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.

 

 

SUMMARY

PERTH

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

WEST PERTH

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.

Demons defeat the Sharks, Round 11 Match Report.

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 2:43 PM

An outstanding performance by the Demons in Round 11 has seen our boys bring it home for the second week in a row! This is the first time Demons have achieved a back-to-back win since 2016.

With five goal unanswered goals in the first 15 minutes, we were on top from the outset, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The Demons went on to kick seven goals to three in the remainder of the first quarter. Despite a spirited attempt at a comeback from the Sharks, the Demons were not threatened, despite being just two goals up at half-time.

Great forward line pressure allowed for repeat entries into the forward 50 for the second week in a row. This lead to the achievement of more than 60 inside 50s for the first time this season.

In stark contrast to our other wins of the season, the Demons held a strong lead and commanding presence across the ground for the duration of the game, recording a comfortable 64 point victory against the hapless Sharks.

The Demons achieved 20 goals in a single game for the first time in the 2018 season. In just his third League game, Michael Bennell was responsible for an outstanding seven of these, while Cody Ninyette set up five, in what could be considered his best game of the season.

Brant Colledge compiled 32 possessions for the Demons, Cody Leggett 31, Corey Yeo 25, Mitch Browne 21 and Michael Sinclair 19.

Reserves

Strong performances in the Reserves side saw an outstanding win against the Sharks, as the boys get onto a winning track.

The team was lead by strong performances from Eyres and Etto, as they resumed from injury.

Jared Bell played his first game in two years, returning from back-to-back ACLs.

Bell and Spencer White completed 50% game time, adding to a growing list of players pushing for League selection.

 

LEAGUE SUMMARY

PERTH

Goals:  7 - M Bennell 5 - C Ninyette 2 - C Byrne, K Cary 1 - L Wilkins, C Jones, A Scotney, B Johnson, M Henderson

Best:    M Browne, B Colledge, C Giblett, C Ninyette, M Bennell

Reports:          Nil.

EAST FREMANTLE

Goals:  3 - G Hampson 2 - J Mcnamara, C Eardley 1 - J Perham, J Marsh, S Fletcher, J Jansen

Best:    C Eardley, D Winton, G Hampson, J Mcnamara, J Cuneo

Reports:          Nil.

 

RESERVES SUMMARY

PERTH

Goals:  3 - S White, K Chester, M Jones 2 - J Ugle, L Marlin, C Leonard 1 - L Salomone

Best:    C Marshall, M Jones, K Chester, J Johnstone, J Ugle, S Smith

Reports:          Nil.

EAST FREMANTLE

Goals:  2 - L Pearton, C Holmes 1 - A Ryan, A Holmes, Z Mccarrey, J Clements, A Montauban

Best:    L Pearton, J Kalajzic, A Holmes, K Schofield, Z Jackson

Reports:           Nil.

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Postponement of Special General Meeting

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 1:45 PM

The Perth Football Club Board of Directors and CEO would like to announce the postponement of the Special General Meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow, 19 June 2018.

This meeting will be rescheduled for a later date, and will be announced on this website, through the DeeMail and on our Facebook and Twitter.