.

'Spaniard' Martinez was playing good footy for us towards the end of last year and Timmy Kelly was coming through the colts but both of them have been really good for us this year in the midfield. Timmy is playing outstanding footy in my opinion and the unfortunate thing for us is that he is playing too good and we won't see him this year. It would be a travesty if someone didn’t give him a chance even on a rookie-list because he is clean, is pretty sharp and is good both ways, and he's not frightened to put his head over the ball. While some of these opportunities for these blokes are good for the club, in some ways it has given them enough exposure where they will get to the next level.

When it's all said and done, the three biggest factors in my decision will be whether or not I can still contribute to the side first and foremost. I can't see myself being the 21st or 22nd bloke picked and coming in and out of the side because I don’t think that would work. The second consideration is how good we are going to be as a team. I couldn’t see myself playing if I thought we were going to be a bottom three side again and that's a double-edged sword, because if I am playing more as a forward in a better side then the more opportunities there will be down there. The third thing is family and weighing up whether or not I can still spend enough time with them.

Last year Hase as the coach left the decision up to myself and Toby, and it's going to be a similar thing again this year. I spoke to him three weeks ago and he asked me what I was thinking, and I told him that I won't decide until after the year. He didn’t tell me that he wanted me to play on or that he didn’t, I think he is comfortable that I will know myself if I want to play on or not and if I still will be good enough. I think he is comfortable that I'm smart enough to make the right decision, for the team and him ultimately as the coach.

By Kris Miller

Gala Auction Gathering

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 3:10 PM

The club hosted one of its Marquee events for the year on Saturday 3rd August with the annual Gala Auction providing everybody who went a very enjoyable evening.

After a great day of football with Colts, Reserves and League sealing great wins away against Subiaco, South Fremantle fans, friends, players and staff enjoyed an exciting night of festivities including some great auction items, plenty of laughs and some groovy music from our resident DJ Darren.

The night was hosted by David Shortte as MC and Tiny Holly as auctioneer. These guys are true professionals and ensured the evening ran smoothly while providing the crowd with plenty of jokes and entertainment. Numero Uno again presented a tasty meal for the 250 strong crowd in the Griff John room which was decorated with a red and white theme.

More than 150 items were sold in the main, silent and memorabilia auctions. The funds raised will be directed towards the club’s football and indigenous development programs and will provide the Bulldogs with a much help in financial resources for these programs.

Our sincere thanks must go to the fantastic team of staff and volunteers who pulled everything together, with a special mention to Sue Gurney who not only spent the day recording match statistics, but then backed up by spending the evening assisting with the event.

Our next event will be the Bulldogs Golf Day on Friday, 13th September, to be played at the magnificent Royal Fremantle Golf Club.  Hurry and call the office if you want to book your team 9335 1555, ask for Michelle.