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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.

 

Colts Report - Round 20

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 12:42 PM

The 2013 Colts side has continued their recent run of finals participation by securing a finals berth with a convincing win against Subiaco on Saturday. After a sluggish start in slippery conditions, the South boys struck late in the first quarter through Jarrod Pickett to draw within a few points at the break. From here it was all the Bulldogs as they piled on five goals to one in the second term to take an eighteen point lead into half time. The tackling pressure on the opposition a feature that produced plenty of opportunities for the dangerous forward line featuring Willie Rioli (6 goals) and second gamer Jye Depane (2 goals). After the main break it was again the fast running Bulldogs that produced the better football and continued to play a team brand that will give them more opportunity to succeed in the coming weeks.

Bailey Matera continued his good form in taking out the K Craft best player award after amassing 31 possessions, 22 in the second half, contributing in both defence and attack. The midfield was again on top of the opposition with Jacob Dragovich, Jarrod Pickett, and Trae Bennell consistently winning clearances and producing entertaining passages of play that gave the team drive and confidence. Youngster Callum Ah Chee was another to show his class in the midfield in his first Colts game. He showed he can have as much of an influence as did his brother Brendan who is now on the Port Adelaide list. Others to show some good form on the day were Braden Fimmano, Jarrod Garlett, Matty Ah Siu and Jacob Tartaglia. Tom Vandeleur was outstanding at half back and gave great drive from defence. But the day will be remembered again by the silky skills of Willie Rioli as he continues to enthral all with his highly regarded talent. He has fitted in well with a close knit and happy unit that is the Souths Colts, a side that have shown consistent high levels of team play and a style worthy of participating in this year’s finals. But I assure you the coaching staff will continue to make sure the team focuses on the next challenge as we travel to Mandurah to play Peel Thunder in a fortnights time. We look forward to the break so that we can set ourselves to finish the season with as much enthusiasm and passion as we started. Thank you to all the support crew for their efforts so far, enjoy the break.

Arthur Maskos
SFFC Colts Coach

Bulldogs finish strongly to down Lions

Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 11:12 PM

SOUTH Fremantle bounced back from a disappointing derby loss and two earlier defeats to Subiaco this season to finish full of running to down the Lions by eight points at Medibank Stadium on Saturday.

It was a game full of momentum swings all day at the Leederville venue, but it was South Fremantle who finished the stronger kicking six goals to two in the last quarter to run away with the 16.10 (106) to 14.14 (98) victory.
It was South Fremantle's fourth win of the season to now be within striking distance of replacing Subiaco in seventh position on the ladder with finishing with the wooden spoon now looking out of the running with the Bulldogs a chance to shoot further away from Peel in a fortnight's time.
While the Bulldogs have won just four matches this season to date with games against Peel, East Perth and Perth to come, they have been significant victories.
South Fremantle has now claimed three trophies for the season starting with the Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle in Round 11 before claiming the Garlic Munchers Cup in Round 18 with a win over West Perth and then on Saturday winning the Charlie 'Big Boots' Tyson Cup against Subiaco.
It has been a season of blooding plenty of youth at South Fremantle and another debutant got his chance against Subiaco with James Laurino playing his first league game and he did a tremendous job running with the Lions' State wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and limiting him to just 15 possessions.
Fellow youngsters Jacob Martinez (26 possessions, seven marks, five tackles), Tim Kelly (21 disposals) and Brendan Verrier (16 disposals, one goal) all continued their impressive form through the middle as well.
Up forward, South Fremantle's forward-line was outstanding led last year's Bernie Naylor Medal winner Ben Saunders kicking six goals.
Even though the majority of them were from him being on the good work to get the ball to him in the goal square, he still finished with the six majors to show just how much he has been missed this season having broken his collarbone twice.
Veteran Kris Miller has settled across half-forward rather than on the ball late in the season and he was tremendous in that role setting up a handful of goals while kicking three himself to go with his 20 possessions and four entries inside the forward 50.
Paul Mugambwa also kicked three goals for the Bulldogs from just the five kicks for the afternoon.
Ruckman Sean Tighe worked tirelessly up against both Aidan Parker and Andrew McDougall from Subiaco, and finished with 23 possessions and 25 hit outs.
Bulldogs captain Ryan Cook was outstanding with 30 possessions with Haiden Schloithe picking up 28 touches and Mitch Banner 22.
The South Fremantle back-line held up well also with Nick Borovac doing well up against the resting ruckman whether it be McDougall or Parker while Adam Guglielmana (22 possessions), Craig White (20), Adam McIntosh (20) and Warrick Andreoli (15) gave good run and drive.
It was a see-sawing affair all afternoon between the two evenly matched sides with 13 lead changes throughout the game, but the Bulldogs hit the front at the eight-minute mark of the last term and were able to stay there.
It was a game of runs right throughout with Subiaco kicking three goals in six minutes in the first quarter after Mugambwa got the first goal through Mugambwa.
The Bulldogs hit back with three goals themselves in as many minutes before quarter-time, though, and were a goal up at the first change.
It was then goal for goal right throughout the second quarter with the Bulldogs holding a six-point half-time advantage and then the Bulldogs came out impressively after the main break with two quick goals to Saunders that were set up by good play from Miller and Mugambwa.
The Bulldogs led by as much as 17 points but then Subiaco got on yet another run with four goals in eight minutes just before three quarter-time to hold a 13-point advantage.
South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby let his team know what he thought of them giving up the lead and his side responded with six goals to two in the final quarter.
South Fremantle's reserves also scored a thumping 18.14 (122) to 3.8 (26) win over Subiaco with Kaiden Matera booting four goals, Simon Panizza two, Marlon Pickett two, Zac Strom two and Myles Bolger two.
Alex Grima racked up 31 possessions to go with 11 inside 50s for the Bulldogs with Toby Bairstow collecting 28 disposals, Jarrod Parry 25 and Jarrad Winter 25 to go with five tackles and a goal.
The Bulldogs colts also managed to beat Subiaco comfortably by 48 points with Willie Rioli starring by kicking six goals with Jarrod Pickett and Jye Depane adding two apiece.
Bailey Matera racked up 31 possessions for the Bulldogs with Jacob Dragovich also picking up 27 touches, Matthew Ah Siu 19 and Jakeb Tartaglia 18.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 5.3 7.7 10.9 16.10 (106)
SUBIACO 4.3 6.7 12.10 14.14 (98)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders 6; Mugambwa, Miller 3; Schloithe, Guglielmana, Gillespie, Verrier.
Best: Schloithe, Miller, Cook, Martinez, Laurino, Kelly, Guglielmana, Tighe.
SUBIACO – Goals: Le Fanu 3; Wood, Halligan 2; McDougall, Stevenson, Phelan, Mahoney, Hampson, Parker, Waters.
Best: Hampson, Daniels, Phelan, Davey, Le Fanu.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle bounced back from a disappointing derby loss and two earlier defeats to Subiaco this season to finish full of running to down the Lions by eight points at Medibank Stadium on Saturday.

It was a game full of momentum swings all day at the Leederville venue, but it was South Fremantle who finished the stronger kicking six goals to two in the last quarter to run away with the 16.10 (106) to 14.14 (98) victory.

It was South Fremantle's fourth win of the season to now be within striking distance of replacing Subiaco in seventh position on the ladder with finishing with the wooden spoon now looking out of the running with the Bulldogs a chance to shoot further away from Peel in a fortnight's time.

While the Bulldogs have won just four matches this season to date with games against Peel, East Perth and Perth to come, they have been significant victories.

South Fremantle has now claimed three trophies for the season starting with the Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle in Round 11 before claiming the Garlic Munchers Cup in Round 18 with a win over West Perth and then on Saturday winning the Charlie 'Big Boots' Tyson Cup against Subiaco.

It has been a season of blooding plenty of youth at South Fremantle and another debutant got his chance against Subiaco with James Laurino playing his first league game and he did a tremendous job running with the Lions' State wingman Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and limiting him to just 15 possessions.

Fellow youngsters Jacob Martinez (26 possessions, seven marks, five tackles), Tim Kelly (21 disposals) and Brendan Verrier (16 disposals, one goal) all continued their impressive form through the middle as well.

Up forward, South Fremantle's forward-line was outstanding led last year's Bernie Naylor Medal winner Ben Saunders kicking six goals.

Even though the majority of them were from him being on the good work to get the ball to him in the goal square, he still finished with the six majors to show just how much he has been missed this season having broken his collarbone twice.

Veteran Kris Miller has settled across half-forward rather than on the ball late in the season and he was tremendous in that role setting up a handful of goals while kicking three himself to go with his 20 possessions and four entries inside the forward 50.

Paul Mugambwa also kicked three goals for the Bulldogs from just the five kicks for the afternoon.

Ruckman Sean Tighe worked tirelessly up against both Aidan Parker and Andrew McDougall from Subiaco, and finished with 23 possessions and 25 hit outs.

Bulldogs captain Ryan Cook was outstanding with 30 possessions with Haiden Schloithe picking up 28 touches and Mitch Banner 22.

The South Fremantle back-line held up well also with Nick Borovac doing well up against the resting ruckman whether it be McDougall or Parker while Adam Guglielmana (22 possessions), Craig White (20), Adam McIntosh (20) and Warrick Andreoli (15) gave good run and drive.

It was a see-sawing affair all afternoon between the two evenly matched sides with 13 lead changes throughout the game, but the Bulldogs hit the front at the eight-minute mark of the last term and were able to stay there.

It was a game of runs right throughout with Subiaco kicking three goals in six minutes in the first quarter after Mugambwa got the first goal through Mugambwa.

The Bulldogs hit back with three goals themselves in as many minutes before quarter-time, though, and were a goal up at the first change.

It was then goal for goal right throughout the second quarter with the Bulldogs holding a six-point half-time advantage and then the Bulldogs came out impressively after the main break with two quick goals to Saunders that were set up by good play from Miller and Mugambwa.

The Bulldogs led by as much as 17 points but then Subiaco got on yet another run with four goals in eight minutes just before three quarter-time to hold a 13-point advantage.

South Fremantle coach Paul Hasleby let his team know what he thought of them giving up the lead and his side responded with six goals to two in the final quarter.

South Fremantle's reserves also scored a thumping 18.14 (122) to 3.8 (26) win over Subiaco with Kaiden Matera booting four goals, Simon Panizza two, Marlon Pickett two, Zac Strom two and Myles Bolger two.

Alex Grima racked up 31 possessions to go with 11 inside 50s for the Bulldogs with Toby Bairstow collecting 28 disposals, Jarrod Parry 25 and Jarrad Winter 25 to go with five tackles and a goal.

The Bulldogs colts also managed to beat Subiaco comfortably by 48 points with Willie Rioli starring by kicking six goals with Jarrod Pickett and Jye Depane adding two apiece.

Bailey Matera racked up 31 possessions for the Bulldogs with Jacob Dragovich also picking up 27 touches, Matthew Ah Siu 19 and Jakeb Tartaglia 18.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 5.3 7.7 10.9 16.10 (106)

SUBIACO 4.3 6.7 12.10 14.14 (98)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders 6; Mugambwa, Miller 3; Schloithe, Guglielmana, Gillespie, Verrier.

Best: Schloithe, Miller, Cook, Martinez, Laurino, Kelly, Guglielmana, Tighe.

SUBIACO – Goals: Le Fanu 3; Wood, Halligan 2; McDougall, Stevenson, Phelan, Mahoney, Hampson, Parker, Waters.

Best: Hampson, Daniels, Phelan, Davey, Le Fanu.

By Chris Pike

Round 20 Preview v Subiaco

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 3:37 PM

SOUTH Fremantle and Subiaco might not be playing for a finals spot in their clash at Medibank Stadium but both teams will be determined to finish a disappointing season strongly starting with a win on Saturday.

For some reason despite little separating the Lions and Bulldogs on the ladder this season, Subiaco seems to have saved its best for the previous two clashes and South Fremantle some of its worst form.
Subiaco beat South Fremantle by 41 points in a dominant second half performance at Fremantle Oval in Round 6 and then in the return clash at Medibank Stadium in Leederville, the Lions also won by 53 points in Round 12.
On that occasion, South Fremantle completely dominated the third quarter of the contest but was unable to put a score on the board and then Subiaco went on a run of kicking nine straight goals to eventually end up winning by 53 points.
South Fremantle might have shown some good signs since that last loss to Subiaco with tight losses to Perth and Claremont, and a good win over West Perth but the Bulldogs took a step backwards last Saturday with a disappointing 83-point loss to East Fremantle at Fremantle Oval.
However, things haven’t gone to plan for Subiaco since that day with the Lions not having recorded a victory since with losses to Swan Districts, West Perth, East Fremantle, Perth, the Sharks again and then last week Claremont.
The only one of those six games where Subiaco was a realistic chance of winning was against West Perth in Round 14 so the Lions haven’t been in good form for some time.
John Sgherza is a likely inclusion for South Fremantle after three goals and 17 possessions in the reserves last week while James Laurino could be in line for his league debut after continued solid good form.
Jarrod Parry has been building solidly on return from his horror run of knee injuries and had another 20 possessions last week to put himself in the mix to take on Subiaco this week.
Warrick Andreoli, Alex Grima and Kingsley Smith have all played some league football this season and have been doing reasonably well in the reserves to remain in contention for a spot in the Bulldogs line-up as well.
Toby Bairstow will miss his first game of the season after averaging over 21 possessions a game so far this season with Jarrad Winter and Kaiden Matera also out of the South Fremantle team to take on Subiaco on Saturday.
Young small men Simon Moore and Ryan Wade go out of the Subiaco team that lost in the mud last Saturday against Claremont.
Small forwards Alliston 'Buddy' Pickett and Michael Wood look the obvious replacements for those two players out with Joey Daye, Michael Genovese and Ryan Herring also pressing to come into the Subiaco side that has now not won a game since Round 12.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle and Subiaco might not be playing for a finals spot in their clash at Medibank Stadium but both teams will be determined to finish a disappointing season strongly starting with a win on Saturday.

For some reason despite little separating the Lions and Bulldogs on the ladder this season, Subiaco seems to have saved its best for the previous two clashes and South Fremantle some of its worst form.

Subiaco beat South Fremantle by 41 points in a dominant second half performance at Fremantle Oval in Round 6 and then in the return clash at Medibank Stadium in Leederville, the Lions also won by 53 points in Round 12.

On that occasion, South Fremantle completely dominated the third quarter of the contest but was unable to put a score on the board and then Subiaco went on a run of kicking nine straight goals to eventually end up winning by 53 points.

South Fremantle might have shown some good signs since that last loss to Subiaco with tight losses to Perth and Claremont, and a good win over West Perth but the Bulldogs took a step backwards last Saturday with a disappointing 83-point loss to East Fremantle at Fremantle Oval.

However, things haven’t gone to plan for Subiaco since that day with the Lions not having recorded a victory since with losses to Swan Districts, West Perth, East Fremantle, Perth, the Sharks again and then last week Claremont.

The only one of those six games where Subiaco was a realistic chance of winning was against West Perth in Round 14 so the Lions haven’t been in good form for some time.

John Sgherza is a likely inclusion for South Fremantle after three goals and 17 possessions in the reserves last week while James Laurino could be in line for his league debut after continued solid good form.

Jarrod Parry has been building solidly on return from his horror run of knee injuries and had another 20 possessions last week to put himself in the mix to take on Subiaco this week.

Warrick Andreoli, Alex Grima and Kingsley Smith have all played some league football this season and have been doing reasonably well in the reserves to remain in contention for a spot in the Bulldogs line-up as well.

Toby Bairstow will miss his first game of the season after averaging over 21 possessions a game so far this season with Jarrad Winter and Kaiden Matera also out of the South Fremantle team to take on Subiaco on Saturday.

Young small men Simon Moore and Ryan Wade go out of the Subiaco team that lost in the mud last Saturday against Claremont.

Small forwards Alliston 'Buddy' Pickett and Michael Wood look the obvious replacements for those two players out with Joey Daye, Michael Genovese and Ryan Herring also pressing to come into the Subiaco side that has now not won a game since Round 12.

By Chris Pike

Bulldogs go down in final derby of 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 3:03 PM

SOUTH Fremantle was unable to repeat its Foundation Derby performance or continue its recent strong form on Saturday in a disappointing final derby for 2013 at Fremantle Oval.

South Fremantle was outstanding back in the Foundation Derby at East Fremantle Oval thumping East Fremantle by 67 points on that occasion and then the Bulldogs' recent form had been encouraging as well.
Following a disappointing 52-point loss to Swan Districts in Round 14, South Fremantle did well the next two weeks to be in winning positions against top-four teams Claremont and Perth in the final quarter before narrowly going down.
The Bulldogs then put in an outstanding performance last weekend up at Arena Joondalup to beat the second-placed West Perth in emphatic fashion by 39 points to climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t continue that this Saturday at Fremantle Oval, though, with East Fremantle running out 20.18 (138) to 8.7 (55) winners to claim the Uittenbroek-Ciccotosto Cup in the final derby of 2013.
It was a disappointing day for South Fremantle but Mitch Banner once again did all he could finishing with another 31 possessions and kicking two goals to go with five entries inside the forward 50.
Captain Ryan Cook also worked tirelessly picking up 24 disposals while youngster Brendan Verrier showed strong signs gathering 21 disposals.
Haiden Schloithe also continued his emergence as a prime midfielder in the competition finishing with 23 possessions, six inside-50 entries and five tackles.
Reece Adams put in perhaps his best effort of the season to date with 20 touches and a goal while Kris Miller had 19 possessions, Toby Bairstow 18 and Tim Kelly 16.
The back-line was under siege all afternoon with East Fremantle going inside-50 a massive 65 times but the young Bulldogs defenders did all they could and Adam McIntosh ended up with 24 possessions, Dylan Ross 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Mitch Carter 16.
South Fremantle's reserves put in a strong performance, though, beating East Fremantle comfortably 16.12 (108) to 10.6 (66) in the tough conditions at Fremantle Oval.
John Sgherza kicked three goals for the Bulldogs from 17 possessions with Myles Bolger putting in a good effort in the ruck with 17 disposals, six marks, 15 hit outs, seven inside-50 entries and two goals.
Blaine Johnson and Kingsley Smith also kicked two goals for South Fremantle with Sam Lowrie outstanding with 24 possessions and two goals as well.
Rhys D'Alton gathered 21 disposals, Jarrod Parry 20, Alex Grima 17, Jason Maskos 17 and Dylan Main 17.
South Fremantle's colts started the derby day well at Fremantle Oval with a narrow 8.12 (60) to 7.12 (54) win over East Fremantle.
Willie Rioli booted four goals from just eight kicks for South Fremantle with Jermaine Lewis also booting two majors.
Bailey Matera finished with 21 possessions for the Bulldogs to go with five inside-50 entries and four tackles. Braden Fimmano collected 18 disposals, Jarrod Garlett 18, Tim Stewart 17 and Jacob Dragovich 17.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 3.1 5.3 7.4 8.7 (55)
EAST FREMANTLE 6.7 11.10 16.16 20.18 (138)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders, Mugambwa, Banner 2; Adams, Gillespie.
Best: Banner, McIntosh, Schloithe, Verrier, Adams, Cook.
EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Perham 5; Lester-Smith 4; Young 3; Dick 2; Depane, Bayliss, Cronan, Peake, Tropiano, Hadley.
Best: O'Brien, Hancock, Stephen, Tropiano, Perham, Cooper, Sheppard.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle was unable to repeat its Foundation Derby performance or continue its recent strong form on Saturday in a disappointing final derby for 2013 at Fremantle Oval.

South Fremantle was outstanding back in the Foundation Derby at East Fremantle Oval thumping East Fremantle by 67 points on that occasion and then the Bulldogs' recent form had been encouraging as well.

Following a disappointing 52-point loss to Swan Districts in Round 14, South Fremantle did well the next two weeks to be in winning positions against top-four teams Claremont and Perth in the final quarter before narrowly going down.

The Bulldogs then put in an outstanding performance last weekend up at Arena Joondalup to beat the second-placed West Perth in emphatic fashion by 39 points to climb off the bottom of the ladder.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t continue that this Saturday at Fremantle Oval, though, with East Fremantle running out 20.18 (138) to 8.7 (55) winners to claim the Uittenbroek-Ciccotosto Cup in the final derby of 2013.

It was a disappointing day for South Fremantle but Mitch Banner once again did all he could finishing with another 31 possessions and kicking two goals to go with five entries inside the forward 50.

Captain Ryan Cook also worked tirelessly picking up 24 disposals while youngster Brendan Verrier showed strong signs gathering 21 disposals.

Haiden Schloithe also continued his emergence as a prime midfielder in the competition finishing with 23 possessions, six inside-50 entries and five tackles.

Reece Adams put in perhaps his best effort of the season to date with 20 touches and a goal while Kris Miller had 19 possessions, Toby Bairstow 18 and Tim Kelly 16.

The back-line was under siege all afternoon with East Fremantle going inside-50 a massive 65 times but the young Bulldogs defenders did all they could and Adam McIntosh ended up with 24 possessions, Dylan Ross 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Mitch Carter 16.

South Fremantle's reserves put in a strong performance, though, beating East Fremantle comfortably 16.12 (108) to 10.6 (66) in the tough conditions at Fremantle Oval.

John Sgherza kicked three goals for the Bulldogs from 17 possessions with Myles Bolger putting in a good effort in the ruck with 17 disposals, six marks, 15 hit outs, seven inside-50 entries and two goals.

Blaine Johnson and Kingsley Smith also kicked two goals for South Fremantle with Sam Lowrie outstanding with 24 possessions and two goals as well.

Rhys D'Alton gathered 21 disposals, Jarrod Parry 20, Alex Grima 17, Jason Maskos 17 and Dylan Main 17.

South Fremantle's colts started the derby day well at Fremantle Oval with a narrow 8.12 (60) to 7.12 (54) win over East Fremantle.

Willie Rioli booted four goals from just eight kicks for South Fremantle with Jermaine Lewis also booting two majors.

Bailey Matera finished with 21 possessions for the Bulldogs to go with five inside-50 entries and four tackles. Braden Fimmano collected 18 disposals, Jarrod Garlett 18, Tim Stewart 17 and Jacob Dragovich 17.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 3.1 5.3 7.4 8.7 (55)

EAST FREMANTLE 6.7 11.10 16.16 20.18 (138)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders, Mugambwa, Banner 2; Adams, Gillespie.

Best: Banner, McIntosh, Schloithe, Verrier, Adams, Cook.

EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Perham 5; Lester-Smith 4; Young 3; Dick 2; Depane, Bayliss, Cronan, Peake, Tropiano, Hadley.

Best: O'Brien, Hancock, Stephen, Tropiano, Perham, Cooper, Sheppard.

By Chris Pike

Red and WHITE – Craig White column July 25

Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:16 PM

I HAVE come back to the club this year knowing that I have to have a hand in fast tracking some of the younger guys coming along, and a little bit more pressure goes on guys like myself, Cooky, Millsy and Gumby to make sure that happens because we are really the only experienced players left.

In terms of leadership, I first felt myself developing in that way in the back end of 2007. John Dimmer showed a fair bit of confidence in me and gave me some bigger, and more important roles around the club and then in 2008 they took the plunge in an official leadership role.
Always as a kid, I enjoyed the leadership roles and at school I was in the leadership groups and what not there, so it's a bit part and parcel for me. But in terms of here at South Fremantle, it was in 2008 when I officially became a leader and getting in there started in the back end of 2007.
Up until coming back to the club this year, I have always had some great leaders around the South Fremantle Football Club since I have been playing but the most important year for me was in 2004 when I played a lot of reserves footy and so did Shaun Tinsley and Zane Parsons. Not only did we have leaders in our league team, but we also had them in the reserves team and that's probably one area where the whole of the WAFL has slipped in recent years.
There doesn’t seem to be too many older guys hanging around playing reserves footy anymore where as I learned a lot just from playing almost a full season with guys like Shaun Tinsley and Zane Parsons back in 2004.
It is different now in terms of players hanging in there to earn your spot by playing reserves as well. Sometimes the kids get instantly thrown in the deep end without playing much reserves footy, but I would put my development down to hugely playing a lot of reserves footy at the start of my career.
David Gault and Ray Smithers would be the two leaders I have played with who really helped in my development. Smithers became a big part of our leadership in 2009 when Peter Worsfold got our program up and running, and Ray really took a massive step in terms of his development as a leader and kind of showed us who hadn’t had AFL experience the way you need to operate to be a leader while performing on the track, off the field and on game day as well.
Now that Andrew McCarrey is retired as well from the club, I'm the third oldest player at the club and that's a bit of a scary thought. When you start and are coming through when you are 23, 24 or 25 you still think that you are a young guy and even now I'm not old in a real world sense, but at the footy club everyone tells me how old I am. I don’t really feel it, but you do quickly learn that you are the third oldest at the club and need to show the way for the rest of the group.
I really enjoyed coaching over in Sydney last year as well and it's something that I will definitely do again, but whether or not I do it again soon is another thing. I think I will concentrate on my career outside of footy for the next few years and then once I'm established there, and can free up some time I will look to get into coaching.
It definitely helped my leadership and opened up my eyes up in terms of what coaches go through with selection and man management so it was really good for me overall.
This is such a young team I'm part of at South Fremantle at the moment obviously, but a few of the younger guys like Nick Borovac, Adam McIntosh and Adam Carter are really taking the next step with their leadership.
Then young guys on the field like Jacob Martinez and Tim Kelly are starting to show leadership with the way they are playing football, but those other guys have taken on the roles of leadership really well this year and are going to be a big part of the club.
A lot of those young leaders are in the back-line and played a lot of footy together last year as well so they are starting to get around the 40-game experience mark and once they get another year under their belts, they will know each other inside out and we will be a good side.
Looking back to when we were such a good side in 2009 and 2010, that's when myself, the two Hams boys, Heady, Northy and all these guys had a good understanding down back and this group is one or two years from being there, but if they can stick together it will be a really strong group.
We feel like things are starting to come together now as well. it's a young group and it took a while to get going at the start of the year and we struggled to find the consistent effort we needed, but Hase has really focused in on three or four main areas that we are concentrating on and that's not just changing every week like it might have earlier in the year. There are three or four KPIs that we have to meet that we know will hold us in good stead in each game.
By Craig WhiteI HAVE come back to the club this year knowing that I have to have a hand in fast tracking some of the younger guys coming along, and a little bit more pressure goes on guys like myself, Cooky, Millsy and Gumby to make sure that happens because we are really the only experienced players left.

In terms of leadership, I first felt myself developing in that way in the back end of 2007. John Dimmer showed a fair bit of confidence in me and gave me some bigger, and more important roles around the club and then in 2008 they took the plunge in an official leadership role.

Always as a kid, I enjoyed the leadership roles and at school I was in the leadership groups and what not there, so it's a bit part and parcel for me. But in terms of here at South Fremantle, it was in 2008 when I officially became a leader and getting in there started in the back end of 2007.

Up until coming back to the club this year, I have always had some great leaders around the South Fremantle Football Club since I have been playing but the most important year for me was in 2004 when I played a lot of reserves footy and so did Shaun Tinsley and Zane Parsons. Not only did we have leaders in our league team, but we also had them in the reserves team and that's probably one area where the whole of the WAFL has slipped in recent years.

There doesn’t seem to be too many older guys hanging around playing reserves footy anymore where as I learned a lot just from playing almost a full season with guys like Shaun Tinsley and Zane Parsons back in 2004.

It is different now in terms of players hanging in there to earn your spot by playing reserves as well. Sometimes the kids get instantly thrown in the deep end without playing much reserves footy, but I would put my development down to hugely playing a lot of reserves footy at the start of my career.

David Gault and Ray Smithers would be the two leaders I have played with who really helped in my development. Smithers became a big part of our leadership in 2009 when Peter Worsfold got our program up and running, and Ray really took a massive step in terms of his development as a leader and kind of showed us who hadn’t had AFL experience the way you need to operate to be a leader while performing on the track, off the field and on game day as well.

Now that Andrew McCarrey is retired as well from the club, I'm the third oldest player at the club and that's a bit of a scary thought. When you start and are coming through when you are 23, 24 or 25 you still think that you are a young guy and even now I'm not old in a real world sense, but at the footy club everyone tells me how old I am. I don’t really feel it, but you do quickly learn that you are the third oldest at the club and need to show the way for the rest of the group.

I really enjoyed coaching over in Sydney last year as well and it's something that I will definitely do again, but whether or not I do it again soon is another thing. I think I will concentrate on my career outside of footy for the next few years and then once I'm established there, and can free up some time I will look to get into coaching.

It definitely helped my leadership and opened up my eyes up in terms of what coaches go through with selection and man management so it was really good for me overall.

This is such a young team I'm part of at South Fremantle at the moment obviously, but a few of the younger guys like Nick Borovac, Adam McIntosh and Adam Carter are really taking the next step with their leadership.

Then young guys on the field like Jacob Martinez and Tim Kelly are starting to show leadership with the way they are playing football, but those other guys have taken on the roles of leadership really well this year and are going to be a big part of the club.

A lot of those young leaders are in the back-line and played a lot of footy together last year as well so they are starting to get around the 40-game experience mark and once they get another year under their belts, they will know each other inside out and we will be a good side.

Looking back to when we were such a good side in 2009 and 2010, that's when myself, the two Hams boys, Heady, Northy and all these guys had a good understanding down back and this group is one or two years from being there, but if they can stick together it will be a really strong group.

We feel like things are starting to come together now as well. it's a young group and it took a while to get going at the start of the year and we struggled to find the consistent effort we needed, but Hase has really focused in on three or four main areas that we are concentrating on and that's not just changing every week like it might have earlier in the year. There are three or four KPIs that we have to meet that we know will hold us in good stead in each game.

By Craig White

Banner showing the way in debut Bulldogs' season

Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:08 PM

WHILE Mitch Banner hopes to earn another crack at the AFL for his outstanding first season with South Fremantle, the Bulldogs' leading ball winner and goal kicker will be just as happy to stay at the port long-term if that doesn’t eventuate.

Banner spent the last four years in the AFL with Port Adelaide where he played 19 games with the Power before being delisted at the end of last year with the arrival of new coach Ken Hinkley.
However, his old school and football mate from their Western Jets days Sean Tighe was quickly on the phone to him to lure Banner to join him at the Bulldogs and now the result is that the pair are likely both in the top-three in South Fremantle's fairest and best voting so far in 2013.
Without question, Banner and Tighe have been two of the best recruits South Fremantle has added to the club for some time from interstate and for such a young team like the one the Bulldogs have, things are starting to come along as the season nears its end.
Prior to the Round 17 bye, South Fremantle put in good performances in tight losses to top-four teams Claremont and Perth, and then last weekend following the bye put in an outstanding effort to beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup
That win got the Bulldogs off the bottom of the ladder and Banner is glad to now be seeing things starting to come together after such a tough first half of the season.
"It shows that if we stick to what we are doing and what Hase is doing with our pressure, that even when teams come at us we can turn it back around and then get the momentum back. That happened this week and we were able to run away with it in the end," Banner said.
"There are still five games to go and we're not going to throw it in, you want to win every game you play and it doesn’t matter where you sit on the ladder or how many games you've won. We are going to look at next year as well and we don’t want to drop away in these last five games, we want to stick with what we've been doing and try to back up this week's performance now.
"It has obviously been a tough year for the boys but I guess I've come from a club where we were losing a lot as well so it wasn’t something totally new for me. In saying that, though, the boys have played really well for three quarters in a lot of games this year and we've been in the majority of games but have fell away for one quarters.
"To put a four-quarter performance together this week is rewarding and it shows that when our pressure is good for four quarters you can see what we can do. It's just disappointing that it's taken so long to be able to do it."
Banner has now kicked 29 goals and averaged over 26 possessions a game to be leading the way in both categories with South Fremantle for 2013, and he is happy with the way he's been able to settle in to the club and the WAFL.
However, it's the defensive side of his game that Port Adelaide wanted to see improvement in and the 23-year-old feels he has got better there as well.
"Obviously it takes a while and I didn’t get over here until the start of January. You have to get to know all the boys, learn how they play and all of that stuff," Banner said.
"I think my form has been coming together and obviously it's great to get the ball and kick goals, but at the end of the day the thing I need to work on is my defensive side.
"I think there has been an improvement, but it can definitely go up to another level. On the flipside the other stuff is going pretty well and it's just a bit of gelling, and getting to know the boys a lot better and how they play."
Banner has once before had to adjust to moving from Victoria to South Australia and now from the Power and the SANFL to WA and the WAFL, so he is used to making a big move but the difference in football has been stark.
The bigger WAFL grounds and running style of play is a lot different to what Banner became used to in South Australia but he is enjoying it.
"I've done it once when I came from Melbourne over to the SANFL which was a pretty similar move when I didn’t know anyone, only at that stage I was a bit younger. It's definitely hard, though, but I have been good mates with Sean Tighe going back to our school days, then Jets days and we played and travelled everywhere together," he said.
"He was the main culprit to get me over here and I liked it when I did that. It is hard making a move like this, but the boys have welcomed me with open arms and that's all you can really ask coming from interstate, and to a foreign place that you aren’t used to. It has been good so far.
"It's a lot different. In the SANFL the ovals are a lot smaller and there's a lot more bigger bodies, and you have to play inside because the grounds are small and there's more stoppages.
"In the WAFL, the grounds are massive and if you aren’t fit you won't be able to run and get out wide, which is so important to be able to do. The runners over here are the biggest difference compared to the bigger bodies in the SANFL which I guess comes down to the size of the grounds."
Having already spent four years on an AFL list with Port Adelaide and played 19 games, Banner knows what it takes at the top level and he is hopeful that his form with South Fremantle this season will see him get another chance, but he knows that's all out of his hands.
"I'm hopeful but you just never know. I was in the system for four years and feel like I got a grasp of it, and if the opportunity comes up I will take it with open arms. That's what I aspire to," he said.
"You want to do well as a team and help them as much as you can, but at the end of the day the end goal would be to get back.
"I'm hopeful but you can't say it's going to happen because you have no idea. Fingers crossed I can keep my form up for the rest of the year and if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t I will go back to drawing board and have another crack at it."
If things don't pan out and Banner doesn’t find a place back in the AFL in 2014, then he will be more than happy to stick around with South Fremantle.
"I like it here and the boys are great. It's disappointing that we've been losing but when you see a performance like we showed like this week you know that things are on the up," Banner said.
"We have a lot of young players with a lot of guys who have only played a handful of games, and you can definitely see the improvement."
By Chris PikeWHILE Mitch Banner hopes to earn another crack at the AFL for his outstanding first season with South Fremantle, the Bulldogs' leading ball winner and goal kicker will be just as happy to stay at the port long-term if that doesn’t eventuate.

Banner spent the last four years in the AFL with Port Adelaide where he played 19 games with the Power before being delisted at the end of last year with the arrival of new coach Ken Hinkley.

However, his old school and football mate from their Western Jets days Sean Tighe was quickly on the phone to him to lure Banner to join him at the Bulldogs and now the result is that the pair are likely both in the top-three in South Fremantle's fairest and best voting so far in 2013.

Without question, Banner and Tighe have been two of the best recruits South Fremantle has added to the club for some time from interstate and for such a young team like the one the Bulldogs have, things are starting to come along as the season nears its end.

Prior to the Round 17 bye, South Fremantle put in good performances in tight losses to top-four teams Claremont and Perth, and then last weekend following the bye put in an outstanding effort to beat the second-placed West Perth by 39 points at Arena Joondalup.

That win got the Bulldogs off the bottom of the ladder and Banner is glad to now be seeing things starting to come together after such a tough first half of the season.

"It shows that if we stick to what we are doing and what Hase is doing with our pressure, that even when teams come at us we can turn it back around and then get the momentum back. That happened this week and we were able to run away with it in the end," Banner said.

"There are still five games to go and we're not going to throw it in, you want to win every game you play and it doesn’t matter where you sit on the ladder or how many games you've won. We are going to look at next year as well and we don’t want to drop away in these last five games, we want to stick with what we've been doing and try to back up this week's performance now.

"It has obviously been a tough year for the boys but I guess I've come from a club where we were losing a lot as well so it wasn’t something totally new for me. In saying that, though, the boys have played really well for three quarters in a lot of games this year and we've been in the majority of games but have fell away for one quarters.

"To put a four-quarter performance together this week is rewarding and it shows that when our pressure is good for four quarters you can see what we can do. It's just disappointing that it's taken so long to be able to do it."

Banner has now kicked 29 goals and averaged over 26 possessions a game to be leading the way in both categories with South Fremantle for 2013, and he is happy with the way he's been able to settle in to the club and the WAFL.

However, it's the defensive side of his game that Port Adelaide wanted to see improvement in and the 23-year-old feels he has got better there as well.

"Obviously it takes a while and I didn’t get over here until the start of January. You have to get to know all the boys, learn how they play and all of that stuff," Banner said.

"I think my form has been coming together and obviously it's great to get the ball and kick goals, but at the end of the day the thing I need to work on is my defensive side.

"I think there has been an improvement, but it can definitely go up to another level. On the flipside the other stuff is going pretty well and it's just a bit of gelling, and getting to know the boys a lot better and how they play."

Banner has once before had to adjust to moving from Victoria to South Australia and now from the Power and the SANFL to WA and the WAFL, so he is used to making a big move but the difference in football has been stark.

The bigger WAFL grounds and running style of play is a lot different to what Banner became used to in South Australia but he is enjoying it.

"I've done it once when I came from Melbourne over to the SANFL which was a pretty similar move when I didn’t know anyone, only at that stage I was a bit younger. It's definitely hard, though, but I have been good mates with Sean Tighe going back to our school days, then Jets days and we played and travelled everywhere together," he said.

"He was the main culprit to get me over here and I liked it when I did that. It is hard making a move like this, but the boys have welcomed me with open arms and that's all you can really ask coming from interstate, and to a foreign place that you aren’t used to. It has been good so far.

"It's a lot different. In the SANFL the ovals are a lot smaller and there's a lot more bigger bodies, and you have to play inside because the grounds are small and there's more stoppages.

"In the WAFL, the grounds are massive and if you aren’t fit you won't be able to run and get out wide, which is so important to be able to do. The runners over here are the biggest difference compared to the bigger bodies in the SANFL which I guess comes down to the size of the grounds."

Having already spent four years on an AFL list with Port Adelaide and played 19 games, Banner knows what it takes at the top level and he is hopeful that his form with South Fremantle this season will see him get another chance, but he knows that's all out of his hands.

"I'm hopeful but you just never know. I was in the system for four years and feel like I got a grasp of it, and if the opportunity comes up I will take it with open arms. That's what I aspire to," he said.

"You want to do well as a team and help them as much as you can, but at the end of the day the end goal would be to get back.

"I'm hopeful but you can't say it's going to happen because you have no idea. Fingers crossed I can keep my form up for the rest of the year and if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t I will go back to drawing board and have another crack at it."

If things don't pan out and Banner doesn’t find a place back in the AFL in 2014, then he will be more than happy to stick around with South Fremantle.

"I like it here and the boys are great. It's disappointing that we've been losing but when you see a performance like we showed like this week you know that things are on the up," Banner said.

"We have a lot of young players with a lot of guys who have only played a handful of games, and you can definitely see the improvement."

By Chris Pike