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Kickett is 2024 Club Legend

Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 11:42 AM

By Ken Casellas


Few Claremont footballers have been as versatile and as highly decorated as Dale Kickett, who is being honoured as the club’s 2024 match-day legend.

In an outstanding 83-game WAFL league career with Claremont Kickett was a three-time premiership player, winner of two prestigious Simpson Medals and E. B. Cook Medal as the side’s fairest-and-best player in 1993, as well being the side’s leading goalkicker (47) in 1989.

He represented Western Australia in two State of Origin matches and enjoyed a remarkable AFL career of 181 matches --- with Fitzroy (15 matches), West Coast Eagles (two), St Kilda (21), Essendon (eight) and the Fremantle Dockers (135).

Kickett was a speedy and skilful half-forward flanker in his debut season with the Tigers in 1988 when he appeared in 13 matches and scored 15 goals before he booted 47 goals the following year, during which he had a turn at full-forward in the round 18 contest against East Perth at the WACA Ground in August and scored eight goals. In the grand final that year Kickett shone on a centre wing and scored three goals, with the Tigers overwhelming South Fremantle by 67 points

So brilliant was the youthful Kickett that Fitzroy snapped him up for the 1990 season. But after 15 AFL appearances that year a homesick Kickett decided to return to Claremont, and he starred as a midfielder and centreman, finishing third behind Darrell Panizza and Andrew McGovern in the 1991 fairest-and-best award.

His brilliant performance in the 1991 grand final, including three goals as a half-forward flanker, earned him the Simpson Medal as the best on ground, with the Tigers beating Subiaco by 77 points. He also played two AFL matches for the West Coast Eagles that year, against Carlton and North Melbourne.

He was then recruited by St Kilda for the 1992 season when he scored 20 goals in 21 matches before returning to Claremont for the 1993 season when he played on a wing and in the midfield before coach Gerard Neesham, frustrated at Kickett being heavily tagged as a forward, decided to switch him to a half-back flank where his fearless play and spirited running out of defence led to his success in the Cook Medal. Kickett’s brilliance as a half-back in Claremont’s five-goal grand final triumph over West Perth earned him his second Simpson Medal --- and led to Essendon recruiting him for the 1994 season.

After eight appearances for Essendon Kickett became an inaugural Fremantle Docker and had the distinction of being the first Docker to register a kick in the first-round match against Richmond at the MCG in 1995. In eight years with Fremantle Kickett chalked up 135 AFL matches and won the Doig Medal as the club’s fairest-and-best player in 1997 after being the runner-up in the two previous seasons.

He is a true Claremont champion and one of the club’s all-time greats.