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Club stalwart Dene White retires

Monday, January 16, 2017 - 11:44 AM

2014 Butcher Medalist and Club captin Dene White has called time on his illustrious 128-game career at Perth.

White informed the Club on Wednesday that he won't be playing on in 2017 and told fellow teammates on Friday.

Away from football, White is a firefighter as well as a plumber and cited work commitments and the planning of his upcoming wedding as factors preventing him from being able to continue putting in the time and commitment required at WAFL level.

Aside from a year off in 2012, White has spent the last 10 years at the Demons, accumulating 128 league games and a Butcher Medal (2014). He was appointed captain of the Club at the beginning of 2015.

Perth Chief Executive Officer Marty Atkins spoke highly of White's commitment to the football Club.

"The one thing I've been really, really pleased with is the way Dene has gone about things and his commitment to the Perth Demons, which has been outstanding," Atkins said.

On the field, White will be remembered by teammates, coaches and supporters as courageous and hard at it. Off the field, he was popular amongst teammates and will be sorely missed around the Club.

Everyone at the Perth Football Club would like to thank Dene for his service and commitment over the past decade and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. 

Preseason Update: Q&A with Liam McKenna

Friday, December 23, 2016 - 9:03 AM

Hear from Liam McKenna as the players break for Christmas following a solid six week training block.

How was the pre-Christmas training block and how are you feeling heading into the break?
The Pre-Christmas block has been good, a few new faces but more importantly a few familiar ones as well. Some boys have really made an effort to come back in good knick. I think with added pressure on positions in the league side, some boys are starting to realize that work needs to be done early in preseason and this puts the club in a really healthy position.

What’s the vibe been like amongst the young group?
The vibe has been energetic to say the least. We had a really successful colts side in 2016 with the boys unfortunately falling one game short of the Grand Final. Throw in Zac Fisher, Quinton Narkle and Matty Taylor all getting picked up, I think this has sparked a few boys that may have been disappointed to miss out on the draft to return and force themselves a berth in our league side.

What’s Higgins Park been like as a training facility? Refreshing change of scenery?
I’ve had mixed emotions about the venue at Higgins Park, obviously a huge thanks has to go out to the Victoria Park Raiders Football Club for allowing us to use their facility but not training at the home of the Perth Demons has been frustrating. Given our games during the season are scheduled at Laithlain, not having trained and been familiarised with the dimensions and feel of the oval is a little concerning but the facility at Higgins has been refreshing and given the boys something different to look at while Brock gives us our 2ker.

How would you rate where the group are at now in comparison to previous years at this same point in time (heading into the Christmas break)?
It’s always hard to sit here and compare previous years to this point in time just because of personnel and state of the Club, but we are looking strong. The addition of Strength and Conditioning Coach Brock Fleay has been paramount, he’s been able to stack weight on some young blokes who have lacked physicality in previous years.

Who’s been training the house down?
There have been few trailblazers over the summer, as I mentioned before a few blokes have really made an effort to return in good condition and it’s showing. Cody Legget looks strong as an Ox coming off a good year last year where he grew as a tough defensive mid but also someone that can win crucial one on ones. Sammy ‘Swarly’ Garstone has finally realized he is 195cm+ and is taking some telling towering marks in our full ground ball movement drills, as well as showing he has solid endurance capabilities as a key position player. Kurty Chester has been the surprise packet over the summer, the young ball magnet has always shown great potential as an outside/inside midfielder, although after two years in and out of the league side and some hard truths about his deficiencies it seemed as though he relly needed to step up. Well if this block prior to Christmas is anything to go by, the #17 is in for a big 2017. He is lean, fit and looks a couple fractions quicker, which is pleasing to see.

What would you say the focus of training has been thus far?
I think last year the coaching and playing group identified that our kicking and ball use were huge weaknesses last year that restricted us from finishing off games and ultimately playing finals. So this year has been a lot of kicking drills combined with full ground ball movement that will hopefully hold us in good stead as we ramp up our secret game plan that I obviously can’t reveal here.

How are you feeling physically and mentally? What’s the plan over the break?
I’m feeling good, the body has given me a few little niggles here and there but all in all I’m tracking well. Most footy players will tell you that pre-Christmas is really an added bonus if you can get a good block in but it’s really how you return post Christmas. Brock has given us a solid program and it sort of throws the boys a challenge of how to tackle the festive season and returning in the right knick come the 9th (January). All players have target times we have to meet so maybe that will be in the back of their minds as they go for the second slice of Christmas Pudding.

Have you been focusing on anything in particular this preseason on an individual level?
Yeah for sure, I think that’s the one real positive of the preseason, you can allocate a lot of time to learning and crafting new skills and drills in the training environment. Being a midfielder, I’ve been focusing on continuing to build an elite running tank aerobically as well as leg strength and speed to power out of stoppages. I love getting on the end of a good passage of play and finishing with a goal so I’ve spent a little bit of time in front of the sticks and have been hitting them well.

Being a member of the leadership group and one of the more experienced players at the Club, is captaining the Club in the future something you’ve thought about?
We have a pretty special skipper at the moment that bleeds red and black and he assures me he has a couple more years left in him so I can’t be jumping in graves just yet haha. On a more serious note, it would be a massive honor to captain any football club in the WAFL, let alone Perth Football Club. It’s definitely something I have thought about; having been added to the leadership group last year, if that opportunity arose I would be extremely gracious and honored to accept. The club itself has such a rich and successful history that we as a leadership group are working tirelessly towards trying to replicate.

2017 fixtures released

Saturday, December 17, 2016 - 9:45 AM

The 2017 McDonald’s WAFL Premiership Season will open with a televised Saturday night blockbuster between East Perth and Peel Thunder live on the Seven Network on March 18, a week prior to the AFL season.

The 2017 season will feature 23 rounds in total, with 18 games and the finals series to be televised live on the Seven Network. More than 78% of games have been scheduled in the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot.

West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the 2017 fixture aimed to grow and enhance the WAFL competition by promoting competitive matches, supporting special feature rounds and offering prime-time television coverage.

“There were a significant number of variables considered in developing the fixture including fan feedback, club byes, feature rounds, achieving a home and away flow for each club, equalization measures and maximising broadcast opportunities on the 7 Network,” Mr Taylor said.

“The WAFL clubs do a terrific job with activities for fans and families at their games. The fans have a unique chance to get up close to the action, see some of WA’s best talent on display, listen to the coaches and enjoy a kick on the ground at the breaks.

“I would encourage anyone who has never been to a WAFL game before to head down this season or contact their local club about membership offers.” 

Mr Taylor also acknowledged WAFL broadcast partners AHG, Kennards, REIWA, McDonald’s and the Seven Network upon entering the third year of a partnership to broadcast WAFL games on free-to-air television for fans throughout Western Australia.

In 2016, the total WAFL TV audience grew by 25% to 875,074, which saw the competition ranked first for viewer growth out of all televised West Australian winter sports teams or competitions.

On average, 38,047 people tuned into each WAFL game on the Seven Network, which was a 20% increase on the previous year’s average audience.

Mr Taylor said it was also exciting that the Seven Network had confirmed Dennis Cometti would be involved with the WAFL as a special commentator in 2017.

“To have somebody of Dennis’ caliber involved with our premier State League, where it all began for him as a commentator, is terrific news for the competition,” he said.

“With the combination of a competitive fixture and the excellent coverage by the Seven Network and our other media partners, 2017 promises to be an exciting season which will continue to grow and enhance the WAFL competition and its clubs,” he said.


View the full 2017 WAFL fixture HERE or download it HERE.  


KEY ROUNDS

  • Round 1 – March 18 – 4 games including East Perth v Peel Thunder under lights 7.10pm at Medibank Stadium, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 2 – Polly Farmer Trophy – East Perth v West Perth at HBF Arena, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 4 – The Fathering Project Round – including Grand Final re-match Subiaco v Peel Thunder at Medibank Stadium, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 6 – ANZAC Round – including South Fremantle v East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 7 – Peel Thunder vs East Perth leading into the first AFL Western Derby of 2017, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 10 – Men’s Health Round – including Subiaco v East Fremantle at Medibank Stadium, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 11 – WA Day – 2 Monday games including East Perth v West Perth at Medibank Stadium, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 12 – Count Me In Round – including Swan Districts v West Perth at Steel Blue Oval, live on the 7 Network.
  • Round 16 – NAIDOC Round – including Claremont v South Fremantle at Claremont Oval, live on the 7 Network.


BROADCAST FEATURES

  • All clubs will be featured on television by Round 10.
  • Each club will have at least 1 x televised home game in the first 13 broadcasts.
  • The 4 clubs who receive 2 x televised home games in the first 13 rounds all played finals in 2016.
  • Floating fixtures are scheduled between Rounds 18 to 23 to be finalised mid-year based on team performance.
  • No WAFL broadcast fixtures will go head to head with AFL content on the 7 Network in 2017.

Dale Hughes honoured in Kalgoorlie

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 11:01 AM - by Peter Kennedy

Dale Hughes must rank as one of the most versatile sportsman ever to pull on a Demons guernsey. His recent elevation to the Goldfields Sporting Hall of Fame certainly confirms his all round sporting prowess.

Dale already enjoyed an outstanding reputation in junior ranks in Kalgoorlie when he moved to Perth in 1960, aged 19. Within six months of arriving in the city he had the distinction of playing in three major sporting competitions - league football with Perth, first grade cricket also with Perth, and A grade baseball with Nedlands.

Now 76, he has a clear recollections of his first games with the Demons, having come to Lathlain Park with a reputation as a promising full forward.

"In my first game I kicked 2.7 against South Fremantle, and then 2.5 against Claremont," he said. "But it could have been different if coach Bob Miller had insisted that I was never to use the drop punt when shooting for goal!"

Dale played just eight games with the Demons, kicking the winning goal in his last match against South with three seconds remaining. Then he decided while running laps at training the next year that he should pull out of football and cricket and concentrate on baseball.

Perth's loss was baseball's gain. He played interstate baseball for WA right through the 1960s and gained Australian selection in 1963, 1965 and 1969. The pinnacle of his career came in 1969 when he was a member of the first Australian team to play overseas - against Japan and the Philippines in Manila. Dale had an outstanding series there as catcher. 

In the early 1970s he transferred to Brisbane as state manager of insurance firm Legal and General. He was appointed coach of both the Queensland and Australian teams in 1973.

Now back in Perth, Dale regularly attends the club's annual Centurion fundraising lunch at Lathlain, and enjoys catching up with his old football team mates.

"Being appointed to the Goldfields Hall of Fame is a great honour," he said. "And the Perth Football Club has been a major part of my sporting background."

Former Claremont captain-coach and 1949 Sandover Medallist, Sonny Maffina, was also named in the Hall of Fame.

WA Football Raffle extended

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 2:00 PM

The closing date for the 2016 WA Football Raffle has been extended to January 28 2017, with the draw scheduled for February 10.

A reminder to get your tickets in, sold or unsold, by the revised closing date for your chance to win the following prizes:

1st Prize: 2016 Holden Captiva (LS 2.4lt 7 Seater Automatic Wagon) Valued at $34,173

2nd Prize: 7 Night Broome Holiday (at Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa) Valued at $5,400)

3rd Prize: $5,000 Retravision Voucher

Results will be published in The West Australian on February 15.

Raffle tickets are still available for $10 each. Come in to reception and grab yours or call the Club on 9362 4499.

New regional academy to reduce travel

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 12:42 PM

Perth's Avon-based colts and under 16's will this preseason train one session a week in Northam as part of the club's recently implemented Regional Development Academy.

The academy aims to cater for the club's large contingent of Avon-based players, minimising their travel time to and from Perth for training.

The squad will train together at Northam's Henry Street Oval on Tuesday evenings and come down to Perth for Sunday morning sessions.

Perth Football Operations Manager Tyson Beattie said the academy will significantly reduce time on the roads for those living in the Avon region.

"It's basically an opportunity for players who live in the Avon and Wheatbelt region to travel to Northam to train on Tuesday as opposed to driving all the way to and from Perth," Beattie said.

"It gives them a chance to train together as a squad. On our first night we had 20 colts aged players involved with the 16's starting next week."

The program is run by Clontarf coaches Jarrod Chipperfield and Matthew Stokes, with Willie Dick Junior helping out as an assistant.

The sessions will mirror what Andrew Ruck has the rest of the squad doing in Perth, and the entire colts squad will come together for Sunday morning sessions.

"The session is exactly the same as what it would be in Perth. Rucky provides the program on Monday morning to Chipper and Chipper and Stokesy implement it," Beattie said.

"During the season the session will be on Monday's to provide those players the chance to recover from playing."

With 12 of the 20 players at Tuesday's opening session having an indigenous background, Beattie said the academy also aims to assist with the club's growing Indigenous catchment in the area.

The Perth Football Club would like to acknowledge Clontarf for helping make the Regional Development Academy possible.

Colts commence 2017 campaign

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 9:28 AM

The colts this week commenced their assault on season 2017, with the club's returning 2016 colts starting on Monday in the gym and all newcomers beginning on Tuesday at Higgins Park.

The colts' delayed start to preseason is a result of them playing deep into September earlier this year, with the side making it to the preliminary final before bowing out.

The returning colts will spend the next four weeks building muscle mass and strength, with Monday, Wednesday and Friday sessions in the club's gym.

New colts will train on Tuesday's and Thursday's at Higgins Park with a focus on skills and core strength.

The full squad will then come together on Sunday mornings for a main session.

Coach Andrew Ruck says the club's inability to compete physically at times over the last few seasons is the cause for more time in the gym this preseason.

"From a club perspective, we just can’t compete physically with some clubs so that’s the reason we’re getting in the gym," Ruck says.

"Our returning colts are going to focus on strength and trying to build some muscle mass.

"We’re going to actually get some coaches in the gym with them to teach them how to use it properly."

The club has also arranged a weekly training session in Northam for all of its country colts, which will take place on Tuesday's with these players joining the rest of the squad on Sunday mornings.

The squad will train together on a full time basis from January onwards, once the players have returned from their Christmas break.

Ruck believes the next four weeks will teach the returning colts gym routine and hopes it will carry over into the new year.

"These next four weeks in the gym will hopefully get the boys into a routine so then over Christmas they can do some running and learn to run with a couple of extra kilos," Ruck says.

"When they come back after Christmas they’ll already be in that routine so they can do their weights training on an alternate night.”

Ruck says the ultimate focus will be on developing the squad into future league players for the club, but stresses the importance of a winning culture.

"Ultimately, we’ll get judged on how well they compete at senior level and how many players transition through to the seniors," Ruck says.

"But at the same time when it comes to game day we’ll be doing everything we can to win and we’ll pick the best available team.

"We’ve certainly got to teach them that wining behavior."

 

Be part of the journey...2017 Memberships available here.

Demon trio realise AFL dream

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 11:37 AM

The 2016 AFL Draft was a successful one for Perth, with all three of the club's prospects now on AFL lists.

Zac Fisher: selected by Carlton with pick 27 in the National Draft
Quinton Narkle: selected by Geelong with pick 60 in the National Draft
Matt Taylor: selected by North Melbourne with pick 43 in the Rookie Draft

The club also says goodbye to recently recruited Tendai Mzungu, who was handed a well deserved AFL lifeline after being taken by GWS with pick 15 in the Rookie Draft.


Fisher and Narkle were both taken in last Friday's National Draft, while Taylor was forced to wait until Monday's Rookie Draft to see his name appear.

Fisher, 18, said he was in disbelief when he first found out Carlton had selected him with pick 27.

"I kind of didn't believe it," Fisher told 882 6PR on Saturday.

"My phone was delayed so I was at pick 23 when I started getting the messages.

"I still really can't believe it." LISTEN to Fisher's full interview here.

Narkle, who turns 19 on Saturday, was overwhelmed when Gillon McLachlan read his name out 33 selections later.

"It's unreal. I'm still soaking it all in," Narkle told local Geelong radio station Bay 93.9 on Saturday.

"I'm overwhelmed." READ Bay 93.9's full article on Narkle here.

Perth Football Operations Manager Tyson Beattie on Saturday tweeted "one of the proudest moments in my time at Perth FC, seeing two wonderful young men's dreams come true, well done Narks and Fish."

The club's draft trifecta was completed on Monday when North Melbourne selected Matt Taylor in the Rookie Draft.

Going into the draft, 19-year-old Taylor said he didn't like his chances of being picked up.

"I was being realistic about it, thinking that it probably wasn't going to happen, but my manager said to keep positive. I'm just so excited," Taylor told The West Australian on Monday afternoon.

"I just really want to get stuck into it. If I train my a.. off I'll be able to get an opportunity and show my stuff."


The Perth Football Club wishes all four of its 2016 draftees the best for this next chapter in their football careers.

2017 Memberships available here.

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.
 

Be part of the journey...2017 memberships available here.

'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.
 

Be part of the journey...2017 memberships available here.