Site Search

Football Flashback: Malcom Atwell Opens Up

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 11:34 AM

The Western Australian football world was shocked when Perth appointed rugged East Perth defender Malcom Atwell as captain-coach for the 1966 season. It was a giant gamble by Perth, which had generally preferred "insiders" as league coach. But the move paid handsome dividends.

ATWELL had played in two East Perth premiership teams, captained the Royals in 1964, and been one of the first to be picked for State games. He was full-back in WA's winning side at the Australian National Football Council's 1961 Brisbane Carnival.

It's now history that ATWELL led Perth to three successive premierships, 1966-67-68. He remains the club's most successful coach.

On the eve of his 80th birthday on March 5, and the start of the 2017 season, ATWELL spoke frankly about his years at Perth with Peter Kennedy. This is an edited account of that interview.


Q. Mal, after 162 games there at East Perth and with considerable success, you applied to be captain-coach of Perth. Where did that idea come from?

A. It came from a chat with John O'Connell in Cliff Houghton's show room (Lynas Motors) in Hay Street Perth behind the Melbourne Hotel. John and I were talking about football - he'd been to Melbourne and played with Geelong. We talked about Allen Aylett and we talked about Bob Skilton - won something like four Brownlows -  a state game I played on those two players, they were the bloody rovers and I was playing on these two guys and I think we won that game ... and Skilton I played on.....  never be as good as them as long as I played. They were good footballers. Mightn't get the hard ball (like I did) but they were good players with lots of ability and skill. 

I saw that the Perth Football Club couldn't come to any satisfactory conclusion with them (as the new coach) so I said to Johnny O'Connell: 'John, maybe I should have a go at coaching' and he said 'yea, maybe you should'. So that's where I got to know Cliff Houghton no, Jack McNamara, because at that stage Cliff was down the track a bit. But McNamara was a friend of Jack Sheedy's and often drank at the Carlton and I used to go there quite often and have a chat with Jack in 1965, because he'd been replaced at East Perth Football Club by Kevin Murray, who's another great player and good guy. And he was another reason - if Kevin Murray can coach surely I can too. Us back men have to have something going for us!

As a result of that I went to see Jack McNamara one day at the Carlton Hotel and I said 'I'm interested in coaching at Perth' and told him what my story was and he was keen and listened to me and went away and came back in a very short space of time and said 'well you've got the job, when can you start?'

And I'll never forget the first day walking into the Perth Football Club in 1965 - about October it was -  I walked into the room and I was about the tallest player in the room. I thought 'Geez, where are we going to get a ruckman from'? There was Tommy Davis who wasn't sure whether he was going to play or not, what a wonderful guy he is,  and there was Paddy Astone who was only six foot tall - I didn't think he could jump but didn't realise how good he was, he was a super star - and I turned around and looked at the door and two blokes walked through the door and their names were Barry Chittleborough and Graeme  White. 

And Barry Chittleborough played in every successful team. Whitey was probably unlucky that he would have got more work but Barry sort of hogged the limelight.

Q.  But you did set a condition on taking the coaching job?

A.  Yea I did. I was pretty adamant with Mac. At that time Barry Cable was talking about going to Melbourne , to Carlton I think it was. I said if I come to Lathlain as a playing coach or coach, Barry Cable has to stay. I never changed that view.  And he did stay and it's to Barry's credit - Barry's a great West Australian. He went to Melbourne and took them on and beat 'em But he's always come back with Western Australia number one in his heart. He's always been a West Aussie boy.

Q. Did you feel you had something to prove, taking it on?

A. I just thought it was the next step. It was a stepping stone in my career as a footballer, or football coach. I was captain of East Perth in 1964, '65 I was vice-captain. Coached the team when Kevin couldn't go to Melbourne, Sydney it was, but I just thought it was the next thing to do. I'd got to a stage where I was 28, I needed a new incentive.

Q. What did you aim to instil in the players as captain-coach?

A. I had a definite philosophy. I didn't take 'no' for an answer very often .... I was very determined that we were going to put a set of rules in place that everybody would adhere to. I was a disciplinarian myself. Sheedy was strong on us. I think it brushed off on me what Jack taught me.

Q. So he was an influence on you, Jack?

A. Big influence. Jack's always been a big influence on all his players.

Q. Commitment? Fitness? How would you describe it?

A. I think it was all round with Jack. .....  There weren't many players who could outrun me in football - if there were any - over 130 yards. I won the Whyalla Gift that year , 1964 or '65, and beat the Australian sprint champion in that, Ken Irvine (the rugby player), and I went to Perth convinced I was not going to be influenced by every day involvement in the structure of the club. I was going to be my own person and I thought that was the only way - by standing back.

I was lucky that I was able to secure Jack Ensor (as assistant coach) because he had retired then. I don't know if Jack had put in for the job but Jack's a fine man and unfortunately he has left us but at that time I went out to Maddington and saw him and his wife Eleanor. I went there and spoke with Jack and he was bowing out of his involvement with the club. He wanted a bit of a break. I was talking to him quietly and it took a bit of convincing to get him to come.

I offered him the assistant coach's job. 'You're not coming to be the Seconds coach, you're coming to be my right hand. I'll need a right hand, because I'm going to play'. I had the fella who'd inherited all the great years of Ernie Henfry, to be my right hand.

Ernie was a good bloke, a wonderful man. He'd done a great job, been a great footballer and the club had chosen a new direction but there was Jack Ensor who was really influenced by Henfry  for all those years, and all to my advantage. So I got a Cable, I got a Jack Ensor, and I got all the knowledge of Henfry at the same time.

Q. And Jack had guided a lot of those young players?

A. Jack had guided all those young players. All of those fellas. They were his mates. They really were, and he was very close to them. If we had a problem with them Jack would sort it out. If I sorted it out they usually got a kick in the bum. And there was nobody after me so that was it.

Cliff said 'you run that and I'll run the bloody club'.  Cliff Houghton came along after I got there and at the next AGM Cliff was the president. And that was one of the great relationships I had in my life.

Cliff was a man of great character. He stood very tall in my mind and I used to meet him every Monday morning after a game and I'd walk up the stairs to his daughter's desk and she'd say 'sit down for a moment Mal and I'll get Dad'.  And I'd have a chat with Cliff and not many knew about it - every Monday morning Cliff and I would meet .

Q. What did you talk about?

A. The game. The club. Football. It was all football and a bit of business because I was an assessor ..... . They all became my supporters down there and the second premiership we won there was (a banner) 'All The Way With Malcolm A', down at the RAC. It was quite a big banner out the front. 

Cliff Houghton and I became very close friends and had the utmost respect for one another. He'd say on Monday to me: 'Mal, I think this was wrong or that was right or we should do this or we should do that'. But he'd never do that in the rooms.

Q. Leading by example as captain coach. Was that uppermost in your mind?

A. That's what it's all about, isn't it! You can be there when he has to be. My view was that we had some champion players in Cabes, Pagey, Paddy Dalton, Greg Brehaut, Ray Mills, Bobby Shields, Paddy Astone, Graham Ramshaw ...  they were all highly talented players. Who else was there? Graham Jenzen, Maxie Jancey, and the list goes on. I'd come together with all this talent and was able to get them all on the right track . So the rules and regulations and discipline I put in place and the leadership I showed them was able to get it out of them . My involvement on the ground was as a 'general' but at the same time being able to contribute when I needed to.

Q. In 1966, the season is under way, when did you start thinking that a premiership was a real possibility?

A. I thought that right from the start, otherwise I wouldn't have been there. I didn't go there to run second, mate, I went there to win.  I never ran second anywhere. I was very lucky. You see when I joined East Perth they had Polly (Farmer). And we won in '58. They won in '56, lost '57, I won '58 and '59. Sixty one we got beat by Swans. I played in five grand finals - actually seven grand finals and won five - three at Perth. How lucky was I? Not many players have had that luck. Good judgment!

Q. I always thought it was time and place Mal.

A. That's what I told Colin. 

Q. Sixty six, premiership?

A. Outstanding it was. We stood on top of a bloody caravan at Lathlain Park with Cliff Houghton. It was the most exciting time of my life. 

Q. Why was that?

A. We'd won the premiership.

Q. You'd nearly kicked yourselves out of the game didn't you?

A. One goal 12 or something (third quarter). They weren't going to get beat that day mate! They were just there to win. I came to win. they learned to win. If I'd made a difference I'd taught them how to win. 

Q. Barry kicked 6 goals?

A. Barry could kick 10 if he'd wanted to. He's a great player. Great bloke. Good boy he is.

Q. Sixty six - you say that was the most exciting?

A. Well, when you get back to Lathlain Park and the oval's covered with Demons and people everywhere - there were thousands there. and you'd wondered what you'd done. How did you do this?  I thought 'we've won the premiership, how did we do that? Because everybody wanted to win. They were tired of getting beat.

Q. Then followed '67 and '68. Which was the hardest premiership?

A. They're all hard. Every one of them. Not over till the last kick. I think the best side might have been '68 perhaps. Sixty seven? I kicked six goals one - that must have been the best game. When I kicked six goals - I'd been suspended, remember, at Fremantle. I got three bloody weeks but it turned into six because it came into the final round and we were on top of the ladder.

So I had six weeks out and was going to play and I couldn't work out where I was going to play. There was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to play. Where I was going to play? And the night I told the players - unbelievable it was. They all looked at me as if I was mad. I said 'I'm going to play full forward'. I told then why I was playing full forward. They didn't argue with that. They all thought I was mad - 'he can't be going down there'.

Q. No one would believe you would they?

A. Nobody would. I said to the boys: 'This is not to go out of the room'. It's the best kept secret in football. The day I ran on to the ground and ran down to the other end of the ground, nobody knew, nobody.

Q. But you'd been seen practising kicking for goal!

A. The night before we left the oval I had a few kicks - a few drop punts in the dark. There were a few lights on but it was quite dark. That was a good year. They were drop punts - I didn't have to kick too far.

 I used to kick a few droppies when I was full back - in '61 I kicked droppies - the state side, we won the carnival that year with Sheed.

I've had a lot of luck when you think about it. East Perth, went to Brisbane for the Carnival, went to Perth - coached them - It's all about timing isn't it! Just luck - how things happen.

Q. Are you lucky or do you make your own luck?

A. If I hadn't gone to East Perth at that time - I'd had good players in the South Suburban where I was playing, I thought they were better than I was. Barry Rayment was one.

Now if he had gone to East Perth he would have played probably in three premierships. He didn't play in any. And look at this guy who's just come out of the Dockers -  captain, Matthew Pavlich - he never played in a premiership team. It's the greatest success you can have in life - football life. To be part of a team. Because what happens, all of those players ....... they become your brothers for life. They really do.

Q. How important were Jack Ensor and Barry Cable in that success? 

A. On the ground there was nobody more important (than Barry) was there! And off the ground there was nobody more important than Jack. And I was in between them. How lucky was I to have great fellas who I could relate to who worked with me, and I could be quite dogmatic at times if I wanted my own way and one of the conditions I had when I came to Perth was that I'd be sole selector. It was one of my conditions because, like I said earlier, I didn't want any outside influences making the old judgments. I wanted to have a new judgment about  everybody and, at the end of it, I would have to make the decision.

And as it turned out I turned all those guys into equal to me. I didn't stand over them but by gaining their confidence we all worked together and we got our successful teams and we sorted out our list. The players that had to go. There were mates who'd been kept there for a long while and great Perth men. But not good enough. So we had to move 'em. Didn't fit in to where we were going.

Q. You retired as a player after the '69 season but you've since expressed regret that you didn't play on another year.

A. I made a mistake that year. 1970 (grand final) - had two reserves, Bryan Cousins and Richard Peel. In the last quarter I had to replace one of our players and I put Peel on, I should have put Cousins on. I didn't put Cousins on because I was concerned - he was only 17 and thought he might get injured. It was a heavy day and he was a bloody good player and I didn't want to see him injured at all.

The reason I gave up as playing coach was that I could see there wasn't a great deal of time left for me to do that and I had to adjust to just being a coach, and it was a good opportunity to do it while we were on top. And it gave me a chance to put Chubby (Stiles) in. And Chubby became a back pocket player.

He could have played anywhere Chubby, he was a good player. But he was just unlucky - as a rover we had Jenno (Jenzen) and Cable and Bennett - we had players coming out of our ears, juniors in those days who could all rove. And that made it difficult for Allan to get in but when he got in he made that his place and stayed there.

Q. Looking back, what was your most satisfying moment at Perth?

A. (pause) Premiership in 1966. We sat on top of the caravan with Cliff and spoke to the members and told them we'd won the grand final. If they didn't already know! I couldn't work out how we'd got there (laughs). You think about it - a hard year's football, it goes so quickly, and all of a sudden you've won the premiership. You think 'how'd we do that?'

Q. But you'd already played in two at East Perth?

A. Oh yea, that was my strength probably. See, I knew what was needed to win a grand final. I knew the attitude that had to be there and the commitment that had to be there. And what the results were going to be there if you won it. I do remember thinking that night on the top of the caravan 'oh how the devil did we do that?'

We did it because we had fellas like Tom Davis - he came back. The Tom Davis story you know. He approached me. Was he going to play? He said Ernie hadn't included him in the last game for '65. There was nothing detrimental about it ..  about Ern. Ern hadn't given him that game. And there might have been someone else who didn't give it to him for all I know. And I never got involved in 'what happened yesterday'. I'm more interested in today and tomorrow. And I've always been like that.

I played in seven grand finals and won five. Not many have done that.

Q. A couple of quick questions. Toughest opponent?

A. Dinny Barron (Subiaco). One of the strongest men you could ever come across. Went to Brisbane in '61. He didn't get in the team (v Victoria). I played full back that year and we won the Carnival. He came home - he used to have fits. Barron - he hit me on the ground at Subi Oval and it took me an hour to get up. Tough man. He's the toughest man I've ever played against.

The other bloke was the bloke who played for West Perth. (Ray) Gabelich then went back to Collingwood. And he came at me at Perth Oval one day and I disappeared. Phew ...  he went passed me (laughs). I'd never take him on.

Q. He couldn't get up much speed could he?

A. He got up plenty of speed that day when he was looking at me. I can still see him in front of the grandstand running at me (laughs).  But he was my teammate in Brisbane and he helped us up there (Carnival). He sorted a few out there. Sure did.

Q. Best opponent? 

A: Several of them were very good. Perth had one by the name of Bob Coleman. I was very disappointed when he went to the country and wanted to be a policeman. He had a great future with the club because I knew he was an exceptionally good player. Unused talent. Even to this day I think he must regret that he didn't go on with it, because he would have kicked 150 goals. I played on him and found him very difficult.

Opponents that I played on ...... Ron Evans played at West Perth, he was a good player. One who was physical was from Claremont, Allan Mycock. He could play football. He was a good player. He wasn't a 'Claremont player', he was an 'East Perth player' playing for Claremont! He was a 'toughie'.

The other player that East Perth had was (Keith) Doncon. He was a good player and a great opponent. At East Fremantle there were fellows like Con Regan, he was a great competitor. He was shorter than I was but he could play anywhere - full back, centre half back, centre half forward, full forward. I said to him one day when we were playing on East Fremantle Oval and I got the first two or three kicks. I said 'Con, you're not getting much today' and I never saw the ball again. I learned to shut my trap that day.

Q: Best player of your era?

A: That's a hard one. What are you trying to do? Cable and Farmer. Obvious, isn't it? Two of the best players that you'd ever come across. In my case I was fortunate enough to have coached them and played with them. Coached them both.

I coached Polly in '69 in the Carnival team. I made him a reserve and Marlene (Polly's wife) never spoke to me for three years. I said to Pol, 'Pol, you're in the squad, you're at the end of your career, and you've been injured quite a bit up to getting in the side. I want to win the Carnival, I'm not here to lose it, I'm going to run Roberts on Saturday in the first game ....  and I want you to be a reserve. And I'll run you first up against the Vics in the following game so you'll be ready to go against them'.

'Mal, if that's what you think', these were his words,  'that's OK'. So he sat on the bench. We didn't win the carnival, we only won one game - we beat Tasmania - but we played South Australia, we should have beaten them but this bloke Blew, the bloody umpire, he gave us a rough deal and there was one critical stage we would have beaten South Australia. They are hard to beat at home.

And Cabes? I've been able to play with and coach - It's been an honour and privilege to have coached him. I'm so proud of him. And both of them - proud of both those boys. I was lucky. A very humble man and footballer to be able to play with and coach two of the best footballers of all time.

Q: And overall Mal, footy's changed - it's a different game for better or worse. How do you think you would have adapted to footy today?

A: I think I'd be the richest man in Perth. Full backs are pretty hard to get -  haven't seen anyone who could run as fast as me or hit as hard as I could.

Q: But you can't 'hit' these days?

A: You only have to hit once. They're not there next time. You don't have to do it every week. Physical football is still there. It's very tough, still bloody tough today, don't worry about that. There are some pretty hard hits out there and they cop it.

Q: Did players sometimes get away with 'having a bad day'?

A: One day someone said to me that Cabes didn't kick any goals. His name was Matt Brophy, on the committee at that time. Vice president. I said 'Matt, well we won the game, and really I'm happy to win the games'. And he said 'well no, it's Cable. he doesn't kick goals - he does a lot of other things'. So I said: 'Cabes, there's a fella round here who told me you can't kick goals'.  He kicked six that day, might have been nine. Never stopped kicking them.

Q: Now Mal, is there anything I've left out?

A: I don't know mate. Footballs been very good. Whether it be the Eagles, my involvement there was good. I've been lucky...... 

One of the best year's at Lathlain was when I was non playing coach - 1970 - and I got to know the members more. It was a great feeling for me. Getting to know Laurie Basire and Kay Basire - loved her. Lovely people. There were the Fogartys who used to meet every week 'up top' after the game and I got to the stage where I used to go and enjoy their company.  

It was that era, the old era, the Ernie Henfry era, you could say I suppose. And I got to know them and I really enjoyed their company. I became part of the club more then.

Q: Mal, one other thing. You always wore number four at East Perth but with the Demons you were number one. How did that come about?

A: It was Cliff Houghton's idea. He just said to me before the 1966 season: 'You've got guernsey number one', simple as that. Bill Leuzzi, who captained the club in 1965, wore number four, and he kept it. Cabes of course was number two.

Kristi Annear joins the board

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 2:23 PM

Get to know one of the Club's newest board members, Director of Events and Charity Partnerships Kristi Annear. 

Kristi was born and raised in the farming community of Narrogin, 200km from Perth. Here, she was exposed to all aspects of grass roots sport, playing netball, hockey and tennis, assisting with the scoring at the cricket club and supporting the local football team.

After working as an Agricultural Area Manager covering the Central Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Esperance areas through seasons of drought Kristi made the hard decision six years ago to move to Perth to pursue a role in the oil and gas industry, where she currently works. Kristi recently built a house in Victoria Park so joining the Perth Football Club was a natural choice.

As a committee member over three years for the Red Shoe Society, Kristi developed her events management and marketing skills by co-organising up to four events a year that raised money directly for Ronald McDonald House Perth. This ignited a passion for the House and the country families that call it home while their children receive urgent medical treatment.  One of Kristi’s first objectives when she joined the Footy Club was to initiate a partnership with the House and this will be announced at the 2017 Season Launch.

In addition to her charitable work for Ronald McDonald House Perth, Kristi has managed corporate events and fundraising initiatives for other charities including the Prostate Cancer and McGrath Foundations and Beyond Blue.

Sport is a large part of Kristi’s life – whether it be at Subiaco Oval watching her much-loved Fremantle Dockers, or at the WACA watching all forms of the game. She is a firm believer that sport brings people and communities together and we all benefit from that.

Kristi brings this experience to the Club as the Director of Events and Charity Partnerships and will manage game day and assist with the events that happen around the Club. She is excited for the 2017 season for both the on and off field success Perth Football Club is sure to experience this year. 

Clint Jones to lead the Club in 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 9:58 AM

2016 runner-up Butcher Medalist Clint Jones has been named captain for the 2017 season.

Jones will replace Dene White who last month retired from WAFL football.

Senior coach Earl Spalding announced Jones' appointment to the playing group at training last night.

Jones will be supported by fellow leaders Michael Sinclair, Liam McKenna, Aidan Tropiano and Callum Walley who round out the 2017 leadership group.

Jones spent five seasons at South Fremantle between 2002-06, accumulating 84 senior games, two best and fairest medals and a premiership.

He was then picked up by St Kilda in the 2006 Rookie Draft where he played 149 games from eight seasons.

The 33-year-old was recruited by Perth for the 2016 season where he averaged over 34 disposals a game, finishing third in the Sandover Medal and runner-up in the Butcher Medal.

Jones says he is honoured to be named captain of a Club with such rich history.

"There's a lot of history at this footy Club over such a long time so it's a real honour," Jones says.

"Obviously I've only been here a couple of years but hopefully I can fulfill the role as good as those before me."

Jones, well known in football circles as a hard worker, aims to set the training standard and bring teammates up to it. 

"I'll just try and lead by example in the way I train and the way I play, nothing really changes from that perspective," Jones says.

"We'll try and get the young guys up to speed as quickly as we can."

Spalding says Jones' experience and understanding of the game plan made him the obvious choice.

"He understands what we're trying to do in terms of our ball movement and defensive structures," Saplding says.

"With Whitey going a year or two earlier than we hoped, we're probably not quite right to make that choice of appointing a younger guy just yet."

Jones will lead the side out for the first time this Saturday afternoon when we take on Peel Thunder at Rushton Park in our first of two preseason games.


Watch Clint Jones on DeeTV

Rest in Peace Steve Busher

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 2:47 PM

Sadly we have to advise that Steve Busher, father of Haydn and Jordan, has passed away following a courageous battle with cancer.

Steve was a keen supporter, particularly when Haydn and Jordan were playing at the Club. He will be missed by many.

Sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Lisa, Haydn, Jordan and family.

Steve's funeral will be held at 2:30pm on Monday 20th February at Karrakatta. 

WAFL Raffle winners announced

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 12:51 PM

Congratulations to the big winners of the WA Football League Raffle drawn on Friday, February 10.

1st Prize winner Carolyn Gordon from Carramar has won a 2016 Holden Captiva LS 2.4L 7 Seater Automatic Wagon valued at $34,173.

2nd Prize winner Peter Whitemore from Northcote (Victoria) has won a 7-Night Broome Holiday at Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa valued at $5,400.

3rd Prize winner Karl Vanderslys from Helena Valley has won a $5,000 Retravision Voucher.

Thank you to all those who bought or sold tickets and helped us raise funds for local footy in WA.


The following tickets / butts as listed below were not entered in the draw, due to administration error.  A refund is available by contacting the WA Football Commission on 9381 5599 or Bob Uittenbroek on 0412 729 600.  Proof of tickets is required.

115751 – 115755
118926 – 118930
120401 – 120405
120446 – 120450
121221 – 121225
127546 – 127550
127961 – 127965
138216 – 138220
141451 – 141455
141456 – 141460
141461 – 141465
141466 - 141470

Perth's indigenous talent in good hands

Monday, February 6, 2017 - 10:01 AM

The Perth Football Club has more indigenous footballers than any other WAFL Club.

From the year 8 development squads right through to our league side, approximately 80 players are of aboriginal descent.

Considering this, the Club felt it necessary to help facilitate the development of these talented young footballers both on and off the field.

Enter Callum Walley and the regional accommodation program.

Walley, a senior player at the Demons, has recently been appointed as the Club's full time Aboriginal Engagement Officer (AEO).

This position is solely dedicated to overseeing the Club's large contingent of indigenous players and ensuring they mature into positive role models.

A regional accommodation program has also been recently implemented which sees Walley living in a four bedroom Wembley Downs rental with three of the Club's young indigenous players.

This initiative is designed to provide young indigenous players from our country zone a Perth-based accommodation to assist with the workload of WAFL football as well as training attendance.

With colts training on Friday night's before their Saturday morning games, the house will act as a pit stop for other young players who reside in our country zone, reducing travel on and around game days.

Young indigenous Demons Sydney Stack (16, Northam), Gordon Narrier (18, Northam) and Nicky Taylor (18, Tammin) are the three permanent residents living with Walley and are three of Perth's seven invitees to next week's state 18s talent week.

Damien Bennell, Bobby Hill, Cody Kickett and Zareth Roe are the other four Perth footballers invited to talent week, making all seven of the Club's invitees of aboriginal descent.

Regional accomodation residents Stack, Narrier and Taylor are all in need of employment and the Club asks anyone who may have potential work for these young men to get in touch by calling AEO Callum Walley on 0433 193 577 or the Club on 9362 4499.

Spalding sees progress as February arrives

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 3:46 PM

Now into their fourth week back from the Christmas break, the playing group have returned in good condition and are progressing well according to Senior Coach Earl Spalding.

With the first of two intra-club scratch matches to be played next Saturday, Spalding says defensive aspects and ball movement continue to be a focus out on the track.

"We’re still working through our defensive structures and we’ve started doing a bit of our ball movement as well," Spalding says.

"We're certainly seeing some progress."

The playing group ventures north to Cervantes this weekend for a two day training camp.

The leadership and coaching group travel up on Friday afternoon and will be joined by the rest of the playing group on Saturday morning.

Spalding says the camp is primarily for educational purposes.

"There'll be a bit of bonding...we’ll also be presenting our structures to the group so it’s more of an educational weekend than a flogging weekend,” Spalding says.

Spalding believes the camp will be a good opportunity to build some confidence amongst the young group heading into an important time of the year.

"It’s one of those times of the year where you’re just not sure," Spalding says.

"I think it’s going to be a pretty even season so that gives you opportunity and you’ve got to be able to take them so early games and early confidence is going to be paramount.

"That’s part of the reason for going away…getting them around each other and more familiar with each other and feeling good about each other."   

Spalding has been impressed with what he's seen from last year's colts in what is their first senior preseason.

“The young kids who’ve come up from the colts have been fantastic,” Spalding says.

“Zareth and young Gordy Narrier they’ll be around the mark come round one I think, they both bring parts to the game which we’re in need of.

“It’s still going to be a development year for quite a few of the young guys but they’ve been training really well.”

Aside from the graduating colts, Spalding has been pleased with the preseason form shown by several other young players.

“Cody Leggett has stepped up again, I look forward to seeing how he goes with the preseason he’s put in, he’s been fantastic,” Spalding says.

“Spencer injury free and Sammy Garstone’s been training really well too so I look forward to seeing how he goes against some opposition.”

Spalding says the focus will continue to be defensive structure and ball movement over the next six weeks in the lead up to round one.

"I think we’ve just got to keep working on our ball movement and our defensive structure," Spalding says.

"If we can get that right it’ll make us hard to score against and when we get our looks hopefully we can score a bit more freely than we have been.”

The Club's first of two intra-club scratch matches will be held at Gosnells Oval next Saturday 11th February from 10am.


Our Road to Round 1

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 10:35 AM

With round one just around the corner and the 2017 preseaon fixture now confirmed, it's time to take a look at our road to round one over the next seven weeks.

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th February: Training camp in Jurien Bay

Saturday 11th February: Intra-club scratch match at Gosnells Oval - 10am

Saturday 18th February: Intra-club scratch match 1 at South Oval, Curtin University - 10am

Saturday 25th February: Peel Thunder at Rushton Park, Mandurah - 3pm (Colts 9am and Reserves 11:30am at Pinjarra Oval, Pinjarra)

Saturday, 4th March: West Perth at HBF Arena, Joondalup - 5:30pm (Reserves 3pm, Colts Friday 3rd March 5pm at HBF Arena, Joondalup)

Saturday, 11th March: Bye

Saturday 18th March: Round 1 vs Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval, Bassendean

As of next week, training nights will change from Monday. Wednesday and Friday's to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday's.

Training will continue to be based at Higgins Park until late March/early April, pending the progress of the Lathlain Park surface.

The 2017 Season Launch will be held on the evening of Saturday 11th March at the Club. More details to come.

Join the Demon army as we march to round 1...2017 memberships HERE

New Football Manager appointed

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 12:25 PM

Waterpolo WA Chief Excecutive and 1991 Claremont premiership player Dale Ballantyne has been appointed as the Club's new Football Operations Manager, replacing Tyson Beattie who has taken up a position at West Coast Eagles in the Club's sponsorship department.

Ballantyne arrives at Perth with a rich history in sport and football both professionally and as a player.

He spent time at Claremont Football Club as their Youth Development Manager before managing country development at the WA Football Commission. More recently, Ballantyne has been CEO of Waterpolo WA for the past five and a half years.

As a player Ballantyne played 64 league games with Claremont between 1989-95, winning a premiership at colts, reserves and league level.

Ballantyne said he's been looking at getting back into football in some capacity and the position at Perth couldn't have come up at a better time.

"This role came up and things all fell into line. This is a good move, I’m very excited," Ballantyne said.

"It’s an ideal time for me from a professional point of view, from a personal point of view and if I look at what I’ve seen around the Club already it’s a Club that wants to go the right way."

Ballantyne has been on the Club's board for the past three months and is excited by what he's seen.

"Being on the board actually allowed me to see what was happening at Perth and I believe there are some really good things happening not just in a football sense but right through the Club," Ballantyne said.

"There’s an excitement around the place at the moment with the playing potential and I also see that there are people on the board who are looking to move this Club in the right direction."

Ballantyne, who turns 48 next week, said he believes he can build a club where people want to be leaders.

"I really believe I’ve got something to offer as far as helping guide players, coaches and support staff," Ballantyne said.

"I continue to look back at my time at Claremont and how we actually got the best out of ourselves as a playing group and the coaches were very good at delivering that.

"That’s stuck with me, it’s over 20 years now and I still understand it, I look back and think it’s still relevant."

Ballantyne will commence at Perth on the 27th of February. 

2017 Corporate Classic Sponsorship

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 4:48 PM

The 2017 Corporate Classic Sponsorship is here! ENTER HERE

A fantastic opportunity to promote your business amongst the Demons community whilst supporting the Perth Football Club.

Cost: $440 per entry. This includes a range of guaranteed benefits along with entry into the Corporate Classic Sponsorship draw, giving your business the chance to win one of three fantastic promotional prize packages.

Guaranteed Benefits:

  • Invitation for two (2) to the 2017 Corporate Classic Sponsorship Draw/Function
  • Invitation for two (2) to a 2017 Presidents Lunch
  • Acknowledgement as a Corporate Classic Sponsor on the Club's website for the remainder of 2017
  • Acknowledgement as a Corporate Classic Sponsort at all Club functions in 2017

1st Prize:

  • $15000 promotional package
  • Two (2) prominent signs
    • All artwork, production and installation costs included
  • $3000 worth of advertising space in the Community News

2nd Prize:

  • $5000 promotional package
  • Your corporate logo on our 2017 playing shorts
  • From our first home game in round 3 onwards

3rd Prize:

  • $1000 promotional package
  • Match day acknowledgement including a table for ten (10) at a 2017 Presidents Lunch

ENTER HERE if paying with credit or debit card. Alternatively, come in to our Lathlain Park office or call the Club on 9362 4499. For all queries, please give us a call or email us.