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PREVIEW: Round 15 v Swan Districts

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 10:17 AM

The Demons will take on traditional rivals Swan Districts for the third time this season at Lathlain Park on Saturday.

The two teams last played in round 11, with Swan Districts too strong on that occasion and leaving with a 33 point victory.

After coming off another tough loss against South Fremantle, the Demons will be looking to put it all on the line back on home soil.

With Earl Spalding clearly disappointed after Sunday's loss, he did say there would be no choice but to make a few changes this week.

With the development side having a great win against top side South Fremantle last week, there are a number of boys putting their hand up for senior selection.

Experienced utility Brent Edmonds, inside midfielders Kurtis Chester and Taran Etto, key position player Nelson Ansey and lively forwards Brennan Stack and Kristian Cary are all coming off brilliant games in the reserves.

Development coach Andrew Panetta said it was the best game he's had the pleasure of coaching, and it looks like the development side are well placed to have a crack at a finals series.

Andrew Ruck's colts will be looking to hit back after an up and down game last week and take it to a top 5 side in Swans.

Listen to Wednesday evening's episode of DeeRadio 

League bouncedown is at the normal time of 2:15pm with Development at 11:30am and Colts at 9:00am.

MATCH DAY INFORMATION

Weather: 17°C | Cloudy with high chance of showers
Broadcast: ABC radio

3 Licensed Bars: Bar on the Hill, Demon Den and Redlegs Bar. All open from 12 midday 
Kids Zone: Jumpy castle, free face painting, ice-cream van
Half Time Kids Running Races: 3 races for 3 age groups - all kids are welcome to participate. Win a $20 Belmont Forum voucher and a spot in the Grand Final Sprint!
Half Time Bin Kicking Competition: Five randomly selected spectators will get the chance to kick a footy into a bin at half time and WIN!
Bike Raffle: All kids under 16 go into the draw to win a free bike upon entry. Winner announced at half time
Kick-to-Kick: Bring your footy and have a kick on the new oval at the breaks
Merchandise: Get your red and black merchandise from the team store (located next to canteen, near Goddard St entry) or reception. Alternatively, treat yourself with something from our online team store 
Food: Canteen open from 9am thanks to Modern Catering. Chicken parmiganas with chips and salad available for dinner at post match presentations
Post Match Presentations: All are welcome upstairs in the Main Hall straight after the league game for a drink and presentation of best players - karaoke by Blondie will be on after presentations! Join the boys after for some fun and some interesting vocals.
Tickets: Adults $15 | Concession $12 | Under 16s free. Alternatively, become a Perth Football Club member 
Parking: Available at the old bowling club site (corner of Bishopsgate St & Roberts Rd), surrounds of Rayment Park and on streets surrounding Lathlain Park. See map below for parking and entrance gates
Public Transport: Victoria Park Station is located 400m from Lathlain Park and there are numerous nearby bus stops. Plan your Transperth journey here.

 

Demons Launch Player Welfare Program

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 3:35 PM

Perth Football Club launched their Mental Health program last night with suicide survivor, ex AFL player and founder of Outisde the Locker Room Jake Edwards.

Jake shared his story to both our senior and colts playing groups last night, and what he's been through and done to get to where he is now is phenomenal.

PFC saw the increasing need for education in the areas of mental health, drugs and alcohol, bullying and domestic violence and are proud to not only be the first club in Western Australia to sign up with OTLR but the first state level team in Australia.

OTLR is moving into this sector in WA with the help and support of the Perth Football Club by providing trained facilitators in Kristi Annear and Callum Walley plus two others to cover new clubs and putting player welfare as a priority.

The Perth Football Club wouldn't be able to do this without the financial support of Louie Hancock and the BCL group and we thank them for their ongoing support.

Outside the Locker Room's next step in preventing suicide is running the program in schools across the country by covering cyber and physical bullying and self-esteem issues.

OTLR will provide the Perth Football Club with another three sessions over a 12 month period, a free app for Android and iPhones that can monitor how the players are feeling and dealing with personal issues and will also provide medical support in the form of clinicians (Doctors and Psychologists) in WA.

If you are part of another sporting club or school and want to learn more about Outside the Locker Room please contact the club on 9362 4499 or email aeo@perthdemons.com.au and we will be able to assist.

PREVIEW: Round 14 v South Fremantle

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 11:38 AM

After arguably the worst loss in Earl Spalding's tenure as senior coach, Perth will be looking to bring the effort this week against a confident South Fremantle outfit.

The Demons will travel to Fremantle Community Bank oval on Sunday to take on the second placed Bulldogs, who are coming off a strong victory against West Perth.

Perth will be looking to put last week's tough defeat at the hands of East Fremantle behind them, as the tough task of taking on a Bulldogs outfit full of firepower awaits.

The two teams last met in Round 8, where South Fremantle came up trumps on that occasion.

Spalding spoke on this week's episode of DeeRadio, and spoke about the team's need to be better defensively and in contested situations.

With that being said, and the Development side having some strong contributers, there could be a few changes going into Sunday's game.

Liam Mckenna's long awaited return after a knee injury couldn't have gone much better. Mckenna had 36 disposals and has put his hand up for a return to the league side.

With contested football being a key focus area for the Demons, Kurtis Chester and Taran Etto did their chances of a recall no harm with both getting their fair share of the football.

Ruckman Christian Eyres will have to pass a fitness test on his ankle in order to be declared fit to play on Sunday.  

 

Match Day Information:

Venue: Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Bouncedown: League 2:10pm, Development 11:25am, Colts 8:55am

Weather: 18 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Broadcast: 2pm on 7

WRAP: Round 13 v East Fremantle

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 1:59 PM - by Chris Pike

EAST Fremantle's season from hell saw some shine on Saturday on the back of a 14-goal to two domination in the second half to beat Perth by 58 points for the Sharks' breakthrough win of 2017.

East Fremantle's first win of 2017 was never going to come easily. Saturday didn’t appear it was going to be the day when Perth kicked six goals to two in the first quarter to lead by 24 points at quarter-time and to still be up by 23 at the half.

But the Sharks came out an inspired unit for the second half and produced some scintillating football. 

It can't be ignored how poor Perth was, but East Fremantle turned it on kicking 14.12 to 2.3 in the second half to go from 23 points down at half-time to end up winning in style 19.17 (131) to 11.7 (73).

The win snaps a 12-game losing run for East Fremantle and breaks its duck for 2017. It's the first win for the Sharks since Round 21 last year, which also happened to be against Perth.

It was East Fremantle's first home victory since Round 9 last year also against the Demons.

The win also improves East Fremantle to being just one game behind the second last placed Perth to heat up the battle to avoid the wooden spoon in 2017.

The exciting part of the win for East Fremantle was that it was set up by the next generation. Corey Holmes was outstanding in the midfield in his fifth game with 28 possessions, nine marks, six inside-50 entries and a goal.

Tenth-gamer Tom Marshall also delivered 24 disposals and nine tackles for the Sharks while seventh-gamer Tom Bennett had 23 disposals and four tackles.

Second-gamer Ben Harding was another to impress with 23 possessions while another second-gamer, Matthew Burton finished with 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals.

Nathan Fahey (Peel) and Jesse Mirco (South Fremantle) were recruited this season to try and provide key forward targets and they did that for East Fremantle on Saturday. Fahey finished with 20 possessions, five marks and three goals while Mirco had 17 touches, nine marks and three goals.

Jack Perham (21 possessions, five tackles, four marks) and Andrew Stephen (18 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles) worked hard also. Alex Howson kicked two goals as well.

Two players who perhaps should have been playing league football much earlier this season are Tim Bristow and Josh Cuneo. Both played well at either end of the ground with Bristow kicking three goals from 15 disposals while Cuneo had 22 possessions from down back along with 25 touches from Jayden Schofield.

Matthew Watson was the best ruckman on the ground with 16 touches and 52 hit outs as well.

There was much to like from Perth in the first half and little to write home about in the second with many of the individual performances reflective of that.

Captain Clint Jones still racked up another 31 possessions and seven tackles while Mitch Browne played the best game of his career with 30 disposals, eight tackles and five marks.

Michael Sinclair had another good performance down back with 24 touches and six marks while Sandover Medallist Aidan Tropiano had 20 touches and 10 tackles against his former side.

Jake Schleicher also played against his old team on debut for Perth having grown frustrated by being in the reserves at East Fremantle despite appearing to be the exact type of player the league side was missing. He had 14 touches, six tackles and two goals in his first game with the Demons.

Matt Thompson and Mitch Henderson kicked two goals apiece for Perth while Devin McFarlane gave some good drive with 17 possessions and six marks.

The two teams were low on confidence but high on winning desire heading into the clash and it was Perth who started well. The Demons kicked the opening two goals through Thompson and Clint Jones.

Then despite goals for East Fremantle to Fahey and Howson, Perth kicked five of the last six majors through Christian Eyres, Blake Johnson, Schleicher and Callum Papertalk, they were right on top with a 24-point quarter-time advantage.

Another four goals to three in the second term and the Demons remained on top leading by 23 points at the main break to appear on target for a third win of the season and to be three games clear of bottom place as a result.

But East Fremantle found something at half-time and came out an inspired united in the second half delivering its best half of football by far for 2017, while Perth put in by far its worst.


Perth didn’t have a single scoring shot until the 32-minute mark of the third quarter when Henderson kicked a goal.

In between that time in the previous 31 minutes, East Fremantle delivered some inspired football with goals to Ryan Lester-Smith, Mirco, Burton, Mirco again, Bristow, Fahey, Bristow once more and then Cameron Eardley at the 30-minute mark to hold a 31-point advantage after being 23 down at half-time.

The Sharks could have been further in front too had it not been for eight third quarter behinds. But that lead was enough and another six goals to one in the final term saw them not only win for the first time in 2017, but to do so emphatically to the tune of 58 points.

East Fremantle looks to back up this Saturday against Peel Thunder also at East Fremantle while Perth tries to stem the tide against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Sunday.

EAST FREMANTLE        2.3    5.5    13.13    19.17    (131)
PERTH                6.3    9.4    10.5    11.7    (73)

EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Fahey, Mirco, Bristow 3; Burton, Howson 2; Eardley, Stephen, Lester-Smith, Watson, McCarrey, Holmes.
Best: Holmes, Watson, Marshall, Fahey, Harding, Bennett, Schofield. 
PERTH – Goals: Schleicher, Henderson, Thompson 2; C Jones, Ninyette, Eyres, Johnson, Papertalk.
Best: Browne, C Jones, Sinclair, Schleicher, Tropiano, McFarlane.

Perth back Spalding with two year extension

Friday, June 16, 2017 - 10:28 AM

Earl Spalding will remain at the helm of Perth's senior playing group until the end of 2019 at least after signing a two year extension on Thursday.

Spalding's current contract was due to expire at season's end after coming on for three years at the beginning of 2015.

However, according to Football Operations Manager Dale Ballantyne, the club believe Spalding is capable of delivering long awaited on field success over the next two years.

"We believe that Earl, with the game plan and a fit list, will be able to guide us in to finals footy," Ballantyne said.

"Our first goal is to play finals footy in 2018."

Spalding has only led the Demons to victory on 13 occasions from 51 games as senior coach, however Ballantyne acknowledged that senior player availability has not been at a premium during Spalding's time at the helm.

Senior players Jared Bell, Cody Leggett, Sam Garstone, Spencer White, Michael Sinclair, Liam McKenna, Brant Colledge, Brent Latch, Lennon Marlin, Laine Wilkins, Kristian Cary and Jarrad Irons have all missed three or more of Perth's first 11 games.

"Earl's done a great job with all the young blokes, but we need to give him the chance to coach a fit, healthy, senior list," Ballantyne said.

"There's a belief that with Earl's personality, his drive, his committment, his enthusiasm and passion for the footy club, along with the coaching group that's underneath him, are the right people to take us forward.

"We need some stability around the club."

Ballantyne also said assistant coachees Garry Moss, Chance Bateman and Michael Pratt have all verbally committed to going on again in 2018.

WATCH DeeTV with Earl Spalding

PREVIEW: Round 13 v East Fremantle

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 9:32 AM

The Demons travel to East Fremantle Oval this week to take on the Sharks with both clubs in desperate need of a win.

Perth will be looking to take their chances against an East Fremantle side who has yet to win a game this season. The two teams last met in Round 4, where Perth managed to get up by 13 points.

While both teams sit 8 and 9 at the present time, expect this to be a must watch game, as neither side will be looking to give an inch and will be thirsty for a much needed win.

After last weeks tough loss to ladder leaders Subiaco, you can expect there to be a few changes going into such an important game for the football club.

Brad McPhail suffered a concussion against the Lions and is expected to miss this weeks game. Lennon Marlin, Kristian Morisey and Anton Scotney are all like-for-like defenders who could come in to replace him.

Kasey Nicholas is coming off his best game for the year in the Development side and is another one who could be considered for a call up. 

Perth will welcome back Kristian Cary and Liam Mckenna from long term knee injuries this week, who you'd expect to be put on limited minutes in the Development side.

Listen to Wednesday's episode of DeeRadio.

 

Match Day Information:

Weather: 22 degrees, Mostly Sunny

Bouncedown: League 1:40pm, Development 10:55am, Colts 8:25am

Broadcast: 1:30pm on 7mate

 

PREVIEW: Round 12 v Subiaco

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 10:19 AM

The Demons remain at Lathlain Park this Saturday to take on league leaders Subiaco as part of the competition wide Count Me In round.

Count Me In Round - Giving everyone a fair go

Perth will be looking to get off to a better start this week after last Saturday's one goal to five first quarter against Swans Districts which ended up being the difference as the Swans went on to win by 33-points.

The Lions (9-1) sit two games clear on top of the WAFL ladder and enter Saturday's clash off a four point win over Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

Last time the two sides met it was a third term lapse that cost the Demons, falling 23-points short of Subiaco after leading at half time.

With no injuries to come out of last Saturday's loss to the Swans, there will be no forced changes this week.

Potential inclusions to this week's 25-man squad include Josh Burke, Sam Perkusich, Blake Johnson, Taran Etto and Callum Walley who have all been impressive at Development level. 

Liam McKenna and Brent Edmonds are both set to return from injury through the Development on Saturday, with McKenna on reduced minutes.

Listen to Wednesday evening's episode of DeeRadio

Coming to the game? Keep an eye out for players and volunteers conducting short Count Me In surveys and recieve a free footy in return!

MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Weather: 23°C | Partly cloudy
Broadcast: Listen to the game on 107.3 HFM

3 Licensed Bars: Bar on the Hill, Demon Den and Redlegs Bar. All open from 12 midday 
Kids Zone: Jumpy castle, free face painting, ice-cream van
Half Time Kids Running Races: 3 races for 3 age groups - all kids are welcome to participate. Win a $20 Belmont Forum voucher and a spot in the Grand Final Sprint!
Half Time Bin Kicking Competition: Five randomly selected spectators will get the chance to kick a footy into a bin at half time and WIN!
Bike Raffle: All kids under 16 go into the draw to win a free bike upon entry. Winner announced at half time
Kick-to-Kick: Bring your footy and have a kick on the new oval at the breaks
Merchandise: Get your red and black merchandise from the team store (located next to canteen, near Goddard St entry) or reception. Alternatively, treat yourself with something from our online team store 
Food: Canteen open from 9am thanks to Modern Catering. Chicken parmiganas with chips and salad available for dinner at post match presentations
Post Match Presentations: All are welcome upstairs in the Main Hall straight after the league game for a drink and presentation of best players
Tickets: Adults $15 | Concession $12 | Under 16s free. Alternatively, become a Perth Football Club member 
Parking: Available at the old bowling club site (corner of Bishopsgate St & Roberts Rd), surrounds of Rayment Park and on streets surrounding Lathlain Park. See map below for parking and entrance gates
Public Transport: Victoria Park Station is located 400m from Lathlain Park and there are numerous nearby bus stops. Plan your Transperth journey here.

PREVIEW: Round 11 v Swan Districts

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 10:00 AM - by Daniel Arangio

The Demons play host to traditional rival Swan Districts this Saturday afternoon when the two sides meet at Lathlain Park.

It's set to be just as big a day off the field as it will be on it, with the day dedicated to major charity partner Ronald McDonald House Perth (RMH Perth) as well as the annual District Parade Day taking place.

RMH Perth will be selling $2.50 sausage sizzles straight off the barbecue near the Bar on the Hill, with 100% of proceeds going straight to the house. Players and volunteers will also be shaking tins so be generous when they come by, and part proceeds from gate sales will be donated to RMH Perth.

Both sides enter Saturday's clash off last weekend's state game bye and will be looking to start the second half of 2017 on a winning note.

TALKING POINTS

1. Demons set to welcome back a host of key players
Although it's been a devastating couple of weeks on the injury front, it's not all doom and gloom. Brant Colledge and Brent Latch are almost certain to return this week after nursing a hamstring and broken thumb respectively. Brent Edmonds (shoulder) will undergo a fitness test on Thursday night which will determine whether he'll return this week or next. Lennon Marlin and Dan Horan are also set to return from injury this week.     

2. Swans ripe for the picking
Coming off a double bye, our opponents wouldn't have played for 21 days straight come Saturday afternoon. Prior to that, they have lost three of their last four matches after a strong start to 2017 winning their first four.

3. Who fills the key forward void?
With Sam Garstone ruled out for the remainder of 2017 and Spencer White still a week or two away from returning, the challenge is in front of young forwards Nelson Ansey and Marshall Jones. The pair are only 21 and 19 years of age respectively and will be forced to step up beyond their years on Saturday against an experienced Swans defence.   

4. Development boys knocking the door down
Coming off a best afield effort in the Development side's 71-point win over Peel Thunder, inside midfielder Taran Etto continues to respond to being left out of the league side. Leading goalkicker in the Development competition, Callum Papertalk is another potential inclusion this week after continuing to impress at Development level.

5. Last five meetings
Round 1, 2017 at Steel Blue Oval | Swan Districts 12.11 (83) defeated Perth 11.5 (71)
Round 22, 2016 at Steel Blue Oval | Perth 15.10 (100) defeated Swans 7.8 (50)
Round 12, 2016 at Steel Blue Oval | Perth 11.20.86 defeated Swans 4.8 (32)
Round 8, 2016 at Lathlain Park | Perth 14.11 (95) defeated Swans 8.6 (54)
Round 13, 2015 at Lathlain Park | Swan Districts 12.10 (82) defeated Perth 7.9 (51)

League bounce down is at 2.15pm, with Development commencing at 11.30am and Colts 9am.


MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Weather: 12-22°C | Partly cloudy, medium chance of showers
Membership Stall: Visit the Demons membership stall outside the Goddard Street entry. Purchase your 5-game Supporters or 2-game Social membership for a big second half of season 2017
RMH Perth Sausage Sizzle: Get yourself a sausage sizzle for $2.50 with all proceeds going directly to Ronald McDonald House Perth
Broadcast: Listen to the game on KIX Digital 

3 Licensed Bars: Bar on the Hill, Demon Den and Redlegs Bar. All open from 12 midday 
Kids Zone: Jumpy castle, free face painting, ice-cream van
Half Time Bin Kicking Competition: Five randomly selected spectators will get the chance to kick a footy into a bin at half time and WIN $1500!
Bike Raffle: All kids under 16 go into the draw to win a free bike when they enter the ground. Winner announced at half time
Kick-to-Kick: Bring your footy and have a kick on the new oval at the breaks
Merchandise: Get your red and black merchandise from the team store (located next to canteen, near Goddard St entry) or reception. Alternatively, treat yourself with something from our online team store 
Food: Canteen open from 9am thanks to Modern Catering. Chicken parmiganas with chips and salad available for dinner at post match presentations
Post Match Presentations: All are welcome upstairs in the Main Hall straight after the league game for a drink, dinner and post match presentations. Karaoke from 7pm
Tickets: Adults $15 | Concession $12 | Under 16s free. Alternatively, become a Perth Football Club member 
Parking: Available at the old bowling club site (corner of Bishopsgate St & Roberts Rd), surrounds of Rayment Park and on streets surrounding Lathlain Park. See map below for parking and entrance gates
Public Transport: Victoria Park Station is located 400m from Lathlain Park and there are numerous nearby bus stops. Plan your Transperth journey here.


 

Bell suffers devastating blow on cusp of return

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 1:06 PM - by Daniel Arangio

Luckless defender Jared Bell has re-torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee following a seemingly innocuous incident at training last Thursday.

Bell, who turned 21 on Saturday, has spent the past 11 months recovering from an ACL tear sustained back in round 15 last year and was set to return to playing in as little as four weeks.

Bell, who was leading the 2016 Butcher Medal count at the round 15 mark, will require a second knee reconstruction and Perth Football Operations Manager Dale Ballantyne said he had not yet decided between LARS and traditional surgery.

"He hasn't decided what he's going to do with it whether it's a LARS surgery or the same process so he'll have a couple of weeks with that one," Ballantyne said.

In a double blow for the Demons, scans have confirmed that young forward Sam Garstone will miss the remainder of 2017 after tearing his posterior cruciate ligament against Peel last weekend.

Scans also indicated that Garstone, who was enjoying a breakout season up forward, also partially tore his ACL but will not require a full reconstruction.

In some positive news for the Demons, a host of players are in line to make their returns over the next two weeks.

Devin McFarlane, Brant Colledge, Brent Latch, Lennon Marlin and Dan Horan are all expected to return this week against Swan Districts while Brent Edmonds (shoulder) will undergo a fitness test on Thursday night to try and prove his fitness.

Liam McKenna (knee) and Spencer White (shins) will both need another week to fully recover from their respective injuries.

See the full Demons injury list here

In recruitment news, East Fremantle utility Jake Schliecher has signed with the Demons on a two year term.

The 23-year-old played 17 league games for East Fremantle between 2015-17 and has been described by Ballantyne as a strongly built, athletic utility who finds the ball and makes good decisions with it.

Schliecher injured his groin playing for Carey Park on the weekend and is expected to be fit to play for the Demons in 1-2 weeks.  

Syd Shaw a Surprise Packet

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 1:42 PM - by Peter Kennedy

To most post World War Two football fans, Perth's star full back Syd Shaw was one of a number of ex-servicemen who put their stamp on the game, eager to make up for the years lost while serving overseas.

Syd's bare military record shows he enlisted in 1940, fought at El Alamein in North Africa where he was captured by the Germans in July 1942, was a POW in Italy, and made it back to Perth in November 1944, then discharged.

He made his league debut with the Redlegs, as the club was then known, in 1945, played 150 games and represented WA in two carnivals, Hobart in 1947 - when he played in the winning WA team against Victoria - and Brisbane in 1950.

But for the long kicking custodian who hung up his boots in 1953, that's just scratching the surface.

Now aged 94, Syd's face lit up when he described his rich football and military experiences to me at his unit in Woodvale, surrounded by extensive memorabilia. And he recalled the events and dates as if they happened yesterday.

Born on 22 December 1922, Syd was a Victoria Park boy and attended the "bottom school" in Cargill Street. He was right into football, and his opponents in school games included other future Perth champions such as centreman Ern Henfry and full forward Ron Tucker.

Syd signed up for the 2/32 Battalion soon after war broke out, and left Fremantle in the Queen Mary, bound for the Middle East, in late 1941, at the start of an extraordinary three year period in his eventful life.

He saw action at El Alamein before his unit was overrun by the Germans and he was captured "on 22 July 1942". After a month in captivity in Ben Ghazi ("the horror camp - and full of fleas"), he set sail on the Nino Bixio for Italy.

"But the British submarine, the 'Turbulent', put two torpedoes into the ship, and all hell broke loose," Syd said. "I was just lucky but 432 men died in that incident."

The badly damaged and listing ship made it to Greece, and Syd and the other surviving POWs were then shipped to Italy, ending up in POW Camp 57 at Udine, near the border with Yugoslavia. "A terrible camp", he said.

The action continued. The vacant hut he and his mates were allotted was being used by other POWs for the secret burrowing of an escape tunnel. Thirty men found freedom through it.

Syd was set to work on a road project but he and his mates set their own rules. They refused to work on Saturdays and then negotiated a one day on, one day off roster. When the Italians surrendered to the British "on 10 September 1943" he was in a group of 13 Australians who "cleared out and headed for the Swiss border".

It took 13 days to cover the 80 kilometres on foot, in freezing conditions. Syd said they were wearing just shirts and shorts at altitudes of up to 12,000 ft. On "23 September 1944", Syd was released from internment in Switzerland,  eventually made it back to Perth in November and was discharged.  

However the army was in his blood and he signed up again in late 1947, seeing service in Malaya (now Malaysia) and New Guinea. He also served for two years in the elite SAS regiment. Syd finally retired as a warrant officer in March 1975, after 32 years service in the infantry.

Syd was 22 when he started his football career with Perth, then based at the WACA Ground, in 1945. He didn't miss a match for two seasons, and was chosen to play full-back in the 1947 Hobart carnival team captained by Perth team mate Merv McIntosh.

The army transferred him to country Victoria in 1948. Efforts to join old Perth teammates Henfry and George Bailey (1945 Sandover Medallist) at Carlton failed. But he did win the fairest and best award for the Mornington League.

That season he also came up against a lively young full forward playing for the Hastings club who struck him as extremely talented. Their paths crossed again when the young forward was in the Victorian carnival team in 1950, after joining Essendon. His name was John Coleman.

Syd recalls other Perth players in the WA carnival side were McIntosh, Tucker, Terry Moriarty, Reg Zeuner, Phil Craven and Bob Miller.

He remembers the 1950 grand final, in which South Fremantle defeated the Redlegs by six points, as the one that "got away". "In a tight last quarter, South's Steve Marsh grabbed the ball, ran across the ground and, with wind assistance, kicked to Don Wares. He marked, kicked accurately for goal, and the game was all over."

Syd played on until 1953 but retired mid season, aged 31, after being injured. By then he had notched 150 games, and he was awarded Life Membership in 1966.

Syd recalls some of the leading players of his era:

Merv McIntosh (triple Sandover Medallist): a "gentleman footballer". He was "very good to me and always helpful on the field".

Ern Henfry (1955 premiership coach): a brilliant centre man with plenty of skills. Took some "heavy hits" but always played on.

Reg Zeuner (centre half forward/ruck): a deceptively talented player. We probably never saw the best of Reg.

Ron Tucker (full forward): Mercurial. But had the capacity to do stupid things. Had a feud with "Nugget" Hilsz who also wanted to play at full forward, rather than centre half-back.

Terry Moriarty (1943 Sandover Medallist): A good boy Terry. He was a "bulldog"on the half-back flank. Never gave up.

George Bailey (player and coach): Playing at centre half back, he was very good, he helped give me an "armchair ride".

Bernie Naylor (South Fremantle full forward): He was very good and also fair. I always tried to play five yards in front of him to cut off the stab passes. Very accurate with the torpedo punt.