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Ash Clancy bows out a winner

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 - 9:03 AM

Ash Clancy bows out a winner

By Ken Casellas

Football has been an integral part of Ash Clancy’s life, with a major highlight being Claremont’s grand final victory over Perth in the WAFL colts competition at Optus Stadium in September this year.

It was an emotional filled day for the 43-year-old Clancy, who as coach, along with his capable lieutenants, engineered the 11-point win.

Clancy, a gentle, genial giant, had informed club officials that he would be taking a break from football after the finals --- and he bows out after imparting his knowledge and guiding Claremont’s youth in their formative football years.

He has been heavily involved in the development of the club’s juniors for the past four years and his imprint on these youngsters has been clearly illustrated with their performances in the heat of battle.

“I have a passion for coaching, but now I want to focus on my family, my partner Louise and children Emma (eight) and Toby (six),” he said.

“I have loved the friendly environment at Claremont, and I want to stay involved with the club. I will definitely get back to coaching when the time is right.”

Clancy was born in the small wheatbelt town of Watheroo (about 230km north of Perth), he attended Hale School, was a member of Subiaco’s junior development squads and represented WA in 15s, 16s and 18s carnivals.

He was a member of Subiaco’s WAFL reserves premiership side in 1998 before being taken by the Fremantle Dockers in the 1999 AFL rookie draft, and he played in 14 league fixtures for the Dockers’ host club South Fremantle in 1999 and a further 16 league matches for Subiaco in 2000 and 2001.

Clancy was delisted by the Dockers at the end of the 2001 season when serious back problems forced him to quit senior football at the tender age of 21.

“I then took a couple of years off before playing country football for Northam Railways and Pinjarra,” he said. After that Clancy served as the president of the Wembley amateur football club.

“I sought fresh challenges and got into coaching juniors,” he said. Clancy was the senior coach of the Claremont futures (under-16s) program in 2020 and 2021, as well as serving as an assistant to Matt Angus, the coach of the Tigers colts squad, as the midfield coach in 2020 and the forwards’ coach the following year. He then took over as Claremont’s colts coach in 2022.

Clancy, a schoolteacher (physical education) at the Subiaco primary school, deserves great credit for his dedication and professionalism with the Claremont colts. He stressed the importance of spreading the load and not relying on a few individuals.

“The grand final was interesting, with Perth dominating early (scoring the opening two goals) and again late in the game (when the Tigers failed to score in the final quarter),” he said.

“We had got into a strong position which made Perth push the pace, thus giving us opportunities to get the ball back and take control. Then it looked like our boys ran out of legs in the last quarter, and if Perth had been able to kick another goal it would have made things very interesting.”