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Spalding 'pleased' as preseason enters week three

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 12:31 PM

Now into its third week, Perth's 2017 campaign is well underway and coach Earl Spalding is "relatively pleased" with how it's going.

Spalding says there is a good vibe amongst the revitalised group.

“There’s a good mood at the moment," Spalding says.

"A few of the older boys aren’t back yet, we’ve given them a bit more time off.

"When we get the whole group together I’m sure they’ll be up and about."

With training being based at Higgins Park due to the redevelopment of Lathlain, Spalding says the group is still acclimatising.

"We’re sort of still getting used to our environment here, it’s been pretty good up at Higgins," Spalding says.

Now into his third preseason at the helm, Spalding says ball movement will continue to be the main focus from a coaching perspective. 

"We’re still working on our ball movement and getting that up to speed with the young guys," Spalding says.

"And obviously structures, that will come in a bit later, but mainly ball movement at this time.

"Defensively, defending ball movement, but also how we move it."

With new recruits Brant Colledge, Clem Smith, Devin McFarlane and Clayton Giblett all out on the track already, fellow recruit Tendai Mzungu is expected to join them in the coming weeks.

Spalding says the recruits have been training strongly.

"We’re pretty pleased with the way they’re tracking at the moment," Spalding says.

"We’ve just got to get the work in this time of the year."

Newly appointed strength and conditioning coach Brock Fleay says the focus from a conditioning perspective this preseason is high intensity running.

"This preseason’s going to be heavily focused on repeat, high intensity running," Fleay says.

"And the strength component as well, we’ve got a pretty big preseason in the gym with a focus on getting our core strength nice and strong and getting some of the young players built up.

"What we want to do is have a lot of gut running, those high threshold speeds and just a real high base of endurance on the field so when it comes down to that crunch in the fourth quarter we can match that reserve and withdraw from that."

Fleay heads Perth's performance unit, with the addition of a strength and power coach, a rehab specialist, an athlete development manager as well as a sports scientist.
 

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'Loyal' Mzungu follows heart home

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 11:39 AM

Perth's already bolstered midfield has received another boost, with ex-Docker Tendai Mzungu signing a two year deal with the club on Wednesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old joins Clem Smith and Brant Colledge as Perth products returning to Lathlain in 2017 after time in the AFL.

Mzungu played 72 games for Perth between 2006 and 2010, before being picked up by Fremantle as a 24-year-old following a strong 2010 season which saw him win Perth's Butcher Medal.

He went on to play 102 games across six seasons at Fremantle, including the club's inaugural grand final where he kicked their first goal in a grand final.

Mzungu said he took time with the decision to make sure he felt comfortable with it.

"I had some really positive discussions with Claremont and Swan Districts and to their credit they were really good to deal with which made my decision a little bit tougher than I probably thought it would be," Tendai said.

"But in the end my heart brought me here and that’s what I went with, I went with my gut.

"I love the place, I spent five years here and developed some really close friendships and bonds so in the end it was a decision I thought that I had to make."

Mzungu said he learnt a lot about leadership and influencing during his time at Fremantle and is motivated to help develop Perth's young and upcoming playing group.

"It’s a young, developing group and that was something that I wanted to come and be apart of," Mzungu said.

"That’s something I feel like I can bring here…that influence and driving high standards.

"It’s an attractive thing to come here and work with these guys who probably need a bit of up-skilling and mentoring so that’s something that I’ll try and do to the best of my abilities."

Mzungu played an integeral part in Peel Thunder's premiership winning campaign this year and said he wants to bring success to Perth.

"That’s the goal, I’d love to bring a premiership to Perth," Mzungu said.

"It’s going to be a really hard slog to get there, they’re not easy to win, but with the right attitude I know that the club’s got a huge supporter base and it would be great to fill the hill and the grandstand each Saturday with our faithful."

Mzungu has recently returned from a holiday in Africa with his girlfriend and said he is feeling fit and ready to go.

"I’ve had a really good block of training over the off-season and feel fit and healthy," Mzungu said.

"I had a good trip away in Africa and feel revitalised and ready to train.

"In the next couple of weeks I’ll be training with the boys."

Away from football, Mzungu is working to complete his teaching degree and has coaching aspirations.

Although admitting he'll miss his time in the AFL, Mzungu said he'll move on and is excited about the next chapter at Perth.

"I’m excited about this challenge, it’s a new challenge for me,” Mzungu said.
 

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Preseason all set to commence

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 1:49 PM

Perth's 2017 journey begins on Wednesday evening, with this years graduating colts hitting the track for night one of preseason.

The remainder of the squad return on Friday in what will be the first full squad session of the club's 2017 campaign.

Due to the redevelopment currently taking place at Lathlain Park, 2016/17 preseason will be based at Higgins Park in East Victoria Park.

Perth Football Operations Manager Tyson Beattie says Higgins Park is conveniently located and the relocation shouldn't cause any disruption to the club's preseason training. 

"We needed somewhere reasonably close to the club so that players can continue doing their weights and rehab back here," Beattie says.

"The town of Victoria Park helped us organise with one of our junior clubs, Vic Park Raiders Junior Footy Club, at Higgins Park which is a really good facility.

"It’s bigger than one oval, it’s got more space, so it will give us a chance to actually spread out in preseason, do some conditioning, break into groups and all that sort of stuff.

"It also has a pretty good building which is fairly new as well." 

There will be three main training sessions a week held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at Higgins Park.

Additional Tuesday evening and Saturday morning sessions will take place at the club, which Beattie says will primarily be weights training.

"Mainly a focus on weights and building up our weight training into specific players," Beattie says.

"But for some players who are looking to get fitter rather than stronger, they might be doing some specific running training in the Lathlain area."

Beattie says the main focus for the preseason from a conditioning point of view will be speed and agility.

"Speed and agility in particular will be a focus area so that we have the opportunity to take advantage of our more highly skilled players," Beattie says.

"Any game plan in the WAFL probably does rely on that ability to run and spread and create options and to do that you really need to be agile and repeat sprint so I think that’s a pretty big focus for our new strength and conditioning coach."

Beattie says it's expected that training will move back to Lathlain by round three of the regular season.

"With the redevelopment taking place now, we hopefully plan to be back by the first round or two of the regular season," Beattie says.


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Colledge lands at Lathlain

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - 3:28 PM

Ex-West Coast Eagle Brant Colledge returns to Lathlain after signing a two year deal with the Demons.

The 22-year-old captained Perth's colts side in 2012 before being taken by West Coast at pick 45 in the 2012 national draft where he has spent the last four years and managed three senior games.

Colledge has played 43 league games for East Perth over the past three seasons, averaging just over 20 disposals per game. 

Perth Football Operations Manager Tyson Beattie is excited by the signing and says Colledge will play predominantly in the midfield.

"He played most of his footy at East Perth and the Eagles in the midfield and that’s probably where he’ll play the majority of his time here at Perth as well," Beattie says.

"Given his versatility and size, he should be able to play a little bit forward as well."

Beattie says Colledge will bring professionalism and leadership from his four year stint in an AFL environment.

"That professionalism from living the day-to-day life of an AFL player, the standards required to compete at that level," Beattie says.

"He’ll bring a maturity probably beyond his years so that he’ll be able to influence other players that are aiming to go to that next level."

"We have a lot of players around his age that are looking to take the next step but Brant has that advantage of being in a professional environment where he could probably assist in some of those guys development."

Away from football, Colledge is currently in the middle of a commerce degree.

"Brant’s working towards finishing his degree in commerce and has taken some time to relax a little bit and enjoy a bit of a break from football."

"He will be starting at the very beginning of preseason training."

Preseason training commences this week with the graduating colts starting on Wednesday and the remainder of the squad joining them on Friday.

 

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Feature image courtesy of Lincoln Baker
Artical image courtesy of Getty Images

 

Tropiano recommits to the Demons

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - 9:20 AM

2015 Sandover Medalist Aidan Tropiano has rejected interest from rival clubs, signing a new two-year deal with the Demons which ties him to the club until the end of 2018.

It has been widely speculated that the 24-year-old would seek a move elsewhere this off season, but Tropiano has dismissed such claims.

"All the rumours were false," Tropiano says.

"I wanted to re-sign with Perth because I think we’ve got a very talented list of young boys and old and with the recruits that we’ve just got."

Tropiano's re-signing consolidates Perth's rejuvinated midfield, with the additions of Clem Smith and Brant Colledge during the off season as well as several other high potential recruits currently on the cusp of signing.

Combined with the experience of Clinton Jones, Liam McKenna, Angus Graham, Julian Jacobs and Dene White along with the up and coming young talent, Perth's midfield is set to be one of the WAFL's powerhouses in 2017.

"Looking at the list it’s just so exciting," Tropiano says.

"The young talent, the recruits are guys that we really need and have probably been needing for the last couple of years and I’m really looking forward to playing with them."

Tropiano averaged over 25 disposals and 7 tackles from 19 games in season 2016.

He finished third in the Butcher Medal after winning it, along with the Sandover Medal, in 2015.

The inside midfielder, who recently returned from an eight week holiday in North America, is refreshed and motivated to win a premiership.

"Definitely the goal is a premiership," Tropiano says.

"We want one, we need one, and after all Earl's and the players' hard work it's time that we get one."

"I'm really excited by that opportunity."

Tropiano says he wants to work closely with the younger players this preseason to help them get the most out of themselves.

"I want to be more involved with the younger kids coming through," Tropiano says.

"Even if it's just for a chat about life, I'd love to be more involved in that way."

Preseason training commences this week with the graduating colts starting on Wednesday and the remainder of the squad joining them on Friday.


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Vale Shane Evans

Monday, November 7, 2016 - 9:04 AM - by Brian Sweetapple

The Club extends sincere sympathy to the family, former teammates and friends of Shane Evans, who passed away recently following a long illness.

Shane was a prominent player for us during the 1990’s, representing the Club in 92 matches from 1994 to 1998. He had previously played for East Perth but transferred to us and became a valuable member of the mid-field.

Shane suffered from Motor Neurone Disease for a number of years. This is the same affliction that AFL great Neale Daniher is fighting and is publicly raising awareness of it in order to hopefully one day have a cure found for it.

A young man taken far too early, Shane Evans will be remembered by all who were involved with the Club during his time with us.

Q&A with 2016 Butcher Medalist Michael Sinclair

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 8:43 AM

1) What does winning the Butcher Medal mean to you? Could you have ever imagined it?
It is obviously a great honour to win this award for the club. You look at some of the names that have won it before and it is extremely surreal to see my name up there with them, so it means a lot and something I am pretty proud of. I never would have imagined it, I always wanted to play at the highest level I could but to win a best and fairest award has never really crossed my mind before.

2) Going into season 2016, did you expect to have as strong a year as you ended up having?
I had a relatively strong pre-season and was setting myself to have a big year, but a few niggles early on in the year hindered my performances so I guess to finish the season the way I did was a good outcome and a result of the early work from pre-season.

3) You took your game to a new level this year, can you put this down to anything in particular?
Honestly just putting less pressure on myself and enjoying playing footy, I really enjoyed my footy this year with the group of lads I played with and I guess your confidence just grows from that. Of course you still have to train hard and work hard off field but enjoying myself was a big factor.

4) Did you go into the vote count confident? Or did it come as a surprise?
I went into the night with no expectations. There were plenty of other boys that had had terrific years- Jonesy (Clint Jones), Troppo (Aidan Tropiano), Bluey (Liam McKenna), Jules (Julian Jacobs) and the likes, so I had no real expectations to win but to just enjoy the night and see what happens.

5) Are there any key individuals that significantly helped shape your strong year?
Chance Bateman had a huge influence on my year. He gave me a lot of freedom and confidence in my game and got me down back playing the role that I like so that really helped my performances on field.

6) Do you plan on improving further next year? If so, what will be your focus over the upcoming preseason?
You always want to strive to improve, so there is a lot of things that myself and the coaches went through in the post season reviews that I’ll be working hard on to help improve my game and hopefully go to another level.

7) Would you swap your Butcher Medal for a 2017 premiership one?
Yes, team success is the driving factor in footy, so I would hand it over in a heartbeat if it meant we would play in a flag.

8) Are you excited about the future of Perth?
The core group we have at the moment is still extremely young, and the experience all the boys have got over the last couple of years is only going to hold us in good stead. Hopefully with a few extra signings and more experience coming back to help the younger boys grow will also give us a big stepping stone for next year. So yes I am extremely excited about where the club is headed in the next couple of years.

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Clem Smith back in red and black

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 8:42 AM

Demon turned Blue Clem Smith is a Demon again after signing a two year deal with Perth, tying him to the club until at least the end of 2018.

The 20-year-old has spent the last two years at Carlton Football Club, where he played seven games, after being taken at pick 60 in the 2014 national draft.

Prior to being drafted, Smith played his colts football with Perth before going on to play 10 league games for the club as an 18-year-old in 2014.

Perth Football Operations Manager Tyson Beattie is excited about the signing and says Smith will bring physicality to the side.

“It’s really exciting to get Clem back cause he’s a guy that came through our system and played league football as an 18-year-old, got drafted, and he’s back after two years,” Beattie says.

“He’s pretty tenacious, he’s a great tackler, he’s physical, but his skill level is pretty high as well.

“He’s a pretty dynamic player who can play in the forward line or in defence.

“I think we would probably like to see what he can do in the forward line given he played the second half of the season at the Northern Blues in the forward line and played pretty well.”

Having met with Smith since his recent return to Perth, Beattie says his professionalism has noticeably improved after a two year stint in the AFL system.

“He’s obviously been through the professional experience now and knows what it takes to make that level and if he has aspirations to get to the AFL again, he’s going to have to bring that professionalism to the Perth Footy Club,” Beattie says.

“And I’ve got no doubt he can do that.

“In terms of his skill ability, his fitness would have increased from the last time he’s been here having been through two preseasons in the AFL.

“He looks pretty fit at the moment so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Beattie believes Smith is capable of putting his hand up for a second chance at AFL level.

“There is some interest from the West Coast Eagles to get rookie drafted this year,” Beattie said.

“If he doesn’t get picked up straight away, I think that clubs will have a close look at him over the next 12 months.

“He’s a player that was originally projected as a top 10 pick and he’s still only 20 so there’s plenty of time for him to get another chance.”

Away from football Smith is working as a mentor for young indigenous students at his alma mater, Wesley College.

Smith is currently living with his foster family in Thornlie who Beattie describes as a “wonderful support group.”

“The Christie family have been terrific helping him get adjusted back to life in Perth, and we look forward to seeing them at a game next year as well,” Beattie says.

The club is looking to consolidate its recent signing of Smith by targeting other one point players this off season.

Beattie says the club is in the middle of negotiations with other potential recruits.

“The priority will be, like Clem, other one point players that have left the AFL,” Beattie says. 

“So Tendai and Brant Colledge are heavy targets given the fact they are Perth boys who’ve come through the system.

“We want to get them back first and foremost.

“We’ve been negotiating with them and hoping to sign them in the weeks to come.”  


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Article image courtesy of Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Sinclair crowned with first Butcher Medal

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 8:38 AM - by Matthew Dower

Demons defender Michael Sinclair capped off a stellar 2016 on Friday night claiming the prestigious Butcher Medal ahead of fellow hot favourites Clinton Jones and Aiden Tropiano.

 

Sinclair, 22, played all twenty games to average 21 disposals a games as one of the side’s consistent performers.

 

His 2016 also saw him earn a berth in the WAFL Team of the Year to go with his club best and fairest accolade.

 

Sinclair trailed Jones by just seven votes heading into the final five rounds of the count. However Sinclair’s strong polling in the final three rounds saw him finish on 111 votes, three ahead of Jones on 108.

 

Sinclair and Jones finished ahead of Tropiano who finished in third place with 75 votes, and young defender Jared Bell who finished with 65 votes before his season abruptly ended from a cruel knee injury against Claremont in round 15.

 

Cody Leggett finished fifth with 61 votes, while midfielder Julian Jacobs (59 votes), Lennon Marlin (46 votes) Liam McKenna and Brent Latch (both 39 votes) and Brent Edmonds (37 votes) rounded out the top ten.

 

Edmonds also took out the Redlegs 1% award for most courageous player in the league side.

 

Spencer White was awarded the Ron Tucker medal for the leading goal kicker this season with 17 majors.

 

Fraser Millar claimed the Greg Brehaut medal for the reserves best and fairest with 73 votes ahead of Kurtis Chester (63 votes) and Rowan Brookes (61 votes).

 

Corey Byrne took home the 1% award for the reserves side, with Dan Horan winning the Development Coaches Award after another impressive season.

 

The Colts best and fairest award was won by Chris Leonard who received the Jack Ensor medal, while Cody Kickett finished runner-up. Jared Wynne won the Spirit of the Colts award as the side’s most courageous player.

 

Eighteen year old Zac Fisher capped off a fantastic first season of senior football by winning the Doug Buckingham Memorial Trophy as the club best emerging player.

 

Callum Walley won the best clubman award for his efforts on and off the field for the club by being awarded the Vince Pendal Award.

 

Other special awards on the night included Demons stalwart Wim Rosbender being recognised as the 2016 Club Legend, as well as Doug Ransted honoured as the Jack O’Dea Memorial Trophy winner.

 

Nominations for the PFC Board are now open

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 2:43 PM

Board of Directors Elections

 

                        President (one) and Directors (four) to be elected for a two (2) year term

 

Eligible Perth Football Club (Inc) members prepared to serve as President or as a Board Member for the next two years are invited to nominate now.

 

This can be done by completing the respective Nomination Form available from the

Perth Football Club office located at Lathlain Oval and returning it to reach:

 

                        The Chief Executive Officer

                        Perth Football Club (Inc)

                        PO Box 48

                        Victoria Park WA 6979

 

By no later than 4pm on Friday 4th November 2016. 

 

Retiring Directors are eligible to nominate.

 

Nominations for Life Membership of the Club also close on Friday

4th November 2016.  Any nomination must be signed by two members.

Please contact the Club for nominations forms.

 

Any notice of motion or general business to be transacted at the AGM must be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer in writing by Monday 14th November 2016.

 

 

Marty Atkins

Chief Executive Officer