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Demons Triumph Over Peel. Round 15 Match Review.

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 11:20 AM

Our first WAFL finals appearance since 1997 took another step to becoming reality on Saturday with the Demons kicking the first four goals of the last quarter to come from behind and beat Peel Thunder at Lathlain Park by eight points.

The winner of Saturday's contest at Lathlain Park always knew it was going to finish Round 15 of the WAFL season inside the top five. 

For the first three quarters, that looked likely to be Peel with the premiers of the past two years leading the Demons by 11 points at quarter-time, 11 points at half-time and 16 points at three quarter-time. 

But Perth came out and kicked the opening four goals of the final term and that was enough to set up a match-winning advantage with the Demons going on to prevail 10.15 (75) to 10.7 (67).

The win means Perth has won four of its past five matches now to improve to a 6-7 record on the season and to move into fourth position on the ladder.

Coach Early Spalding is thrilled with the result, but cautiously optimistic about our finals contention.

“It was a good result,” Spalding stated. “The boys showed a lot of character out there, even when we were behind on the scoreboard.”

“Our numbers are some of the best they’ve been all season in terms of inside 50s and clearances.”

Peel remains outside a finals position at 5-8 having now lost two in-a-row.

Perth's quality and experienced midfield again stood out on the door led by Cody Leggett who produced a game made up of 32 possessions, 13 inside-50 entries, seven marks, five tackles and a goal.

Captain Clint Jones also had 29 possessions, six inside 50s and four marks for the Demons with Corey Yeo contributing 29 disposals and nine tackles, and Brant Colledge 28 touches, eight inside-50 entries, six marks and two goals.

We got good support from ruckman Christian Eyres who had 31 hit outs while Corey Byrne finished with 17 possessions and three tackles.

Perth's defence was once again anchored by Michael Sinclair who had another 24 possessions, eight marks, seven tackles and four inside 50s.

Cody Ninyette kicked three goals for the Demons, and Michael Bennell two, with the pair having now combined to kick 33 goals in the five matches they've played together.

Brady Grey returned from injury for Peel and kicked two early goals but he proved to be the Thunder's only multiple goal scorer on the afternoon.

Peel did kick the opening goal of the game through Brady Grey and then following a Perth major to Cody Ninyette, the Thunder also scored courtesy of Grey again then Mitch Crowden and Gerald Ugle to lead by 16 points.

The Demons scored the last goal of the first quarter thanks to Blake Johnson to be within 11 points at quarter-time.

It was then just one goal apiece in the second quarter with conditions at their worst of the afternoon. Perth got a goal to Michael Bennell and Peel's came from Luke Strnadica with the Thunder heading into the main break with an 11-point advantage.

It was two goals apiece in the opening 15 minutes of the third quarter with Peel's coming courtesy of Ben Hancock and Danyle Pearce, and Perth's to Brant Colledge and Ninyette.

Peel then was able to extend its lead to 16 points again with a Michael Tassone goal and the premiers of the past two years were still on top to the tune 16 points by three quarter-time.

It was all Perth in the last quarter and the Demons had the first 10 scoring shots for the term which included goals to Ninyette, Bennell, Kristian Cary and Colledge. That saw them go from 16 points down at three quarter-time to lead by 14 points at the 26-minute mark.

Peel did manage the last goal of the game courtesy of Lloyd Meek but it mattered little with Perth going on to win by eight points and make finals a distinct likelihood in 1997.

Perth's reserves also produced a solid showing to beat Peel Thunder at Lathlain Park by 34 points to move into fifth position on the ladder.

Peel dominated the play in the opening quarter but could only manage one goal from eight shots and that meant they only led by five points at the first beak.

The Thunder kicked another six behinds without a goal in the second quarter. Perth kicked our second goal of the game and the Thunder lead by three points at the main break despite just the one goal for the half.

Perth then managed to get going in the third quarter kicking five goals to one to head into three quarter-time leading by 26 points before another three goals to two in the last term to end up winning 10.13 (73) to 4.15 (39).

Kurtis Chester delivered an impressive performance for Perth with 23 possessions and two goals while Marshall Jones also booted two majors.

Daniel Horan also gathered 25 disposals for the Demons, Austin Davis 22, Ben Giobbi 21, Shaun Smith 20, Zac Casey 19, Jayden Johnstone 19, Brad McPhail 18 and Callum Marshall 18.

Perth will remain at Lathlain Park on Saturday in Round 16 to play the bottom placed East Fremantle with the chance to further cement our spot inside the top five.

PERTH 2.2 3.4 6.8 10.15 (75)

PEEL THUNDER 4.1 5.3 9.6 10.7 (67)

PERTH – Goals: Ninyette 3; Colledge, Bennell 2; Cary, Leggett, Johnson.

Best: Colledge, Leggett, Yeo, Jones, Sinclair, Bennell, Ninyette. 

PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Grey 2; Ugle, H Bennell, Hancock, Meek, Crowden, Tassone, Pearce, Strnadica.

Best: Pearce, Hancock, Crowden, Strnadica, H Bennell, Johnson.

Round 15 Match Preview vs Peel Thunder

Friday, July 13, 2018 - 1:30 PM

Our first win of the 2018 season was one of the biggest upsets of the year, when we defeated the back-to-back reigning premiers Peel Thunder by a six-point margin.

Having won four of our last five contests, and following the back of a great win against Swan Districts in last week’s NAIDOC Round, the team are up and about, and ready to repeat our round three victory.

Last time we met Peel, solid performances from Michael Sinclair, Cody Leggett, Corey Byrne, Brant Colledge and Christian Eyres saw us get it over the line.

This clash, we will be looking to them again, while also adding Round 14 M&J Chickens Player of the Round Cody Ninyette, Michael Bennell and Captain Clint Jones to the list.

Round 15 success will see us with a strong chance of moving into the top five at the business end of the season.

2018 Ronald McDonald Round

The Perth Football Club is a proud partner of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia.

 All West Australian Football League players and umpires will     wear silly socks to raise vital funds for children with serious   illness, as part of the Ronald McDonald House Charity Round.

 The League game will feature a special Ronald McDonald   Charity Fan Zone where kids can get involved in a range of fun   activities and win some great prizes.

 These activities include a spinning wheel, and a fries handball   target. There will also be face painters and a lucky dip fans can   take part in with a gold coin donation. All proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House.

Around the Ground

Delicious footy food is available from the Canteen beside the main gate from Goddard Street. Or, if your vocals require some lubrication, icy cold refreshments are available now from our Redlegs Bar within the grandstand, Demons Den beside the Demon’s raceway, Presidents Lounge or Bar on the Hill under the scoreboard.

Make sure your kids enter the “Garlands Cycleworks Game Day Bike Giveaway!” This is a FREE raffle open to all kids 16 and under.  Entry forms and boxes are located at the two turnstiles into Lathlain Park.  The lucky winner will be announced at the half time break, and presented with a bike at three quarter time. Don’t forget to enter!

Bennell wants to write his own success story

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 1:29 PM

Lying on the couch watching Great Southern AFL products Mitch and Jeremy McGovern and Marley Williams play on the big stage forced Michael Bennell on to the doorstep of Perth Football Club.

Bennell grew up playing his football with Albany, kicking 11 goals in the Sharks’ only ever league victory in Great Southern Football League history.

It was there he played against the likes of the McGovern brothers and Williams, who have gone on to carve out successful AFL careers.

Seeing them on television made Bennell act, and just a few months on it could prove to be one of the best decisions the talented forward has made.

An impromptu meeting with Perth Football Manager Dale Ballantyne was the first step to Bennell joining the club, and he is now helping lead the Demons’ charge towards a breakthrough WAFL finals appearance.

“I was lazing around every day on the couch — I (had) seen the McGovern boys and Marley Williams doing their thing and it made me realise I need to do something,” Bennell said.

“I’m grateful Dale listened to my story. He invited me down to a training session and then I did a pre-season.

“Coming from down south, it’s been a big change but I’m just loving footy at the moment.”

The 24-year-old began the WAFL season in the reserves, kicking 15 goals in seven games, playing league in round nine.

From there, he has not looked back, booting three goals on debut and going on to bag 16 goals in just five matches.

Bennell’s path to Lathlain Park for weekly training is very different from that of most, catching two trains from his home in Maddington with music blaring in his headphones the whole way.

But it’s something that is working. The dynamic forward is averaging 3.2 goals per game — the most of any player in the WAFL competition.

Despite harbouring ambitions to play at the highest level, Bennell said his focus was on helping Perth reach the finals.

“I’m very happy — the hard pre-season I did is really working for me but I’ve still got some boxes to tick,” he said.

“I want to have a real impact in the next few weeks, put us in winnable position in games and help us make the finals.

“I have always dreamt of playing at the elite level. My best is still ahead of me but I’ve got to keep putting in the hard yards.”

Bennell is doing labouring and maintenance work for Indigenous Economic Solutions and says his life has never been better.


Originally published in the Albany Ad by Cameron Newbold.

Image Credit: The Sunday Times, Daniel Wilkins.

Ninyette named M&J Chickens Player of the Round

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 2:22 PM

Cody Ninyette has been name the M & J Chickens Player of NAIDOC Round, after what was a standout performance.

Ninyette had a relatively quiet first half of the 2018 season compared with what he was able to produce in 2017, but his form has come to life in recent weeks and then he took things up another gear in Saturday's win against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval.

The 20-year-old ended the afternoon kicking five goals to go with 21 possessions, five tackles, four marks and four entries inside the forward 50.

Ninyette started the game strongly with three goals in the first quarter to help the Demons to a fast start. He then went on to add a fourth goal in the third quarter and his fifth during the last term as he ensured he delivered a strong performance for the whole four quarters.

Ninyette has now kicked five goals twice in his last three matches this season and is in some stunning forward-line alongside Bennell in a Perth team making a genuine run for the finals.

The Kelmscott product came through the colts at Perth and played some impressive football across 28 games in 2015 and 2016 where he kicked 33 goals in that time.

He made the step up to senior football late in the 2016 season playing three reserves matches and kicking eight goals, and then kicking four goals from two league appearances.

Ninyette was then a permanent member of the league team in 2017 and he went on to be the leading goalkicker for Perth for the season kicking 28 goals in his 18 matches, highlighted by his still career-best of seven in the last game of the season against East Perth.

Ninyette had a solid start to the 2018 season kicking 10 goals across his first nine matches, but he then booted five goals in Round 11 against East Fremantle on the same afternoon teammate Bennell kicked seven.

Then he delivered another five-goal haul in Saturday's win against Swan Districts and there's every reason he could find himself in the AFL system by the end of 2018.

Demons defeat the Swans! Round 14 Match Review v Swans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 1:03 PM

The Demons went into the Rio Tinto NAIDOC Round determined, and ready to earn the win over the Swan Districts. We were on top from the outset, holding a dominating lead for the duration of the match.

In the previous two meetings between the two teams this season, the Demons started strongly but couldn’t maintain it, going on to be overrun by the Swans on both occasions. With this fresh in our minds, the team were prepared with a mindset of tenacity.

Once again on Saturday we started strongly, but this time the Demons were able to maintain it throughout the afternoon at Steel Blue Oval to come away with the 14.17 (101) to 11.11 (77) victory. The win improves us to a 5-7 record on the season to be only percentage outside the top five.

It was a stunning display from the Demons throughout the afternoon. The boys earned 62 more possessions than Swans, 14 more marks, 21 extra inside-50 entries and then 31 scoring shots to 22.

It was only fitting that as part of the NAIDOC Week celebrations in the WAFL, Cody Ninyette delivered a stunning performance for Perth made up of five goals from 21 possessions, five tackles, four marks and four inside 50s.

Michael Bennell also kicked another two goals for the Demons as did Corey Byrne and Kristian Cary.

Michael Sinclair was superb in our defence against the Swans, ending the afternoon with a game-high 35 possessions and 17 marks. Matthew Taylor also had 20 possessions and eight marks.

Captain Clint Jones also racked up another 33 possessions (eight marks, eight tackles) for the Demons, Brant Colledge 31 (10 inside 50s), Corey Yeo 27, Cody Leggett 27 (11 tackles, nine marks, eight inside 50s) and Byrne 20.

Christian Eyres battled hard in the ruck for the Demons for 17 touches and 23 hit outs.

Perth started impressively coming off the bye with the first five scores of the contest at a well-populated Steel Blue Oval. That did include goals to Indigenous pair Michael Bennell and Cody Ninyette which was fitting as part of NAIDOC Week.

Swan Districts did get an answering major through Brayden Noble but the Demons were on song and Ninyette added two more goals before quarter-time as Perth had 10 scoring shots to two in the term to lead by 23 points at the first break.

Swan Districts did manage the first goal of the second quarter thanks to former Demon Matthew Rogers. But Perth hit back through returning key forward Spencer White.

Swan Districts were then just seven points behind to start the second half when Noble kicked a third goal before Bennell and Warrick Wilson traded goals for their respective teams in NAIDOC Week.

The Demons continued to have the answers, though, and kicked five of the last six goals of the third term, including a fourth to Ninyette, with Perth heading into the three quarter-time huddle with a commanding five-goal advantage.

Ninyette kicked the first goal of the last term to give him five for the afternoon and while Swan Districts kicked three of the last four goals of the contest, the Demons still cruised to the 24-point victory at Bassendean.

Perth will play host to Peel Thunder on Saturday with the chance of the winner moving into the top five by the end of Round 15.

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.1 5.5 8.7 11.11 (77)

PERTH 4.6 6.12 12.13 14.17 (101)

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Noble 3; Faulkner, Rogers 2; Gault, Turner, Payne, Wilson.

Best: Turner, Faulkner, Noble, Rogers, Riggio, Payne, Gault.

PERTH – Goals: Ninyette 5; Byrne, Cary, Bennell 2; Yeo, White, Dennis.

Best: Ninyette, Sinclair, Leggett, Colledge, Jones, Yeo, Eyres, Taylor.

Luke English and Sydney Stack Make U18 All-Australian Team

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 1:59 PM

Four WA players have been selected for this year's NAB AFL under 18s All-Australian Team following the conclusion of the under 18s Championships, two of whom hail from the Perth Football Club.

Jordan Clark was named in defense, while midfielder Perth's Luke English won a palce in the midfield. Jeremy Sharp and Perth's Sydney Stack were named on the bench.

Congratulations Luke and Sydney! 


The 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian team is as follows:

Defenders: Jordan Clark (WA), Buku Khamis (VM), Jacob Koschitzke (NSW/ACT – Allies), Jez McLennan (SA), Isaac Quaynor (VM), Kyle Reid (VC)

Midfield: Kieren Briggs (NSW/ACT – Allies), Luke English (WA), Chayce Jones (Tas – Allies), Bailey Smith (VM), Luke Valente (SA), Samuel Walsh (VC)

Forwards: Jackson Hately (SA), Ben King (VM), Jack Lukosius (SA), Izak Rankine (SA), Bailey Scott (QLD – Allies), Rylee West (VM)

Interchange: Will Gould (SA), Connor McFadyen (QLD – Allies), Mitchell O’Neill (Tas – Allies), Jeremy Sharp (WA), Sydney Stack (WA)

Coach: Tony Bamford (South Australia)
Assistant Coach: Lance Spaulding (Tasmania)

Round 14 Preview: Demons v Swans

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 11:53 AM

The Demons will be looking to gain vengeance for our Round 9 loss to the Swans this Saturday at Bassendean Oval. The Swans have had the better of us in our two encounters this season, but we are ready for what is expected to be another tough encounter.

Our last clash hasn’t been forgotten. After a good first half, we lost our 40 point lead to lose by 22 points. Lessons have been learnt from this, and the team are training for continuous improvement.

Coming off a bye, the Demons are up and ready to go. A strong performance and playing our brand of football for the full four quarters will hopefully see our boys return to the winner’s list in the 2018 NAIDOC Round.

This week we look forward to the return of Spencer White. Coming off the injury list, White will add experience to the forward line as we seek to kick a winning score.

“We have played our best football when we have stuck to the game plan and held our structures,” Coach Earl Spalding stated. “Playing our style of footy for the full four quarters, and trying to stop the Swans from playing theirs, is the game plan.”  

“The focus will be on good ball use, hard running and protection of team mates as key priorities.”

The Demons will don the NAIDOC guernsey this round. The design infuses energy waves throughout the original red stripe to signify strength.

Around the Grounds

We will be playing away this weekend, and urge all supporters to go to the Blue Steel Oval.

A Welcome to Country performed by elder Di Ryder will feature before the men's and women's teams line up in their NAIDOC jumpers. The Swans Women’s League team will play Perth Angels at 12pm before the men’s game at 2.15pm.

A Marngrook (traditional Aboriginal) exhibition game, facilitated by the Stephen Michael Foundation and Noongar Wellbeing & Sport, will be played at half time. Boomerang and Australian animal painting, mosaic flag making, and bracelet beading will be taking place in the Swans Play Zone.

Round 12 Match Review v West Perth

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 12:26 PM

After successful matches in the two previous rounds, the Demons went into Round 12 looking to continue the impressive momentum which had been building.

A slow start to the game was overcome by a strong second half of the first quarter. At the close of the first quarter, we held the lead 4.2 to West Perth’s 3.3.

A flailing second quarter saw West Perth kick eight goals to our two, establishing a match winning break. Despite the Demons continuing to challenge at various stages of the game, West Perth maintained the lead for the rest of the afternoon and went on to win by 21 points.

Captain Clint Jones led the way for Perth with 36 possessions, with Michael Sinclair collecting 31 disposals, Brant Colledge 28, Corey Yeo 25, Cody Leggett 24 and Matthew Taylor 22.

Excitement machine Bennell kicked another three goals, as did Kristian Cary, while Laine Wilkins chipped in with two. Jones, Byrne and Scotney each contributed a goal.





Goals: 3 - K Cary, M Bennell 2 - L Wilkins 1 - C Byrne, A Scotney, M Jones
Best: M Sinclair, B Colledge, K Cary, C Jones, M Bennell
Reports: M Sinclair


Goals: 4 - A Strijk 3 - T Keitel 2 - J Van Berlo, K Knott 1 - A Black, M Lourey, C Lynch, S Potente
Best: A Black, L Meadows, B Wilhelm, Z Guadagnin, S Potente
Reports: Nil.



Round 12 Match Preview v West Perth

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 9:56 AM

Coming off two wins in a row, the Demons will be looking to make it a hat trick when they travel to Joondalup to take on the West Perth Falcons this Saturday.

Third-placed West Perth are always considered hard to beat at home, however the optimism is higher than in recent years as our player availability and form are both stronger than at various times in the past.

Improvements throughout the year see the side the strongest it has been in Coach Earl Spalding’s tenure. Spalding’s message has barely changed in his four seasons, and the persistence is paying off.

Guns Corey Yeo and Ben Giobbi have provided the strength in the midfield to aid team Captain Clint Jones, while Brant Colledge and Cody Leggett have been able to string multiple games together.

On the back of our highest score of the year so far, Forwards Coach Darren Kowal has got his group functioning extremely well and capitalising on the opportunities provided by the rest of the Demons outfit.

M&J Chickens Player of the Round for Round 11, Michael Bennell will be looking to continue his strong form this weekend. Touted as one of the most exciting players in the WAFL, Bennell will be ably assisted by other youngsters, Anton Scotney, Cody Ninyette and Kristian Cary, who are all having strong seasons.

Pushing for League consideration this week is Christian Eyres. Solid reserves performances should see Eyres join the senior side as he returns from injury. The Demons will continue to look for strong output from back men Michael Sinclair, Devin McFarlane and Mitchell Lague.

A Round 12 win see Perth well and truly push ourselves back into finals contention for the first time in 21 years.

Rally behind the Demons and get on up to Joondalup Arena on Saturday!

Michael Bennell: M & J Chickens Player of the Round

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 11:34 AM

HIS WAFL debut might have come at the advanced age of 24, but Michael Bennell has already made up for lost time and on Saturday he delivered a stunning seven-goal performance for Perth to earn M & J Chickens Player of the Round honours.

Bennell did play a handful of games for Swan Districts' reserves back in 2013, but he has spent recent years in Albany and playing in the WAFL did appear a faraway thought for most of that time.

He did play some impressive football in the forward-line for the Albany Sharks, but still he was settled down south and as he approached his 24th birthday, a career in the WAFL was beginning to appear unlikely.

But Perth approached him ahead of the 2018 season and he was willing to give it a go and join the Demons, and now player and club alike are earning the rewards for that.

While there were other strong candidates for the Round 11 Player of the Round honours including reigning Sandover Medallist Haiden Schloithe who had 32 possessions and kicked three goals in South Fremantle's win over Peel Thunder.

Subiaco's Lachlan Delahunty also had another 20 disposals, eight marks and three goals in the win over East Perth while Andrew Strijk kicked another five goals for West Perth against Claremont and Shane Nelson racked up 34 possessions.

And even Bennell's Perth teammate Cody Ninyette impressed kicking five goals from 13 kicks and five tackles.

But in the end, it was Bennell who earned the Player of the Round nod and deservedly so far after his display in Perth's 64-point win against East Fremantle at Lathlain Park on Saturday.

Bennell is a good size at 188cm and has shown he is more than capable of marking strongly overhead and going back to slot goals from set shots. But he's also quick, agile and elusive, and exciting at ground level and capable of kicking goals from anywhere.

He put all that on display on Saturday in the win for the Demons over the Sharks as he ended the afternoon kicking seven goals straight from nine kicks, seven handpasses, four tackles and three marks.

Making it all the more remarkable was the fact that it was just his third league game. After joining Perth this season from Albany, Bennell started off in the reserves and after a run of nine goals in three weeks, earned his league debut.

That came in Round 9 against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval where he kicked four goals from 14 possessions, five marks and four tackles. He backed up with another goal, 14 disposals and five tackles in the Round 10 win over South Fremantle at Lathlain Park.

Already in three league games, he has made quite the impact for the Demons and provided them with a goalkicking option sorely missing in the absence of Spencer White and Sam Garstone.

Now he will play a key role the rest of the 2018 season as Perth chases a first finals appearance since 1997 and if he continues to play well, it's not even out of the question that he could end up with an AFL future despite his mature age starting his WAFL career.

Perth coach Earl Spalding couldn’t be more impressed with the way Bennell has thrown himself into the WAFL system in 2018.

"He sort of just walked in the door, I think he was playing at Gosnells last year and came down with another young lad from there," Spalding said.

"We had a lot of guys come down during pre-season to have a trial and we weren’t quite sure how they would go, but he just showed that he had had something, and that's he's prepared to listen and work hard. 

"He is catching trains and buses to get to training, which shows a fair bit of dedication from a young man and thankfully he's getting his reward now. He's a really exciting player to watch and to coach. I've never seen anyone as relaxed before having a set shot and kicking seven goals straight attests to that."

Originally published by the West Australian Football Commission Inc.

Image Credit: RRB Photography.