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Chewin' the Fat – Kris Miller column April 18

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 5:43 PM

EARLY last week it was strange knowing that I was about to miss my first game since joining South Fremantle and the team was preparing for a game I wouldn’t be playing, but as the week went on I started thinking of the benefits of having a forced week off.

I would never have taken a week off myself, but having it forced upon me might help me with a few little issues that I've got. By the end of the week, I was pretty content and looked at it as more of a positive than a negative in some ways.

It wasn’t great because you aren’t out there. I think I've only watched a game once when I haven’t been playing so I've never had any experience of watching my own team play without me out there. I don’t go to a lot of live games these days either so it was very different watching on. It's tough because you don’t have any impact when you are sitting there watching. I just watched as a keen spectator I suppose, it was a bit strange.

The thing that it will help with is that it means that I won't play four games in-a-row for the rest of the season because we mostly have three games before a bye comes up so I will be able to work in smaller blocks of games before having a week off. I will just concentrate on each individual block of games now.

When people ask me why I have been able to play so many games without missing through injury, I think the main thing is the desire I have to compete. You play sport because you love it and I'm there to play football so when there's an opportunity to play every Saturday I make sure that I am available to play. I probably suffer the consequences sometimes the next day, but I don’t worry about what happens as a result of playing, I'm just more interested in getting out there to play. Your career isn’t that long really even though mine has been all right and I wouldn’t play sport if I didn’t want to play. It's as simple as that. I just like to play and as long as I'm not going to be a detriment to the side, I am always keen to play.

There's no doubt a hell of a lot of luck has been involved as well. I hurt my knee four years back and I did the exact same thing as David Hille did for Essendon and he had a full knee reconstruction, but I played the next week. Admittedly I did have a little tear in my ACL, but that didn’t affect anything I did on the field. Obviously it's a toss of a coin and he was unlucky, and I was lucky. Luck has been a huge part of it, but so is the pain threshold that you have as well. My brother had a pretty high pain threshold as well, but he had some bad luck along the way.

I'm certainly not surprised when some guys who sit out games for very minor problems don’t end up playing many games over their career, or walk away from WAFL level after two or three years because things didn’t work out how they thought things would work out. I don’t necessarily know what each individual goes through with their injuries, but I have played through quite a few and I am dumbfounded at times with what some blokes take a week off for. Mind you, they are blokes who generally aren’t going to make it anyway and it just helps them hang around the club instead of getting dropped or told they aren’t up to it.

As for this season, I had a good pre-season. Up until Christmas, I just did running and that's all I did. I didn’t do any skills or weights, I just did a running component because I felt that running is such an important part of the game and that skill-wise I thought I could pick that back up pretty quickly. I wanted to put all my efforts into running as opposed to working on my skills, getting tired and then trying to run. I made sure I did my running when I was as fresh as I could be so I could get the most out of it. Then after Christmas and the New Year, I jumped in and did everything.

Now as for the season itself, I think my start hasn’t really been any better or worse than what I have normally done. From an individual point of view, I certainly think that I can walk around knowing that I've done my best for the team and that my best has been pretty good, so I think over the first three rounds I have played as well as I did when I was 22 or 23. I play a bit differently now, but I think that impact-wise I can have just as much now as I have ever done before.

As a team we are a long way from finished this season as far as I'm concerned. The competition is that even this year that the number of wins that you need to get into the finals might not be very high, you might get in with about 10 wins. There could be five or six teams all around that 10-win mark so we still have 16 games to go and we might only have to go at a bit better than one in two. I don’t think we are far away and our losses suggest that we aren’t far away. We just need to break through for that first win to get the belief and once that happens, the wheel can turn pretty quickly.

By Kris Miller

ANZAC Day functions at Fremantle Oval

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 11:59 AM

ANZAC Day at Fremantle Oval is shaping to be one of the events not to be missed of the WAFL season when South Fremantle hosts East Fremantle. 

South Fremantle and East Fremantle will be paying tribute to ANZAC Day with the Bulldogs to be decked out in specially designed Navy jumpers and the Sharks one representing the Airforce as the two Fremantle clubs continue the recent tradition of a derby commemorating the occasion.

Not only will the game at Fremantle Oval bouncing down at 4.15pm be an occasion not to be missed, but you have a chance to be part of what is sure to be a special President's Lunch as well.

It will be hosted by former West Coast Eagles, Perth and Western Reds player, and Channel 7's Adrian Barich, and by booking your spot now it will include entry to the game, a gourmet lunch and refreshments plus a special commemorative program.

You can also choose to attend the Coach's Lunch which will be held on the Fremantle Dockers' board room and balcony. This will include entry to the game, tasting plates and a buffet, a bar and the commemorative program.

For bookings call Jess at the club on 9335 1555 or on email at

Media Release

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 10:50 AM

Sharks & Bulldogs to wear unique ANZAC jumpers

SOUTH Fremantle and East Fremantle will wear one-off Navy and Air Force jumpers this ANZAC Day featuring the names of servicemen from each club that have been killed in action.

The tribute to Australian servicemen and women has been arranged in partnership with Legacy in WA as part of the WAFL’s ANZAC Round for Legacy in WA. The match will also feature a pre-game ANZAC service commencing at 4pm sharp at Fremantle Oval.

WAFL ANZAC Round for Legacy in WA

Thursday, April 25

2.10pm - Perth v East Perth (Brownes Stadium)

3.15pm - West Perth v Swan Districts (Arena Joondalup)

4.15pm - South Fremantle v East Fremantle (Fremantle Oval)

Saturday, April 27

2.10pm - Peel Thunder v Claremont (Bendigo Bank Stadium)

South Fremantle (Navy) and East Fremantle (Air Force) will play for the Sir Hughie Edwards Cup, named in honour of the air force hero who played for the Bulldogs and later became Governor of Western Australia.

Entry to the game is free for all servicemen and veterans and will include fundraising for Legacy in WA, which formed a new partnership with the WA Football Commission this season to increase awareness and fundraising opportunities among footy fans.

The new partnership will see Legacy in WA promoted throughout the season, with a special focus on ANZAC Day. Promotions will also tie in with Legacy Week, which runs from August 31 to September 7, 2013.

John Rigg, Chairman of Torchbearers for Legacy in WA , said: “This exciting partnership will generate significant awareness among thousands of footy fans, many of whom have a natural inclination to support those most in need in our society.”


Legacy is a not-for-profit organisation supported by veterans, servicemen and women, and volunteers drawn from all walks of life to care for the families of deceased and incapacitated veterans.
Legacy is dedicated to enhancing the lives and opportunities of its families through innovative and practical programs aimed at:

  • the protection of individuals and families basic needs;
  • advocating for their entitlements, rights and benefits;
  • assisting families through bereavement; and
  • helping people thrive, despite their adversity and loss.


For more information about Legacy visit -

Lucky Lottery Winners - Draw 1

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 11:41 AM

Congratulations to the below winners: 

43 – Val Baskerville

62 – Ron Greer

77 – Reg Hosking

597 – Kevin Saint

757 – Joan Garces

Colts Report - Round 5

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 9:53 AM

SOUTH Fremantle's colts game at Bassendean was a close affair on the weekend with the result going down to the wire. Luckily the result fell the Bulldogs way and we remain in touch with the top sides and continue to show good signs.

With the talented Swans midfielders controlling the centre breaks it was left to the Souths backline to repel numerous forward thrusts. Mitch Banks and Jacob Dragovich along with best on ground Bradd McPhail (K Craft Bullbars award winner) held tough early until the Bulldogs running players became more competitive and eased back control.

Getting in front before half-time was mainly due to team leaders Ben Sokol, Dylan Main and Blaine Johnson. Their clever skills and ball use gave forwards like Cameron McCarthy and Matty Ahsui every chance to make an impact on the scoreboard.

The tight tussle went down to the line and tough nuts like Tim Stewart and Jacob Tartaglia revelled in the damp, warm and overcast conditions and gave the Swans ball winners plenty to think about around the stoppages.

Congratulations to Daniel Moore and Jayden Bootsma on their debuts with the big Red V.

Another tough ask in next week’s opponents Subiaco. The players need to continue their development and improve with each week that passes.


Arthur Maskos

SFFC Colts Coach

Second quarter lets down Bulldogs v Swans

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 3:56 PM

ONCE again it was one quarter of football that cost South Fremantle on Saturday with Swan Districts taking advantage in the second term to end up beating the Bulldogs by 21 points at Steel Blue Oval.

South Fremantle started the game on fire with the first three goals of the game, but Swan Districts wrestled back the momentum with seven goals to nil in the second quarter and ended up winning 15.12 (102) to 12.9 (81) from there.

It leaves the Bulldogs still winless from four games so far to start the 2013 WAFL season, but once again it was just that second quarter that proved costly.

Outside of that, the Bulldogs kicked the first three goals of the game and still by 12 points at quarter-time. South Fremantle then kicked four goals to two in the third quarter and broke even with three as did Swan Districts in the last.

Between the first, third and fourth quarters, South Fremantle kicked 12.6 to Swan Districts' 8.9 to win those three terms by 21 points, but the disappointing second stanza is what let the Bulldogs down and was behind the eventual 21-point defeat.

Kingsley Smith made the most of his limited opportunities up forward kicking three goals from just five kicks and four marks. John Sgherza also continued to gather some form and fitness coming back from injury with 13 touches, four tackles and three goals.

Paul Mugambwa presented hard up forward all afternoon and finished with two goals from 12 possessions and just the one mark.

Sean Tighe again worked tirelessly in the ruck for South Fremantle and ended up with 19 possessions, five marks, 20 hit outs and a goal.

The midfield had to make up for the absence of 282-game veteran and three-time fairest and best winner Kris Miller, and a host of players stepped up including captain Ryan Cook who had 28 possessions, seven marks, seven inside 50s and a goal.

Mitch Banner and Toby Bairstow both racked up 23 possessions apiece with Haiden Schloithe gathering 22, Mitch Carter 22 and promising young defender Jason Maskos 20.

South Fremantle's reserves lost a nail-biter with Swan Districts ending up winning 12.5 (77) to 10.14 (74). Sam Lowrie and Anthony van Manen kicked two goals each for the Bulldogs with Brendan Verrier picking up 22 possessions, Adam Carter 21, Anthony Collica 21 and Shannon Burnett 19.

The Bulldogs' colts prevailed in another tight affair beating Swan Districts 8.11 (59) to 8.6 (54). Cameron McCarthy kicked three goals with Blaine Johnson adding two and Ben Sokol picked up 21 possessions, Matthew Gundry 18 and Bradley McPhail 18.

SOUTH FREMANTLE                                        5.2          5.3          9.9          12.9        (81)

SWAN DISTRICTS                                             3.2          10.5        12.8        15.12     (102)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Sgherza, Smith 3; Mugambwa 2; Adams, Tighe, Gillespie, Cook.

Best: Cook, Tighe, Carter, Maskos, Schloithe, Banner.

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Ugle 5; Geappen 4; Twomey 2; Robinson, Daly, Neale, Cameron.

Best: Robinson, Ugle, Neale, Geappen, Simpson, Garlett.

By Chris Pike

Round 5 Preview v Swan Districts

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 12:11 PM

SOUTH Fremantle heads to Steel Blue Oval to take on Swan Districts on Saturday with the Bulldogs out for a first win of 2013 and looking to hand Swans a third straight loss in the process.

South Fremantle might have not won a game yet this season, but has shown plenty of good signs in those losses to Claremont, Perth and West Perth with the team's most complete showing last Friday night in a nail-biting three point loss at the hands of the Falcons at Fremantle Oval.

The Bulldogs now hit the road again to make it three of the first four games away from Fremantle Oval when they take on Swan Districts at Bassendean this Saturday.

Swan Districts started the season impressively with a win over last year's grand finalists East Fremantle in Round 1, but since has suffered losses to Claremont and Perth. Two of the teams that the Bulldogs have also lost to so far this season.

South Fremantle does lose veteran midfielder Kris Miller thorough a one-week suspension to take on the black-and-whites but has some important players pressing for a recall.

Experienced swing man Andrew McCarrey was in the wars over the first three games and he missed last Friday's clash with West Perth, but he should be right to return to take on Swan Districts and either fill a key defensive role, or provide another goal kicking option in attack.

Emerging defender Nick Borovac has missed the first three games as he recovers from a thumb injury, but he put in a good performance in the reserves last week with 21 possessions and six marks.

His return could be even more important as it allows McCarrey to have the option of playing forward especially in the absence of reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders.

Warrick Andreoli is also pushing for a return while Anthony Collica is a chance to come back into the side after being out injured since Round 1.

The loss of Miller for the Bulldogs is a big one though. He has been the most consistent performer over the first three games of 2013 in the midfield and the three-time South Fremantle fairest and best winner would likely be leading the count again already.

Remarkably, it will be the first game Miller has missed at South Fremantle since arriving for the 2007 season bringing an end to his run of 129 consecutive matches at the Bulldogs with his time including those three fairest and bests, and the 2009 premiership.

On top of that, the only two games he has ever missed in his entire 282-game WAFL career (which included 153 games at East Fremantle) were the last two of 2006 when he didn’t see eye to eye with those in charge at East Fremantle and left the club.

He has never missed a game through injury or suspension, but that will change on Saturday.

However, it presents a chance for others in the midfield to step up further in the absence of Miller including Toby Bairstow, Alex Grima, Haiden Schloithe, Mitch Banner, Adam Guglielmana, Jacob Martinez and Collica and Andreoli if they are picked in the final 22.

Stopping the run from Swan Districts with the likes of Matt Riggio, Shaun Hildebrandt, Ryan Davis, Graham Jetta, Brett Robinson, Dayle Garlett, Lachie Neale, Aaron Elari and Wayde Twomey will be key to South Fremantle's chance of getting a first win on the board for 2013.

By Chris Pike

Mac Chat – Andrew McCarrey column Round 5

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:58 PM

FOOTBALL by its very nature is a source of a vast array of injuries. During the course of a career, it is near on certain that a player will suffer from some type of injury that may be short term, recurrent, long term or in some cases career ending.

There are a multitude of factors behind injuries in our game. The demands of the game itself leave players potentially vulnerable to injury.

Firstly you have the fact that football is a running sport.  It involves running which is multidirectional in nature and periods of deceleration, acceleration and acute change in direction all whilst carrying and bouncing a ball. Coupled to this, a player then has to kick, often across their body or in a multitude of directions. Then you have the contact component in which players are further vulnerable to injury.

The game of football is also constantly evolving. Throughout my career spanning the last 12 years I have experienced a dramatic change in the way the game is played and the increased demands on the body as a result. One of the biggest changes has been the increased tempo and intensity. There is more emphasis nowadays on a running and carry style of play, moving the ball in waves at high speed from one end of the ground to another.

When I first started out at league level back in 2001, you saw a lot more one-on-one football, kicking the ball from contest to contest around the ground. The increased running load and intensity, coupled with more vigorous training demands, has seen a rise in the number of injuries sustained by players. 

The large and varying demands of football can lead to a multitude of injuries. Some injuries are generalised, some due to individual positions played and some just bad luck! Some players may get through relatively unscathed in their careers whilst some battle ongoing recurrent problems.

Kris Miller for instance has played 282 WAFL games without missing a game from injury. Jarrod Parry on the other hand is only 21 and has missed the last two years of football due to two ACL reconstructions. His determination and commitment to his rehab should be noted and commended. He is invaluable as a positive role model for other injured players.

Genetics as well as biomechanics can play a large part in determining the likelihood of injury particularly with the running component of football. We have seen this in the pre-season with Brendon Gulley having on-going foot pain as well as surgery for Shaun Bewick and John Sgherza, both for osteitis pubis. This year we have tried to address the on-going overuse injuries in the pre-season with a progressive glute strengthening program, which all the players embraced as a potential preventative measure to reduce the incidence of injury.

We also used a screening process to try and identify at risk players that have the potential to develop injuries and have made allowances accordingly. This is something as a player that I have found very useful as it has been able to identify different management strategies for some of my injuries.

Throughout my career spanning over 10 years and over 170 games of WAFL football at two clubs, I have unfortunately been one of those players that have had their fair share of injuries. I remember back to my first major injury when it was my debut season for East Fremantle. I was 18 and yet to physically mature. I had a boy's body up against fully grown men. The game was against Subiaco in Kalgoorlie and I was running back with the flight of the ball and was collected by Subi's full forward and felt all 100kgs go straight through me.

I couldn't breathe and initially thought I was just badly winded and bruised. It wasn't until five minutes later as I was running down the wing that I passed out due to lack of oxygen. I woke up in the back of the ambulance with sirens blazing heading towards the hospital. It turns out I had five cracked ribs and a punctured lung which had totally collapsed. When I got to hospital they had to stick a tube into my lung and reinflate it. A delay of another five minutes and the doctors said I would've been dead.

Since that eventful day and initiation into the world of football injuries, I have accumulated a nice little list. To name but a few I've ruptured two vertebral discs in my spine and consequently had to have surgery to remove them. I've broken four different bones, ruptured two tendons in my fingers ( a very common injury amongst footballers ), broken my nose, had several concussions, smashed my front tooth out, and have had more stitches than I can remember.

I’ve had a frustrating start to this season, suffering from a bruised pubic bone during round one and then a fractured rib in round two. Both of these being unlucky impact injuries. Having rested for the last game against West Perth has given my body time to repair itself and I look forward to having an injury free rest of the season.

Most of my injuries sustained over the years have been a result of heavy impacts and collisions. On the other hand I have been relatively lucky with soft tissue injuries, touch wood, whereas some players may suffer from chronic soft tissue problems. For example a player may continuously tear the same hamstring over and over, something that can be extremely frustrating for them.

Although I have missed a large number of games over the years due to injury I still consider myself very lucky. I have been fortunate enough play 171 games of WAFL league football and counting. Injuries are part and parcel of playing. It is a give-and-take relationship. We must be willing to make this sacrifice in order to experience the many highs and lows our great game has to offer.

By Andrew McCarrey

Captain Cook confident a win is on the horizon

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 2:04 PM

SOUTH Fremantle captain Ryan Cook has always felt like a natural leader and is proud to now be in his second season leading the Bulldogs, but getting a win on the board is his sole focus and he doesn’t feel that is far away.

South Fremantle started the season with a strong first half against reigning premiers Claremont before losing full-forward Ben Saunders with Andrew McCarrey getting hurt and ending up losing by eight goals at Claremont Oval.

It was then a tough and tight loss to Perth in Round 3 before another thrilling three-point defeat at the hands of West Perth last Friday night at Fremantle Oval.

There have been plenty of good signs in all three matches and certainly the last two the Bulldogs were disappointed, and in some ways, unlucky to not come away with wins on both occasions.

That's the way Cook sees it as well, but now the focus is just on taking on Swan Districts this Saturday at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval with the aim of putting together four strong quarters.

"We should be 2-1 to be honest, but the boys are up and about and staying positive. We now play Swans and if we keep up that effort we can go out to Bassendean and get a win. Our effort was there all night and I thought it was fantastic," Cook said.

"Over the first couple of weeks, we only played about half a game but this week it was four quarters. We focused on that all night and even at half-time we said we'd played two good quarters and have two to go.

"We had sustained effort the whole game, which was fantastic, and that's why it hurt so much after the game to not win. Hase said to us after the game that if that effort is there every game things can swing quickly and it won't be long before we start winning games."

Cook has always known of his leadership qualities at whatever level he has played so was thrilled when appointed South Fremantle skipper in 2012 in just his second year with the Bulldogs following his time in the AFL with Collingwood.

However, he really didn’t feel he had to change too much as captain and has continued to lead by example, and has had another strong start to the 2013 season mostly off a wing.

"I have felt that leadership responsibility every year I've played senior footy. I have always tried to lead from the front and that leadership role is something that comes naturally to me," Cook said.

"It's not something I thought I had to do much difference because I had the captain title, it's just something I have tried to do every game I've played.

"I think it's been OK, a pretty good start. I've tried to take my leadership to another level being captain for the second year.

"I obviously think about the team before my own game and try to get all the boys up and about, and look after them. It's been a pretty solid start and hopefully I can have a consistent year, and finish off well."

South Fremantle's midfield has worked well through the start of the season led by veteran Kris Miller with support from Cook, Toby Bairstow, Haiden Schloithe, Reece Adams, Mitch Banner, Jacob Martinez and even Alex Grima and Adam Guglielmana at times.

Miller would likely once again be leading South Fremantle's fairest and best count after three games, but he will miss Saturday's clash with Swan Districts.

That will mark the first game he has missed with the Bulldogs since arriving from East Fremantle for the 2007 season, but with the example he sets Cook and the young midfielders all know the standards and will now look to step up in his absence.

"He just never gives up and he has such high regard for himself, and puts a lot of pressure on himself to play good footy, which is great. The younger boys see that, I see that and it also makes us play well," Cook said.

"He has been fantastic to play with. Our midfield even includes Reecey Adams coming back, Schloithey in there at times and 'Spaniard' as well so they are giving us some youth. We have some pace and the boys who get in and under, and Kris Miller the stalwart has been great dishing it out to us runners.

"We've had a good mix in there and Seany Tighe is doing his role in there perfectly. He's obviously not a ruckman, but he has come over here and is playing that role for us. I think he's been fantastic. We just have to keep working at it and as long as we keep winning the stoppages and get it forward, we can kick some winning scores."

The Bulldogs have a long injury list with Ben Saunders, Jarrod Parry, Lewis Harvey, Shaun Bewick, John Sgherza, Nick Borovac, Andrew McCarrey and Anthony Collica among those to have had interrupted starts to the season.

Saunders, Bewick and Harvey are still fighting their way back, but with young players like Kingsley Smith, Jason Maskos, Tom Vandeleur, Sean Lynch and Jacob Martinez receiving opportunities Cook feels that a bit of short term pain could lead to some longer term success.

"We've just tried to bring the boys in, get the twos putting pressure on the league boys and then play good footy when they get the chance," he said.

"We have a lot of younger guys like Martinez and Schloithe who keep developing and are taking their game to another level. Hopefully then those guys out injured at the moment can come in around the middle of the year and give us some run and fresh bodies."

One reason Cook remains confident of South Fremantle's season soon turning around also is the fact that they are fitter and stronger in 2013 following the appointment of strength and conditioning coach Mike Vegar.

"Mikey Vegar has been great. We are fit and firing, and we've definitely got the legs this year which was something that had a question mark over it last year," Cook said.

"Our enthusiasm and everything is up and about, and we are still building – we know that. Last year we lost about six games by two goals or less, and we just need to find that consistent football."

By Chris Pike

Colts Report - Round 4

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 9:12 AM

THIS week saw our first home game for the year with 11 new faces making their home debut on Fremantle Oval as a colts player.

Congratulations to Billy Collier and Brendan Truss on their first games for the club. With the season well under way the SFFC colts side has recovered from their first round loss to Claremont with two comfortable wins over Perth and West Perth. The opening three games has seen the best and the worst of the new colts group with some scintillating football interrupted by undisciplined careless acts.

Once again we thank our colts sponsors in K Craft Bull bars, MCAS Air Conditioning, Golden Eggs and our new backer Burnback Welding Services. Their contribution has allowed us to maintain the high standards the program has developed over the past two years.

Onto this week's game. I am pleased to report that the notorious slow starts of the past are long gone. A six goal first quarter put to rest any ambitions that West Perth may have had of causing any upset against the reigning premiers. The remaining three quarters continued in the same vein and gave little respite to an undermanned opponent.

With both ruckmen Billy Frampton and Luke Rasmussen giving our midfielders easy access to the ball around the ground Tim Stewart, Blaine Johnson, and Dylan Main were able deliver ball numerous times to our potent forward line.

Jermaine Lewis (two goals), Matty Ahsui (three) and Ben Horsman (two) were the main beneficiaries of the constant supply from up the ground. Blaine and Billy also made the most of their forward ventures kicking six goals between them.

Though our attacking game was dominant our standout players came from our defence. Matty Gundry, Mitch Banks, Brad McPhail and Jacob Dragovich all played prominent parts of the good win, with Jacob taking out the K Craft Bull Bar award for his best on ground performance.

Well done to the playing group for the good start to the year and thank you to all the support group who are continuing the high-quality efforts from the previous campaigns.

Arthur Maskos

SFFC Colts Coach