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Friday, June 4, 2021 - 3:54 PM by Chris Pike

THE biggest day of any WAFL season is here again as South Fremantle heads to Shark Park to take on East Fremantle in the WA Day Foundation Derby this Monday with the Bulldogs looking for an 11th straight win over the Sharks.

South Fremantle has dominated derbies in recent years but this contest looms as a fascinating one with the Bulldogs still searching for their best form coming off last year's premiership while the Sharks appear a great improved team pushing to be in finals contention.

South Fremantle beat the West Coast Eagles by 66 points last week to improve to a 5-2 record on the season and remain clear in third position on the ladder, but the Bulldogs lost one of their stars of this season to date Matthew Parker to Richmond on Wednesday through the AFL mid-season rookie draft.

East Fremantle lost to Swan Districts last week by 44 points to slip outside the top five with a 3-4 record but without doubt the Sharks will be throwing everything into ending their unwanted derby drought.

Speaking of that, South Fremantle has won its previous 10 clashes with East Fremantle and those wins have come at an average of a monstrous 75.9 points.

Along the way in those 10 matches it has included a win by 145 points back on WA Day of 2017 for the Bulldogs, a 113-point hammering in Round 21, 2018 and then a 95-point victory in the eagerly awaited opening round of 2020.

Even going back further and the Bulldogs have won 13 of the last 14 games against the Sharks.

East Fremantle's last victory against South Fremantle came on WA Day 2016 and that was at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The Bulldogs have enjoyed recent trips to New Choice Homes Park as they have won on their last 11 visits to Shark Park, with their last loss at the venue way back in Round 7, 2012.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley would take the Bulldogs current 5-2 record considering some of the challenges so far this season and the fact that he feels they have plenty of improvement left in them.

"I don’t think coaches are ever happy, but certainly to be 5-2 and not having played our best footy, we feel we've contributed to that as well this year by trying some different things with players playing in different spots and all that sort of stuff," Curley said.

"You don't need to be at your best for the whole year, you have to build into it. It's a long year so we are looking to try and get better each week, and win as many games as quickly as we can but also looking to develop a lot of our guys at the same time."

While South Fremantle has won 10 straight derbies against East Fremantle now, Curley knows nothing will be handed to them on Monday at Shark Park.

"We obviously want to play well and they haven’t really been that close of late, but they have improved a lot and it's going to be a big challenge for us," Curley said.

"We've got a nine-day break so we'll recover, have a look at them, train and pick the team we think can get the job done, and then play as close to our best as we can. They have been in good and consistent form so we know it's going to be a tough game."

South Fremantle obviously loses Matthew Parker from last week's team that beat the Eagles after his drafting to Richmond mid-week.

He is the only out confirmed for the Bulldogs at this stage with Travis Abbott, Hamish Free, Jason Maskos, Noah Strom and Regan Spooner all pushing their case for inclusion.

East Fremantle also loses an important former AFL-listed player Luke English with Lachlan Bailey, Morgan Davies, Hugh Dixon, Cody Smith and Brynn Teakle all in the mix for inclusion as well.