JACKSON Merrett was able to settle into his favourite position on the wing at Peel Thunder in 2020 and delivered a standout season to win the Tuckey Medal as the club's fairest and best player despite the challenges the year presented.
Merrett was playing his second season with Peel Thunder in the WAFL on the back of his time in the AFL with Essendon where he played 56 matches at the top level, and he was outstanding settling into his customary position on the wing.
He went on to average 22.5 disposals across the eight games for the Thunder and when you consider the shorter quarters this season and the fact that Peel didn’t manage to win a game then those numbers are all the more impressive.
The WAFC advises that the Nomination Committee, with representatives of the WAFC, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Football Club, WAFL Council of Presidents and the Community Football Advisory Council, has met to consider the Expressions of Interest for the upcoming Commissioner election process and made recommendations to the Commission regarding a shortlist of candidates.
An impressive number of nominations from high quality candidates was received by the WAFC and the Nominations Committee faced a challenging task to arrive at the shortlist of endorsed candidates. The WAFC would like to acknowledge and thank all parties, whether successful in making the shortlist or not, for the interest they have shown in participating in this process.
We know that volunteers play a critical role across all levels of Football in Western Australia. We are fortunate each year to be able to formally recognise a number of our outstanding volunteers through our Optus WA Football Volunteer of the Year Program, supported by the Sunday Times, which is held at the Sandover Medal.
Further to this, the AFL also recognises state volunteers across some key categories including Community Club, Auskick, Diversity, Disability, Coaching, Umpiring and Schools through the AFL National Volunteer Awards. In 2020, WA has finalists across each of the nine categories.
It is important to note these volunteers were nominated at the conclusion of the 2019 season and were due to travel to Melbourne in May this year during Volunteer Week to be recognised by the AFL. As the finalists were unable to travel as a result of COVID-19, the event has been rescheduled with the national category winners to be announced on AFL Grand Final Day.
The broadcast acknowledging our finalists, and the announcement of the category winners will be on Channel 7 at 7:20am AWST this Saturday, 24th October.
The national category winners each receive a $1,000 cash prize, and an additional $500 prize for their affiliated group (Club, Auskick Centre, Umpire Group, School) or a charity of their choice. The remaining nominees each receive a $200 cash prize.
This is a fantastic achievement for each of the finalists and is a small recognition for the outstanding work that all volunteers in footy undertake week in and week out across the year.
The WA Finalists across the nine volunteer categories are: Read More ...
2020 has been an extremely tough year on football across Australia. The WAFC Kickstart and All Nations prorams did not escape the COVID 19 impacts, with both programs having to be cancelled. As the AFL programs, the National Boomerange and All Nations, were also cancelled the current 2005/06 cohort of boys in the Next Generation Academies missed the opportunity to participate in the talent programs.
Although both the state and national programs were cancelled this season, both AFL clubs continued to run their Next Generation Academies. On Saturday, the West Coast Naitanui Academy and Fremantle Next Generation Academy played a scratch match to thank the boys and families for continued commitment to the Academies and the state and national programs.
Saturday’s scratch match was played as the curtain raiser to the second under 18’s All Star match and was an opportunity for players to come together and participate in an inter academy game and display their talents. The West Australian Football Comission would like to thank both West Coast Eagles Football Club’s Naitanui Academy and the Fremantle Football Club’s Next Generation Academy staff and players for making the day a huge success.
Best players were adjudged by their Academy coaches and presented with match day footballs, congratulations to the following players
West Coast Eagles FC Naitanui Academy – Blake Offer , Jeremy Davis
Fremantle Football Club Next Generation Academy – Jesse Merillo , Terry Patrick
The West Australian Football Commission thanks Simply Energy State U18s coach Peter Sumich for his contribution to the State Talent Program and development of WA’s most talented young players.
Sumich will finish his role on October 31 after four years at the helm of the Under 18s program and has played a major part in re-shaping the development of talented players within the pathway.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said Sumich had made a profound impact on football in Western Australia, providing great leadership, credibility and commitment to developing the state’s next crop of stars.
“Peter has made a fantastic contribution to the Talent Academy over the past four seasons, providing support to its players, support staff and volunteers throughout his tenure,” Taylor said.
“To become the fifth coach to have led WA to a National 18s Championship is a credit to Peter’s dedication and expertise as a coach and mentor. He has created such a positive environment to get the best out of his team and each individual player.”
“His passion, experience and love for the game is clear and has paved the way for our athletes to compete and succeed at the highest level in the AFL.
“On behalf of everyone involved with the State Talent Academy and the West Australian Football Commission I thank Peter for the vital role he has played.”
Sumich said despite being offered the chance to take on the new role, it was time to focus on his family and business.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the WAFC, and I can’t speak highly enough of the staff within the Talent Program,” Sumich said.
“To be involved in preparing players for the top level over the past four seasons has been extremely rewarding experience.”
“Seeing 36 players go through our Academy and onto an AFL list in my time is a great reflection of the dedication each staff member has put into improving players as footballers as well as people.”
“Given the role was moving to a full-time capacity, it didn’t align with where I am currently at with my family business and other pursuits outside football.”
“As a proud West Australian, coaching WA to a National U18s title will always be a highlight of my career.”
Due to COVID-19, the WAFC undertook an organisational restructure, reviewing every role within the business.
The consolidation of the State U18s coaching role has meant a shift from a part-time to full-time position as Head of Coaching, becoming a far broader portfolio that will oversee all levels of coaching within the WA Football Pathway.
A key focus of the new role will be to develop coaching frameworks and accreditations at all levels of community football across WA, whilst also developing and supporting WA’s talent development coaches to enhance the development of players’ entry into the WAFL, State Academy and/or the AFL system.
A key component to this role will include being the Head Coach for the annual Under 18’s National Championship.
The West Australian Football Commission will now begin the recruitment process for a new Head of Coaching.
As at 4pm Friday 25 September, at the close of the Expressions of Interest for Commissioners, the WAFC had received 23 EOIs. EOIs were received from the following candidates (listed in alphabetical order):
Steve Allan, Ian Callahan, Andrew Chapman, Gordon Cole, Grant Dorrington, Catherine Ferrari, Neale Fong, Benjamin Haywood, Carolyn Hills, Phil Lamb, Gavin Maisey, Daryl Marron, Dixie Marshall, Nicole Moody, Bellamore Ndayikeze, Allan Oakes, Brian O’Donnell, Gareth Parker, David Parkinson, Dale Pinto, Clare Pope, Allan Stiles and Robert Sullivan
The following table sets out the remaining steps to be completed to finalise the 2021 Commissioner election process:
Bayswater Junior Football Club were there lucky recipients of a $10,000 Grassroots Grant courtesy of Gatorade Australia.
Natalie Stoute, a very humble behind the scenes supporter and parent at the ‘Bears’ provided a 150 word submission as part of the grant application process, which featured a rhyme that incorporated the club song.
Bayswater Junior Football Club President Rob Wittkowsky said “We are so fortunate to have people like Natalie in our Footy Family, as she demonstrates a true community spirit and thought for others epitomising our culture and ethos’. Mr Wittkowsky went on to say “This was a real surprise to me as I was unaware of her entering let alone the completion itself, but we are absolutely thrilled to have received this grant”
The club intends to use these funds to purchase new club logoed marquees and a new BBQ to support club operations in 2021.
East Perth Junior Delegate on the Metro Central Regional Development Council was elated to receive news by saying “with their recent relocation and significant positive impact within the local community, the Baysie Bears will only continue to grow and this grant will ably assist in ensuring a bright and positive future for all members of the club. Well done and congratulations”
Since relocating from Houghton Park to Hillcrest Park in Bayswater, the club’s participation growth has increased sharply from 67 Junior participants in 2014, to 253 Junior participants in 2020. This is a fantastic effort by all involved at the club to grow our great game.
Each year, Wiluna Martu Eagles and Dalkeith Nedlands Junior Football Club take it in turns to host an annual football game - a trip coordinated by the Murlpirrmarra Connection. Bringing together players from vastly different backgrounds, the game promotes and celebrates team spirit, cultural understanding and respect, and healthy living. Read More ...
WA Black secured the first victory of the WA’s two NAB AFL U18s All-Stars Exhibition games, after defeating WA Gold by 55-points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.
The WA Black side led at every change to dominant the Exhibition fixture, led by starring roles from Claremont’s Joel Western and West Perth’s Heath Chapman.
It took until the thirteenth minute of the opening quarter for the first goal of the game, when WA Black’s Nick Martin was able to find Logan Guelfi inside attacking 50. Guelfi went back and converted his set shot from 25 metres out on a slight angle.
WA Gold struggled to score throughout the contest despite the perfect conditions, managing just two goals to the main break.
Sandon Page was the dominate forward on the ground with three goals to half time.
The third term provided a much tighter affair with three goals apiece. Logan McDonald began to show his skills with a two-goal term, while Page continued his strong game with another major.
Despite plenty of injuries to both sides, WA Black stamped their authority on the contest in the last, kicking five goals to one, coasting to a 55-point victory.
Joel Western was named best on ground for the WA Black side, having had plenty of the ball around the ground and hitting the scoreboard.
Page led all goalkickers with four majors, while Western, Johnson and Brockman all chipped in for two each.
Finn Gorringe was also impressive for WA Black, with Logan Guelfi and Sam Alvarez showing their class around the ground.
Will Collins was named best afield for the WA Gold side, with McDonald the only multiple goal scorer for the team.
WA BLACK 2.5, 5.10, 8.11, 13.15 (93)
WA GOLD 1.0, 2.2, 5.2, 6.2 (38)
WA BLACK: 4 Page, 2 Brockman, C Johnson, Western 1 Guelfi, M Johnson, Martin,
WA GOLD: 2 McDonald, 1 Brooks, Mallard, Paton, Van Rooyen
WA BLACK: Western, Page, Gorringe, Alvarez, Chapman, Guelfi
WA GOLD: Collins, Browne, Yaccob, Haddow, McDonald, Bazzo.
TRUE to his word before Sunday's WAFL Grand Final, what South Fremantle coach Todd Curley takes greatest satisfaction from becoming a premiership coach is giving his players the chance to now celebrate, but he deserves to be proud of what he's accomplished too.
The group of people to have played more than 100 AFL matches, almost 150 games in the WAFL, play in two premierships and now be a senior coach for almost another 200 games and having spent several seasons as an AFL assistant coach is a remarkably short one.
But the fact that Curley has packed so much into the last 30 years during his involvement in football is a remarkable thing and to now become a premiership coach to go with the two flags he won as a player at West Perth will go down as one of his crowning achievements.
THE Simply Energy WA State U18s squad is set to play its two NAB AFL U18s All Stars Exhibition games on October 10 and 17.
Given the NAB AFL U18 National Championhips were cancelled for season 2020 due to COVID-19, each state is hosting its own set of fixtures to showcase talent before the AFL Draft later this year.
Game one will be played at Leederville Oval on Saturday October 10, starting at 11.30am.
Game two will be played at Leederville Oval on Saturday October 17, starting at 11:30am.
South West footy super coach Josh Rayson has been recognised as the 2020 Go for 2&5 WA Football Junior Coach of the Year.
When COVID looked to wipe out the junior footy season altogether, Josh came to the rescue, organising a football carnival for the Lower South West Teams to ensure players could still get out on the oval and that volunteer requirements were minimal.
Josh wears a number of hats in the South West. He is currently the Vice President of the Lower South West Junior Football League and is a very active member in his local club Deanmill. On top of his committee positons, he currently coaches his sons Yr 4/5 team with Deanmill.
Josh is also the chair of the School Sports WA South West committee, which plays a major role in ensuring that male and female youth stay engaged. With COVID-19 resulting in the cancellation of School Countryweek, Josh took the initiave and organised a local countryweek to ensure that the students didn’t miss out on the exeprience. Although not quite the week long event, a number of local schools took up the offer to play against other local schools in a round robin format. Josh also oversees the Manjimup Senior High School Football Program and mentors community coaches within the Lower South West region.
The Go For 2 & 5 WA Football Junior Coach of the Year Award is presented to the junior coach who provides a positive image of the role of the coach, demonstrates sound coaching principles and coaching plans in-line with the WAFC requirements and is involved in ongoing coaching accreditations.
Healthway are proud partners of the award, donating a $1,000 Burley Sekem voucher to the recipient to put towards club equipment or apparel.
Seven WAFL Women's players have been added to AFLW lists following the AFLW National Draft on Tuesday, October 6.
This included two first round selections, with Isabella Lewis (Claremont) being selected with pick 3 by West Coast, and Sarah Verrier (Peel Thunder) going to Fremantle at pick 14.
Both players were members of Western Australia's Simply Energy AFLW Academy and were outstanding for their respective WAFLW sides.
South Fremantle are the 2020 Optus WAFL champions, claiming the premiership in their 120-year celebrations at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The Bulldogs defeated Claremont 6.10 (46) to 6.7 (43) to win their first premiership since 2009.
Zac Strom was South Fremantle’s only multiple goal kicker slotting two majors to go with his 16 disposals.
For the Tigers, Waterman was the best forward on the ground, kicking 3.1 in a losing effort while ball magnet Jye Bolton collected 35 disposals.
Bolton claimed the Simpson Medal for best afield.
The win was a remarkable effort by the Bulldogs considering they were beaten by the Tigers by 47 points in week one of the WAFL finals.