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Marc Webb Joins Fremantle Coaching Team

Monday, October 14, 2013 - 5:37 PM

Former Claremont coach Marc Webb is to join the Fremantle Dockers as a development coach.

The 34-year-old, who coached the Tigers to the 2012 WAFL premiership, will begin his duties at Fremantle on a full-time basis from 13 November.

Webb enjoyed a decorated playing career at Subiaco, where he played in four premierships, including three as club captain between 2006 and 2008.

He joins former Fremantle player Simon Eastaugh as the recent additions to the club’s coaching team.

Statement from the Claremont Football Club:

The Claremont Football Club would like to thank Marc for his contribution over the past two years.

Marc is a WAFL premiership coach, and it is no surprise he has now been given an opportunity at AFL level.

We believe he will be an asset to the Fremantle Football Club and we wish him all the very best for the future.

Claremont Football Club Head Coaching Vacancy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 6:19 PM

The Claremont Football Club is committed to maximizing the potential of every footballer by providing industry leading education and innovation. The CFC Football Program fosters an environment where every footballer can achieve their goals and perform at their best.


To be considered for these roles, you will need significant and successful experience developing players, along with outstanding communication and leadership skills.

Suitable applicants will possess;


People Management & Planning:

- Capacity to effectively manage talented athletes and staff

- Ability to lead and influence within a high performance environment

- Demonstrate structured and sequential planning within a dynamic football season.

- Display a good understanding of Indigenous culture


Football Knowledge:

- Understanding of talented athlete identification, development theories and practice

- Strong knowledge of coaching techniques / strategies

- Sound understanding of skill development learning strategies

- Sound knowledge of WAFL Football / Talent Pathway / programs

- Commitment to ongoing personal development in the area of coach education.


Effective Communication:

- Highly developed and proven communication (written, verbal, visual), interpersonal skills.



- Level 2 coach accreditation (minimum)

- Significant and successful WAFL, WAAFL or comparative coaching experience


Applicants are required to submit a cover letter and coaching resume (maximum of 3 A4 pages) which addresses the position you are seeking and the key competencies outlined above. For more detail on the position the job description will be provided on request.

Applications are to be submitted no later than Wednesday 23rd October, 5.00pm to

Murphy Is The Best

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 12:26 PM

Inspirational midfielder Jake Murphy has been rewarded for his outstanding season by winning the E. B. Cook Medal as Claremont’s fairest-and-best player for 2013.

The nuggetty, hard-working left-footer made light of a nagging foot injury for much of the season and did not miss a match. He received 358 votes to win the trophy by just five votes from dominant ruckman Mark Seaby, with brilliant forward Ian Richardson (300 votes) in third place and first-year utility player Sam Fong (292) fourth.

This capped a wonderful season for the 23-year-old Murphy, co vice-captain of the Tigers side. He also was voted The West Australian newspaper’s WAFL Footballer of the Year and received a $5000 cash award and was the winner of the $1500 Osborne Park Volkswagen WAFL Player of the Year. He finished third behind East Fremantle midfielder Rory O’Brien and East Perth ruckman Paul Johnson in the Sandover Medal.   

In a memorable season, Murphy also was a member of the West Australian side which defeated Victoria in Northam in May. A fearless, hard-running and strong-tackling midfielder, Murphy added a new dimension to his game this year when he kicked 17 goals --- after scoring only 15 goals in his 60 league appearances in previous seasons.

Murphy, a former Scotch College student, graduated from Claremont’s development squads and was a member of the WA 16s and 18s academy squads. He played a couple of game for the Claremont colts in 2007 and was colts co-captain the following year when he finished third in the fairest-and-best award. Late in 2008 he graduated to the reserves side and made his league debut at 18 in the final qualifying-round match of the season when the Tigers beat South Fremantle by 11 points at Fremantle Oval.

This year Murphy was co vice-captain with Luke Blackwell in the league side and each proved to be outstanding deputies to captain Andrew Browne.

Murphy has made 82 league appearances in the WAFL competition and has also represented Claremont in nine Foxtel Cup contests.

Claremont finished on top of the league competition this year, losing only three of their 20 qualifying-round matches before being beaten by West Perth in the second semi-final and by East Perth in the preliminary final. Several stalwarts will be unavailable in 2014, with star forwards Chad Jones and Paul Medhurst retiring and Richardson, full-back James Thomson and ruckman Mitch Andrews planning to be overseas for all of next year.

Richardson, Jones and Medhurst kicked 123 goals this season after scoring 139 between them in 2012. They will leave a massive gap in the side’s attack.

Key defender Richard Cronin received the award as Claremont’s fairest-and-best player in the reserves side. He received 268 votes and finished ahead of Jack Richardson (251), Sam Lamont (232) and Ben Taylor (229).

The award for the fairest-and-best player in the colts side was won by midfielder Jared Hardisty, who received 362 votes and finished ahead of Harry Court (321), Joel Fiegert (298) and Max Bentley (291).

By Ken Casellas

Tigers Hold Firm

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:43 PM

The tension was almost unbearable in the final quarter of the 2013 grand final at Subiaco Oval on Sunday morning after Claremont wrested the lead from South Fremantle at the nine-minute mark and then held on grimly for the next six minutes while neither side managed to score.

The Tigers were in front by two points when the Bulldogs mounted yet another attack and danger threatened when the ball was delivered to talented forward pocket specialist Willie Rioli. And this was the time for some special heroics from Claremont’s Nick Steens, who kept his feet and retained a cool head as he fought feverishly to dispossess Rioli in the left pocket.

A crisis was averted and the ball was cleared, with Steens, Steven Edwards, Francis Watson and Jack Carruthers working hard to get the ball to Isaac Baum, whose kick was marked deep in a pocket by ruckman Darcy Cameron.

Cameron also remained icy cool as he booted a wonderful goal from the boundary line to increase Claremont’s lead to eight points. South Fremantle attacked relentlessly, but the Tigers held firm. They held their structures and did not panic by packing the backlines.

Jye Depane and Dylan Main added a couple of points for South Fremantle during a stressful period when the Tigers defence played magnificently. Led by captain Tom Barrass, composed and confident, the defenders repulsed several South Fremantle forward thrusts. It was in this nerve-wracking time that Jack Beeck and Max Bentley really stood out.

It was fitting that in the final moments of the contest that it was Claremont midfielder Alec Waterman who gained possession (after some good work from Joel Fiegert and Ben Higgs) and passed accurately to Jake Anderson. The siren then sounded and the Tigers had achieved a notable triumph, beating the Bulldogs by six points and depriving that club of a hat-trick of colts premierships.

It was payback time for the loss to Souths in the second semi-final and also for the loss to that club in the grand final two years earlier.

This was Claremont’s 13th colts premiership and was a fitting climax to the two-year coaching reign of Ben Dyer, who has accepted a two-year contract to be North Melbourne’s head development coach.

Dyer admitted that he was a little worried when South Fremantle moved out to a three-goal lead in the third quarter. “Souths are a side which can score so quickly and hurt you on the counter attack,” he explained. “We were probably just close enough at three-quarter time. It was a class last quarter with a fair bit at stake and I thought that our boys, collectively, rose to the challenge. And there were some fantastic individual efforts as well.

“It has been a great couple of years at Claremont. We got some good stuff done pre-season before Christmas and it has been a really receptive group.”

This was Claremont’s first colts premiership since 2009 when the side, coached by Matt Angus, crushed Peel Thunder in the grand final under lights at Subiaco Oval. Seven members of the 2009 colts squad (Nat Fyfe, Ryan Neates, Travis Colyer, Gerrick Weedon, Nick Winmar, Lewis Broome and Nick Kommer) were drafted by AFL clubs. So, now it’s best of luck to AFL aspirants in the 2013 squad. 

Commiserations go out to several young men who represented the Claremont colts during the season, but failed to make the side for the grand final. It was a shoulder injury sustained by Harrison McCracken in the preliminary final against Subiaco that prevented him from appearing him in the grand final. Steens was his replacement in a match he and his teammates will never forget.

The Mel Whinnen Medal for the best player in the grand final was most deservedly won by 17-year-old left-footer Waterman, who has been one of the side’s shining lights throughout a tremendous season of 23 matches for 20 wins and just three defeats.

South Fremantle had the first use of the breeze in the grand final and Claremont’s effort in keeping the opposition to a lead of only five points at quarter time was a major factor in the ultimate result.

After the opening bounce Harry Taylor, Harry Court and Anderson combined to work the ball forward where most unfortunately it was rebounded off the boot of Francis Watson’s boot and went out of bounds on the full in the right pocket.

South Fremantle defender Tom Vandeleur received the free-kick and he decided to switch play and attempted a pass across to the opposite pocket. Isaac Baum chipped in and intercepted the ball which he marked directly in front of goal. He then kicked truly and Claremont had the first score on the board after only 63 seconds.

The Bulldogs then gained the centre clearance and replied with a goal to Main within a minute. Taylor was prominent deep in defence and he got the ball to Higgs four minutes later, whose rushed kick found Court, who used a clever screw kick to bring up the side’s second goal. Watson was working well and he earned a free-kick with a great chase and tackle on Bailey Matera on a centre wing.

The Bulldogs got to the front midway through the term with goals in quick succession to Rioli and Matthew Ah Siu. The Tigers fought back late in the quarter with their third goal. It was a great tackle on the right wing by midfielder Jared Hardisty on South Fremantle’s Ben Sokol which earned him a free-kick. Hardisty passed to hard-running winger Ryan Lim, who delivered to Court for the left-footer’s second major.

A Jyrin Woods handpass to Waterman gave the Tigers a goal early in the second term and soon after that the dominant Waterman received a short pass from Mason Whitehead and then passed to Jack Carruthers for a goal which stretched Claremont’s lead to eight points.

However, the Bulldogs put plenty of pressure on the Tigers, who managed, with the wind, to add only two more behinds (both from Higgs) in the final 20 minutes of the quarter which ended with heavy rain drenching the contestants. A Claremont highlight in that barren period was a wonderful spoil on a wing made by Taylor on South’s Matt Gundry.

Nasty turnovers enabled the Bulldogs to kick two goals late in the quarter and they went into the half-time break with a lead of six points.

Goals to Main and Sokol in the first five minutes of the third quarter stretched the margin to 20 points. Dyer made a few moves, including sending Court into defence and switching Taylor into attack.

Taylor continued to shine and he was rewarded with a free—kick for a crunching tackle on Joel McComb. Soon after that Taylor gained possession in the centre and passed to Cameron, who delivered to Edwards in the right pocket for a much-needed steadying goal. Soon after that Carruthers went short to Woods, whose kick to the goalsquare saw Taylor snap for just a minor score.

A shot from long range by Sokol bounced through for a goal to give Souths a 19-point lead before Claremont replied with a goal to Higgs after Anderson had booted the ball to the goalsquare. But the Bulldogs hit back with a goal from 55m to ruckman William Frampton.

Two minutes later a succession of passes from Hardisty, Cameron and Lim ended with Taylor booting the ball deep into attack where Woods, lurking beneath the pack in a marking duel, seized the ball and snapped truly to set the stage for an exciting final quarter.

Early in the final term Rowen Powell, who had played soundly at centre-half-back and in attack, got the ball forward to the goalsquare where a shot from Higgs brushed a goalpost to register a point. Rain was teeming down and Barrass was standing tall in defence and he caught the eye with a wonderful strong mark to turn back a promising Bulldogs attacking move.

Claremont got another score with a forced point and then Brad McPhail’s kick-in saw Law produce a spoil which allowed Waterman to gain possession before booting his second goal which drew the Tigers to within 11 points of the Bulldogs.

The Tigers continued to play strongly, despite the rain and slippery conditions. The Tigers penetrated their 50m attacking zone ten times in the final quarter for a return of 3.3, while the Bulldogs went inside their 50m zone 14 times for just two points.

By Ken Casellas



Claremont 11.10 (76) beat South Fremantle 10.10 (70).

Scorers---CLAREMONT: I. Baum 2.1; H. Court, A. Waterman 2.0; B. Higgs 1.6; D. Cameron, J. Carruthers, S. Edwards, J. Woods 1.0; H. Taylor 0.1; 2pts forced. SOUTH FREMANTLE: M. Ah Siu, D. Main, B. Sokol 2.1; T. Bennell, W. Frampton, M. Gundry, W. Rioli 1.0; C. Ah Chee, J. Culleton, J. Depane, J. Dragovich, B. Matera 0.1; 2pts forced.

Best---CLAREMONT: A. Waterman, T. Barrass, J. Law, R. Lim, H. Taylor, J. Beeck, M. Bentley, D. Cameron, J. Hardisty, J Anderson. SOUTH FREMANTLE: B. Sokol, J. Dragovich, J. Pickett, D. Main, J. Garlett, B. Matera, M. Gundry, B. McPhail, M. Ah Siu.

Baum Enlivens Tigers

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 4:14 PM

Boxwood Hills/Scotch College schoolboy Isaac Baum made a triumphant return to action after a 14-week absence when he enlivened Claremont’s forward lines and played a significant role in the side’s convincing 60-point victory over Subiaco in the preliminary final at Claremont Oval on Sunday morning.

The contest was in the balance when Subiaco started the third quarter 14 points behind, but with the use of a fresh breeze. It was then that the 17-year-old Baum imposed himself on the match with a spirited display as a small forward.

He made position cleverly, led astutely and was a dominant performer in the third term during which he took five marks, had four kicks and made three effective handpasses. He was missing from Claremont’s previous ten matches, due to PSA football commitments, and was making only his fifth appearance in colts ranks.

His previous appearance for the Tigers was at Joondalup in round ten on June 8 when he kicked four of his side’s eight goals and in a hard-fought seven-point victory over West Perth.

It was largely due to Darcy Cameron’s dominance in the ruck duels, the continued brilliance of midfielders Alec Waterman, Jared Hardisty and Jordan Law and Baum’s influence in attack that the Tigers, against the breeze, outscored Subiaco by two points in the third quarter before romping away in the final quarter when they added 7.3 and restricted the Lions to a solitary behind.

Waterman and Hardisty, 17-year-old left-footers, and Law, an 18-year-old right-footer, were outstanding and should take plenty of stopping when the Tigers tackle the talented South Fremantle side in the grand final at Subiaco Oval next Sunday morning.

Waterman took eight marks, had 21 kicks and made 12 effective handpasses. Her also finished with a match-high tally of seven clearances from stoppages and drove the ball inside his side’s 50m attacking zone five times.

Hardisty took five marks, had 11 kicks, made nine effective handpasses as well as applying six tackles and having four inside 50s. Law’s figures were three marks, 13 kicks, six clearances and six inside 50s. Cameron took 13 marks, had 17 kicks, and made seven effective handpasses and 15 ruck knocks. He also had five clearances and five inside 50s.

The Maroons made a flying start with the wind when ruckman Adam Creeper received a free-kick and kicked a goal two minutes after the opening bounce. But the Tigers fought back quickly with half-back flanker Max Bentley and Ryan Lim combining to get the ball forward where excellent pressure by centre-half-forward Ben Higgs and Baum enabled Jack Carruthers to snap a goal.

Subiaco then booted two goals in rapid succession before the Tigers stemmed the flow. Thirteen minutes passed before the next goal, and this came after half-forward Francis Watson applied a strong tackle and earned a free-kick at left half-forward. Then handpasses from Jack Beeck and Law enabled Waterman to boot a major.

Ninety seconds later the lively Watson took a mark and handpassed to Law, who booted the ball forward where Higgs took an excellent mark and scored a gaol which got the Tigers to within five points of the Lions at quarter time. Two minutes before the break Claremont lost the services of forward Harry McCracken, who damaged his troublesome shoulder.

Small forward Jyrin Woods earned a free-kick early in the second term for his great tackle on Subiaco’s Hayden Kennedy. But Subiaco repelled the attack. However, a minute later full-back Tom Barrass took a mark and passed to Waterman, whose pass was marked by Woods. Then the exciting Woods played on and booted a goal from 45m out which gave the Tigers the lead for the first time.

Subiaco quickly regained the lead with a goal to Rhys McAlister. Five minutes later a low pass from Beeck landed on the chest of Eddie Simpson for Claremont’s fifth goal. And Claremont increased their lead two minutes later with a goal to Higgs. Jake Anderson passed to Bailey Rogers and Higgs was able to take a splendid mark in between Subiaco’s Jordan Bestry and Liam Ellis.

Neither side managed to score a goal in the final 12 minutes of the quarter, during which Bentley earned applause for a splendid smother off the boot of Subiaco’s Michael Wood and Watson maintained his strong efforts in attack.

Waterman earned a free-kick at the opening centre bounce in the third term and he passed to Baum, who got the ball to the goalsquare where a shot from Higgs grazed a goalpost. It took ten minutes before Bestry booted Subiaco’s fifth major. Claremont replied two and a half minutes later after Law, Hardisty, Baum and Lim combined to deliver the ball to Anderson, who made the most of a free-kick to bring up full points.

Four minutes later Steven Edwards marked a Subiaco clearing kick and passed accurately to Woods in the right pocket. Woods kicked the ball into the corridor where Joel Fiegert pounced and brought up Claremont’s eighth goal. Then Subiaco replied with goals from Bestry and Aaron Summers before Simpson snapped truly for the Tigers in the final seconds of the quarter.

It was all one-way traffic in the final quarter when the Tigers slammed home seven goals and kept Subiaco to just one behind (to Joshua Deluca). Claremont delivered the ball inside their 50m zone 16 times to Subiaco’s three. Claremont’s first goal of the quarter came after two minutes. Rogers dashed down the left wing and sent an excellent pass to Cameron, whose kick was marked one metre out by Higgs, who played on for his third goal.

A handpass from Law to Rowen Powell resulted in the lithe centre-half-back sending a long pass to Carruthers for his second goal. It took eight minutes for Claremont’s next major. Carruthers marked an errant Subiaco switch kick and passed to Mason Whitehead, whose kick was marked by Baum in the right pocket. Baum’s shot was astray, but Higgs held a fine pack mark next to the right point post. Higgs then sent a clever screw kick sailing through the tall timbers.

The Tigers won the centre break and Higgs gained possession at half-forward and delivered a rushed left-foot kick forward. The ball bounced over the head of a Subiaco defender and into the hands of Baum, who had not trouble in scoring a well-deserved goal.

Ninety seconds later Powell got the ball on to Watson, who passed to Lim, who played on for another major. Law gained the clearance at the centre bounce and good work from Watson and Carruthers paved the way for a goal from long range from Edwards.

Then in the final minute of the match a tackle by Fiegert earned him a free-kick. And he completed an excellent performance with a great goal from the boundary line.

By Ken Casellas



Claremont 16.13 (109) beat Subiaco 7.7 (49).

Scorers---CLAREMONT: B. Higgs 4.1; J. Carruthers, J. Fiegert, E. Simpson 2.0; I. Baum, R. Lim 1.2; S. Edwards, J. Woods 1.1; J. Anderson, A. waterman 1.0; D. Cameron 0.2; J. Beeck, B. Rogers, F. Watson 0.1; 1pt forced. SUBIACO: J. Bestry 3.1; R. McAlister 2.1; A. Summers 1.1; A. Creeper 1.0; J. Deluca o.2; M. Turner, M. Wood 0.1

Best---CLAREMONT: A. Waterman, J. Hardisty, D. Cameron, I. Baum, J. Law, H. Taylor, B. Higgs, F. Watson, J. Fiegert. SUBIACO: A. Summers, H. Kennedy, J. Bestry, A. Creeper, R. Vermeersch, C. Wilkinson.

Tigers Stumble

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 12:03 PM

The party is over. Claremont, the trendsetters in WA football for four years, have lost their aura of invincibility. The end of a wonderful era of dominant performances against all comers has come to a shuddering halt.

The Tigers have bowed out of the 2013 premiership race with barely a whimper and now face a massive rebuilding program to remain a powerful force in the WAFL competition.

Claremont, beaten by Swans by a point in the 2010 grand final and premiers in 2011 and 2012, set the pace throughout the season before wilting in the closing stages. Before the final round of qualifying matches the Tigers had won 70 of their previous 84 matches. But then came three miserable losses, to East Fremantle, West Perth in the second semi-final and to East Perth in the preliminary final.

The Royals overwhelmed the Tigers by 63 points in the preliminary final at Claremont Oval on Sunday afternoon --- the third heaviest defeat suffered by Claremont in 82 appearances in finals, just behind the 73-point loss to Perth in the 1986 first semi-final and the 72-point defeat at the hands of East Perth in the 2001 second semi-final.

And this was the first time in four years that Claremont had lost three matches in a row. The Tigers did not lose three in a row in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The loss to East Perth was a sad and disappointing end to a splendid season when the side won its first nine matches and finished the qualifying rounds well clear of the opposition, recording 17 wins and only three losses, by margins of ten points, 39 points and ten points.

The Tigers went into the preliminary final with justifiable confidence against East Perth, a side they had beaten in two qualifying-round clashes during the season --- by 54 points in round four and 28 points in round 20. They had also won nine of their previous 11 matches against East Perth, with the two losses being by 16 points in round 23, 2010 and by one point in round 12, 2012.

But on Sunday the Royals, who scraped into the finals in fourth position with 12 wins and eight defeats, simply were too big, too strong, too powerful and too classy for the Tigers.

There are many reasons for the defeat. One of the most significant and important factors in East Perth’s crushing victory was the fact that they had five full-time professional AFL players, the West Coast Eagles quintet of Adam Selwood, Scott Lycett, Jamie Cripps, Cale Morton and Blayne Wilson. Each made a significant contribution against the Claremont side which did not include a single AFL-listed player.

Though it is not in Claremont’s character to look for excuses or blame anything in an attempt to cover up a defeat, the Tigers experienced a shocking run of injuries during the season, and this had a telling effect. Injuries prevented captain Andrew Browne from playing in six matches and others who were affected by injury included Luke Blackwell (out for ten matches), Trinity Handley (out for 12), Jeremy McGovern (19), Byron Schammer (15), Ryan Neates (seven) and Andrew Foster (six). Others affected by injury included Blake Anderson, Nic Chidgzey, Ben Daniher, Aaron Holt and Nick Winmar.

Injuries are part of football and certainly are not offered as any sort of excuse. But the side became a bit jaded in the final weeks of the season. The sparkle was fading.

It is not all doom and gloom. The Tigers gave their supporters an enormous amount of pleasure during the year during which they played much glorious football. Coach Marc Webb and his assistants performed superbly to mould a grand side.

What transpired at the end of the season was that Claremont clashed with East Fremantle, West Perth and East Perth, sides which were hungrier for success than the Tigers.

Claremont now face the task of rebuilding and reinvigorating the side. There could well be as many as nine players in Sunday’s side who will be absent in 2014.

Perhaps it is worth noting that Claremont finished last in 1963 before winning the 1964 premiership; they finished seventh in 1992 and won the flag the following year and finished eighth in 2009 before losing the 2010 grand final by a solitary point.

Now is the time for everyone at the club to rally, cast aside pessimistic predictions and to look to the future with enthusiasm and confidence.

Claremont started the preliminary final with the use of a fresh breeze and had the first goal on the board after 3min. 10sec. when Neates passed to Anton Hamp, who handballed to Blackwell for a major with his non-preferred left boot.

East Perth’s Josh Smith replied three minutes later after receiving a free-kick in the left pocket. Shortly after that a great chase by Jesse Laurie ended with the sturdy defender applying a strong tackle on Lycett and preventing the giant forward from shooting at goal. Laurie was rewarded with a free-kick. Then Browne was under notice with a strong tackle on East Perth’s imposing ruckman Paul Johnson.

The Royals raced to a commanding lead after scoring five goals in succession before Mitch Andrews gained the knock at a centre bounce to Hugo Breakey, who passed to Jack Bradshaw, whose kick forward saw Mark Seaby take a strong mark and boot Claremont’s second goal at the 21-minute mark of the quarter.

Andrews flew to take a splendid contested mark (from a Foster kick) before kicking Claremont’s third late in the term. This saw the Tigers go into the quarter-time break 17 points in arrears.

It took almost seven minutes before the opening goal of the second quarter, a shot from Foster in the left pocket after had marked a Chad Jones kick, following some good work from Blackwell, Laurie and Bradshaw.

Michael Swan replied with a goal to the Royals and then Claremont hit back with goals to Jones (following a passage of play involving Sam Fong, Hamp and Jake Murphy) and Bradshaw (after Hamp had delivered to Neates). The difference then was only six points.

But East Perth added three goals to Claremont’s one for the remainder of the quarter. Claremont’s goal came after a move started at half-back by Blackwell, who delivered to Breakey.

Breakey handpassed to Hamp and then Foster and David Crawford worked the ball forward where Blackwell sent a left-foot pass to Andrews, who received a free-kick for interference in a marking duel.

East Perth led by 23 points at half-time, but two Tigers goals in the opening two minutes of the third term gave the home fans plenty of hope. Breakey handpassed to Blackwell, who returned the favour to allow Breakey to pass to Jones.

Jones went back and slotted home Claremont’s eighth goal with the quarter only 44 seconds old. This gave Jones his 400th goal in 127 league appearances for the Tigers. Claremont supporters will miss Jones in the coming seasons. This was his final game of competitive football and he and his wife Natalie will leave Perth soon to settle in Melbourne.

Ian Richardson, who will be travelling overseas next year, got the next goal just over a minute later. He received a handpass from Paul Medhurst in the left pocket and ran in to score a clever goal.

Mat Seal replied with a goal to East Perth before Claremont hit back when Murphy intercepted an East Perth kick-in and got the ball quickly on to his boot. This resulted in an excellent mark to Bradshaw for his second major. Neates gained the clearance from the centre bounce and Hamp booted a goal to get the Tigers to within six points of the Royals.

Bradshaw was continuing to work hard and he earned a free-kick for a great tackle on East Perth forward Dean Cadwallader. Then Breakey, Neates, Richardson and Andrews combined to work the ball forward where John Williams kicked a behind to reduce East Perth’s lead to just five points at the 15-minute mark. 

But Claremont’s hopes were dashed as East Perth piled on five goals in the next 15 minutes to race away to be 35 points in front at three-quarter time. The Royals slipped into overdrive and they outscored the Tigers 12.7 to 3.3 in the final 48 minutes of the contest.

It was seven goals to three in favour of East Perth in the final quarter when Claremont’s goals came from Richardson (after marking a Neates pass), Murphy (after Blackwell started a move from defence and combined with Bradshaw, Holt, Browne and Medhurst to get the ball to the left-footer) and Foster (after marking a Richardson pass, following some strong play from Browne and Jones).

East Perth thoroughly deserved their victory and a chance for glory when they meet a confident West Perth outfit in next Sunday’s grand final at Subiaco Oval.

By Ken Casellas



East Perth 24.12 (156) beat Claremont 14.9 (93).

Scorers---EAST PERTH: J. Smith 4.1; M. Seal 4.0; J. Cripps 3.3; M. Swan 2.1; P. Johnson, A. Selwood 2.0; S. Lycett 1.3; A. Bennell, D. Cadwallader 1.1; F. Clutterbuck, J. Detrickx, B. Lee, C. Wulff 1.0; S. Payne, A. Sweet 0.1. CLAREMONT: A. Foster, I. Richardson 2.1; M. Andrews, J. Bradshaw, C. Jones 2.0; M. Seaby 1.1; L. Blackwell, A. Hamp, J. Murphy 1.0; P. Medhurst 0.2; R. Neates, T. Taylor, J. Williams 0.1; 1pt forced.  

Best---EAST PERTH: P. Johnson, B. Lee, A. Selwood, J. Smith, M. Seal, C. Wulff, J. Cripps, S. Lycett, B. Wilson, A. Sweet, K. Anderson, S. Payne. CLAREMONT: L. Blackwell, J. Bradshaw, R. Neates, A. Browne, J. Laurie, A. Foster, M. Seaby.

WAFL Preliminary Final Preview

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 4:46 PM

CLAREMONT and East Perth have one last chance to enter the WAFL grand final for 2013 when the Tigers host the Royals in Sunday's preliminary final at Claremont Oval.

West Perth is already into the grand final awaiting the winner of the Claremont and East Perth clash at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the colts preliminary final will start the day at Tigerland with Claremont taking on Subiaco for the right to face South Fremantle in the grand final.

And in the reserves, South Fremantle is already in the grand final awaiting the winner of Sunday's clash between Perth and West Perth.



Selected teams

Claremont and East Perth have taken very different paths to Sunday's preliminary final, have very different recent grand final histories and have not faced one another in a final of any type since the 2003 first semi-final.

Claremont lost its first ever final at Claremont Oval last Sunday when West Perth advanced to the grand final at the Tigers' expense, with Claremont also losing their first second semi-final since 2004.

The Tigers had beaten Subiaco in 2007, Swan Districts in 2010, West Perth in 2011 and Swan Districts in 2012 in their previous four second semi-final appearances, all held at Claremont Oval.

However, East Perth comes into the preliminary final in winning form having beaten Swan Districts by 28 points in last Sunday's first semi-final.


East Perth has not played in a WAFL grand final since 2002, the last of a premiership hat-trick, so is trying to break that drought by winning Sunday's preliminary final against a Claremont team that is far from a stranger to grand final day over the last decade.

Claremont has played in grand finals in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012 since East Perth's last appearance on the big day with the Tigers losing the first four of those, and winning the last two.

Only one Tigers player has taken part in each one of those, David Crawford, and the forward-turned-defender just happens to play his 200th WAFL game in Sunday's preliminary final after he began his career in 2002.

Meanwhile it has been slim pickings for East Perth since 2002. The Royals have only won three finals in that time, first semi-finals in 2003, 2010 and last week, and not advanced past a preliminary final which they have reached twice previously before this year.

Finals in history between Claremont and East Perth have been far from common occurrences as well.

The last was the 2003 first semi-final that was won by East Perth by 29 points and prior to that the 2001 second semi which was also won by the Royals by 72 points.

There has only ever been one previous preliminary final between the Tigers and Royals, and that was way back in 1939 when Claremont prevailed by six points.

The last time the two met in a grand final was 1996 in a classic when Claremont won in a controversial finish by just two points.

All in all, Claremont and East Perth have met in only 11 finals in history heading into this Sunday's preliminary final which will be the first between the two teams ever at Claremont Oval. It's actually the first final played between the Tigers and Royals not at Subiaco Oval.

This Sunday's teams have a vast difference in terms of grand final and premiership experience as well.

Claremont will have nine dual premiership players from the last two years and another four who played in one of triumphs in 2011 and 2012.

East Perth, on the other hand, does not have a single player in its line-up who has previously played in a WAFL grand final let alone having won a premiership.


However, the Royals do have an AFL premiership player with West Coast from 2006, Adam Selwood, and a triple-premiership winning forward from VFL club North Ballarat, Josh Smith, so they aren’t a team totally foreign to tasting success.

There will be fascinating battles all over the field on Sunday without doubt highlighted by the ruck clash between Claremont's Mark Seaby and East Perth's Paul Johnson.

Claremont's midfield of Jake Murphy, Luke Blackwell, Andrew Foster, Ryan Neates and Trinity Handley will also have an enthralling duel with East Perth's Brendan Lee, Craig Wulff, Mat Seal, Jamie Cripps, Selwood and Freddie Clutterbuck.

Both teams have strong forward-lines as well with Claremont led by Chad Jones, Ian Richardson, Paul Medhurst, Anton Hamp and Jack Bradshaw, and East Perth by Smith, Scott Lycett, Michael Swan, Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls, Dean Cadwallader and Arthur Bennell.

Big changes from last week's teams won't be the order of the day either with Claremont likely to make just the one change with captain Andrew Browne returning to replace Nick Winmar while East Perth is likely to go in with the same line-up which beat Swan Districts.



Selected teams

Subiaco might have won six games fewer than Claremont during the home and away season of the 2013 colts campaign, but the Lions have good reason to head into Sunday's preliminary final confident of an upset at Claremont Oval.

Claremont finished the season as minor premiers with an imposing 18-2 record and massive percentage of over 180, but the Tigers came up short last Sunday at home against the two-time defending premiers South Fremantle.

The Bulldogs are now through to the 2013 grand final on the hunt for a third successive colts premiership awaiting the winner of this Sunday's preliminary final clash between the Tigers and Lions.

Subiaco just managed to secure fourth position in the final round of the season setting up a first semi-final last Sunday against Perth at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

The Lions then turned on an unbelievable first quarter against the Demons kicking nine goals to nil to set up the eventual 52-point victory.

If Subiaco is able to replicate anything close to that form on Sunday, then the Tigers could be in very real jeopardy of going out in straight sets after a dominant home and away season.

Claremont, though, lost just twice the whole of the season with the first defeat coming at the hands of Peel Thunder by 23 points in Round 13 and then against South Fremantle by 51 points in Round 16.

The Tigers then finished the home and away season with six straight wins before losing to South Fremantle by 23 points in last Sunday's second semi-final.

Subiaco and Claremont met three times during the season with the Tigers winning on all three occasions – by 59 points in Round 5, 46 in Round 11 and 28 in Round 19.


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A Costly Fadeout

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 11:24 AM

Claremont produced 25 minutes of wonderful champagne football in the second quarter before fizzling out to a disappointing 23-point defeat at the hands of a vibrant South Fremantle in the second semi-final at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

The Tigers were a free-flowing dominant force in the second term during which they piled on six goals and held the Bulldogs a solitary major. But the home side struggled in the second half and surrendered a 24-point half-time advantage, with the Bulldogs scoring nine goals to Claremont’s two in the second half.

Claremont now face Subiaco in the preliminary final at Claremont Oval next Sunday morning.

One bright feature for the Tigers was the successful return to action of midfielder Harrison McCracken after he had missed the three previous matches, suffering from a damaged collarbone.

Harry Taylor also performed strongly in a back pocket where he had the onerous task of guarding the skilful Willie Rioli, and, as usual, Jared Hardisty, Alec Waterman, Jordan Law and Ryan Lim were driving forces in the midfield.

Waterman, playing on the right wing, was outstanding in the opening quarter when he set the standard for excellence with a tremendous nine-kick effort. Hardisty, hard as nails, toiled manfully at the coalface throughout and finished with 13 kicks, 11 effective handpasses, three tackles, seven clearances at stoppages and five inside 50s.

The Bulldogs took an early lead when captain and full-forward Ben Sokol took a mark and booted a goal with the contest only 103 seconds old. It took another 12 minutes for the next goal, which gave the Tigers a one-point lead. Captain Tom Barrass started the attacking move from deep in defence and the ball was transferred downfield by Waterman, Harry Court, Law, Hardisty and Darcy Cameron. The move ended with McCracken marking Cameron’s kick and kicking truly.

South replied with another major to Sokol, but it took just over a minute for the Tigers to hit back with a goal to Francis Watson after he had marked a pass from Jack Carruthers, following good passage of play involving Law, Eddie Simpson and Jyrin Woods. Along shot from Rioli sailed through the big sticks to give the Bulldogs a four-point lead at the first change.

It was all the Tigers in the second term. After a great tackle by Watson, Woods dashed forward and passed to Steven Edwards, who handpassed to an unguarded Sam Bevan in the goalsquare for the first of Claremont’s six goals for the quarter.  Then two minutes later at the four-minute mark Hardisty handpassed to Lim, who surged forward and after taking two bounces, kicked a goal.

Woods was busy and he drove the ball forward for the next goal, this time off the boot of Joel Fiegert. But a cohesive move involving McCracken, Mason Whitehead, Rowen Powell, Jack Beeck and Hardisty failed to produce a result on the scoreboard. McCracken, Simpson and Hardisty each produced a strong tackle to thwart the Bulldogs before Traye Bennell scored their only goal for the quarter.

Soon after that South’s Joel McComb took a shot at goal, but he was foiled by a great smother off the boot from Taylor. Approaching the 15-minute mark Powell, Hardisty, McCracken and Bevan worked hard to get the ball forward where the hard-running Hardisty gained possession and booted a goal.

Five minutes later a move involving Waterman, McCracken and Watson ended with McCracken handpassing to Cameron in the goalsquare for the side’s next major. Then a Hardisty clearance at a stoppage at left half-forward resulted in a goal to Court moments before the half-time siren which saw the Tigers in good shape with a three-goal advantage.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 4.6 to 2.2 in the third term to set the stage for what most Claremont fans were hoping for --- an exciting final quarter.

South Fremantle scored three goals in the space of four minutes early in the third quarter before Claremont steadied. Bevan scored a point from a free-kick and then Powell marked the kick-in and passed to McCracken, who booted his second with an excellent shot from deep in the right pocket.

The Bulldogs drew to within two points of the Tigers before Barrass delivered a clever short pass to Lim, who got the ball on to Law for a much-needed goal in the dying moments of the quarter.

Claremont started the final quarter eight points in front, but lacked sparkle as they fizzled out. Goals to Braden Fimmano and Callum Ah Chee in the opening three and a half minutes gave the visitors the lead. Tiger turnovers hurt the side and South Fremantle consolidated with the final three goals of the match. A great chase and tackle applied by Taylor on South’s Bennell late in the match warmed the hearts of the Claremont fans. But the bird had flown and the Tigers were left to reflect on a poor second half.

By Ken Casellas



South Fremantle 13.13 (91) beat Claremont 10.8 (68).

Scorers---SOUTH FREMANTLE: B. Sokol 5.0; B. Matera 2.2; T. Bennell, W. Rioli 2.1; C. Ah Chee, B. Fimmano 1.0; M. Ah Siu, D. Main 0.2; J. Garlett, J. McComb, M. Nicholson, T. Stewart 0.1; 1pt forced. CLAREMONT: H. McCracken 2.0; S. Bevan 1.3; D. Cameron, F. Watson 1.1; H. Court, J. Fiegert, J. Hardisty, J. Law, R. Lim 1.0; S. Edwards 0.2; 1pt forced.

Best---SOUTH FREMANTLE: B. Sokol, B. Matera, J. Garlett, T. Vandeleur, D. Main, C. Ah Chee, B. Fimmano, W. Frampton, B. McPhail. CLAREMONT: J. Hardisty, A. Waterman, H. McCracken, H. Taylor, J. Law, R. Lim.

Falcons End 71 -Year Drought

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 5:23 PM

Perhaps it appeared all too easy. Claremont went into Sunday’s second semi-final at Claremont Oval as red-hot favourites against West Perth.

The Tigers had won 27 of their previous 31 matches. They had beaten the Falcons at their previous five encounters --- by margins of 85, 45, 119, 19 and 21 points, an average winning margin of 57 points.

West Perth were distinct underdogs who had finished the qualifying rounds with barely a whimper, losing their final two matches by 73 points to East Fremantle and 18 points to Swan Districts.

And Claremont had not lost to West Perth in a final-round contest for 71 years. Since West Perth had triumphed over Claremont by 51 points in the 1942 grand final the Tigers had met the Cardinals in five final-round matches for victories by margins of 38, 30, 11, 86 and 85 points.

Some over-confident Claremont supporters arrived for the game in self-congratulatory mode. This was going to be a piece of cake. Maybe, just maybe, there was a fragment of complacency in the Tigers ranks. Perhaps, subconsciously, there was a feeling of looking too far ahead.

Well, the truth of the matter emerged that facts, figures and statistics are meaningless. History means nothing. It all boils down to the mental state of the participants on the day.

The West Perth players arrived on a mission. They were miffed that considerable publicity sent a clear message that this contest was merely a stepping stone for the Tigers to charge straight into the grand final. They were out to prove a point.

In contrast, there was not quite the same urgency in the Claremont ranks. Perhaps not every single player was fully switched on. Yes, they all wanted to win. But was there total 100 per cent commitment?

West Perth set the example in a see-sawing match in which the scores were level four times and the lead changed hands 12 times. The Tigers surrendered a handy three-goal lead at half-time and West Perth emerged deserving victors by four points, scoring a wasteful 11.21 to Claremont’s 12.11.

Now the Tigers face their moment of truth in 2013 when they go into battle in the preliminary final at Claremont Oval next Sunday against the rampaging East Perth side which flexed its not inconsiderable muscle in a 28-point demolition of Swan Districts in the first semi-final at Bassendean Oval.

The Tigers trained in the cold, wind and rain on Wednesday night with great zest and all players are fully focused on the task at hand.  

It was the same old story for much of Sunday’s game at Claremont Oval, with the West Perth players running harder and getting more numbers to contests. And Claremont made far more errors and turned the ball over more times than the opposition.

It took 16 minutes for the first major. This came when Marc Crisp seized an errant Claremont handpass close to goal. Eventually, after 24 minutes did the Tigers break through for their first goal after an inspirational effort from full-forward Chad Jones.

West Perth captain Jason Salecic had taken a mark in the centre of the ground and was taking a long time to deliver the ball. Finally, the umpire blew his whistle and called play-on. It was then that Jones raced forward and tackled Salecic before he could kick the ball. Jones was awarded a free-kick . Mark Seaby took the advantage free-kick and handpassed to Ian Richardson, who dashed forward and kicked the first of his three goals.

Jake Murphy won the clearance at the resultant centre bounce and initiated an attack which ended in a goal to half-forward flanker Matt Davies. Soon after that Luke Blackwell passed to Andrew Foster, whose kick was marked at centre-half-forward by winger Nick Winmar.

Winmar then was flattened by West Perth’s Josh Mellington. Mellington was reported for charging Winmar. But the Falcons repelled this attack. Then in the final minute of the term full-back James Thomson passed the ball accurately to Winmar, who surged forward and took two bounces before Jones fought hard to gain possession.

Jones then sent a short, wobbly pass to Winmar 35m out on the left flank. The siren sounded and Winmar’s goal gave the home side a nine-point lead at the first change.

A handpass from Jones to Paul Medhurst 50 seconds into the second term resulted in a behind and two minutes later a splendid tackle by Thomson got the Tigers moving forward again, with Medhurst taking a mark and handpassing top Jack Bradshaw in the goalsquare for Claremont’s fourth major and a lead of 16 points.

However, West Perth took charge and added three goals in the space of four minutes which turned the satisfied smiles on the faces of the Claremont faithful into deep furrows of concern.

Winger Sam Fong replied with a behind and from the West Perth kick-in Ryan Neates earned a free-kick at left half-forward. The goal from Neates temporarily halted the Falcons goalrush. But five minutes later Mark Hutchings booted his second goal for the quarter. Another seven minutes passed before Bradshaw flew high over Rohan Kerr to pull down an excellent mark on the right wing.

Bradshaw passed to Richardson, whose kick was marked a few metres out by Seaby, whose goal enabled the Tigers to regain the lead. A Trinity Handley handpass to Jones enabled Jones to force the ball forward for a bounce-down. Seaby rose high to gain the tap to Handley, who kicked truly.

The Tigers were firing and a fierce attack on the ball by Fong enabled him to fire out a handpass to Jones, whose deft left-foot short pass was marked by a diving Richardson. Richardson’s goal gave the Tigers a three-goal buffer at half-time.

The Falcons were far from dismayed and goals to Mellington and Matt Guadagnin in the first five minutes of the third quarter came as a powerful warning that they meant business. The Tigers hit back when Foster handpassed to Bradshaw, who passed to Anton Hamp, who delivered to Murphy. The ball went out of bounds in the left pocket where Fong handballed to Jesse Laurie.

Laurie’s kick was marked by Bradshaw in the left pocket and he quickly passed the ball back towards half-forward to Davies, who kicked his second goal.

West Perth were attacking relentlessly and there were Claremont turnovers galore. Finally, late in the quarter Winmar dashed forward, took three bounces to set up an attacking move which ended with Davies handballing to Jones, who handpassed to Richardson for his third goal.      

The three-quarter time margin was a point in favour of Claremont. West Perth were back in the lead after seven minutes when a free-kick in the centre of the ground led to a mark and goal to the dangerous Crisp. Hamp brought up his third behind before he booted a marvellous goal from the boundary to put his side one point in front.

The Claremont players were throwing everything at the opposition and a tremendous tackle by defender Blake Anderson halted Guadagnin in his tracks as he was running into an open goal. Anderson was awarded a free-kick and he delivered to Foster, who was flattened by Steven Browne 65m out from goal. No score resulted from Foster’s kick. Handley also came under notice for his fierce tackle on Mellington, which halted an opposition attacking move.

West Perth frittered away several opportunities and added five behinds before Jordan Jones took a mark in the left pocket and kicked a goal which put the Cardinals ten points in front. Claremont refused to surrender and Laurie earned applause for his great smother off the boot of West Perth’s Matthew Fowler as he took a shot at goal at right half-forward.

The energetic Bradshaw was still running hard and he gained possession at half-back before passing to Anderson, whose handpass found David Crawford in a move which resulted in Richardson booting to the goalsquare where Foster took the mark and kicked his side’s 12th goal.

But the siren sounded 87 seconds later with Thomson in possession at left half-back. West Perth thoroughly deserved their victory and a spot in the grand final.

By Ken Casellas



West Perth 11.21 (87) beat Claremont 12.11 (83).

Scorers---WEST PERTH: M. Crisp 4.2; J. Mellington 2.1; M. Hutchings 2.0; M. Guadagnin 1.4; M. Fowler 1.3; J. Jones 1.0; J. Salecic 0.2; R. Bartholomew, R. Kerr, C. Keunen, S. Nelson, J. van Berlo 0.1; 4pts forced. CLAREMONT: I. Richardson 3.2; M. Davies 2.1; A. Hamp 1.3; J. Bradshaw, A. Foster, T. Handley, R. Neates, M. Seaby, N. Winmar 1.0; P. Medhurst 0.2; S. Fong 01; 2pts forced.

Best---WEST PERTH: J. van Berlo, M. Hutchings, M. Crisp, M. Guadagnin, S. Browne, S. Nelson, A. Black, R. Kerr. CLAREMONT: J. Bradshaw, M. Davies, S. Fong, J. Thomson, I. Richardson, L. Blackwell, J. Murphy, T. Handley.