Time for the WAFL

THE 2013 WAFL season kicks off this weekend as the competition eases into a time of great change.

The AFL clubs have got their way and a host club system with Fremantle aligned to Peel and West Coast to East Perth is being introduced. This year new recruits to the AFL clubs will go to the aligned clubs while Fremantle players who were at East Perth will head to Peel and vice-versa.

In 2014 all AFL listed players will be with either Peel or East Perth.  The new system is, in fact, not new. In 1999 the WAFC launched a host club arrangement where Fremantle players were aligned to South Fremantle and West Coast players with Claremont. South Fremantle, coached by Tony Micale, won 15 games straight from April to August and won the second semi final before losing the grand final to West Perth. A host club review conducted after the 1999 season concluded the arrangement was a “… significant and serious impost of the integrity of the WAFL competition.” The system was watered down slightly in 2000 and 2001 with only interstate recruits being required to play for the host club. East Perth, under Micale, became West Coast’s host club and won consecutive premierships, beating East Fremantle in the 2000 grand final and South Fremantle in 2001. The system was abandoned in 2002 and East Perth again won the premiership.

There are three new coaches in 2013 – Brian Dawson, who coached Swan Districts to the famous 2010 premiership, will coach East Perth; 2004 Port Adelaide premiership player Jarrad Schofield will take charge of his original senior club Subiaco and Cam Shepherd, a premiership player with Claremont in 1987, will coach Peel.

The most interesting outside recruits are Chance Bateman, who returns to Perth, Kyle Reimers, who has chosen to go to Perth rather than his old club Peel, Sturt star Tristan Gum has come to Subiaco, Brett Peake is back at East Fremantle, Brendan Lee returns to co-captain East Perth after a couple of games for Essendon and a fairest and best at the Bendigo Bombers, Cruize Garlett is back from North Melbourne but has chosen to go to Peel rather than Perth and Mark Seaby has joined Claremont in preference to his old team West Perth.

Prominent players to swap clubs include Jarrod Kayler-Thomson (Perth to Subiaco), Andrew McDougall (Perth to Subiaco), Aaron Elari (Perth to Swan Districts), Marlon Motlop (Swan Districts to Peel) and Jarrhan Jacky (Swan Districts to Peel).

So to the big questions. Who will slip? Who will climb? Who will win the flag? Buggered if I know.

Here are some details….



2012: Premiers

Fairest & best: Kane Mitchell

Coach: Marc Webb

Captain: Andrew Browne

Main losses: Kane Mitchell, Tom Swift, Tom Lee, Alistair Gillespie, Lewis Stevenson

Main gains: Mark Seaby


East Fremantle

2012: Second

Fairest & best: Steven Dodd

Coach: Steve Malaxos

Captain: Mark McGough

Main losses: Leith Teakle, Koby Stevens, Luke Weller

Main gains: Brett Peake, Rhys Cooyou, James Saville,


Swan Districts

2012: Third

Fairest & best: Shaun Hilderbrandt

Coach: Greg Harding

Captain: Tallan Ames

Main losses: Marlon Motlop, Ashley Hansen, Jarrhan Jacky, Josh Roberts

Main gains: Travis Casserly, Aaron Elari, Matt Rogers


East Perth

2012: Fourth

Fairest & best: Paul Johnson

Coach: Brian Dawson

Captain: Brendan Lee & Craig Wulff

Main losses: Zac Clarke, Dylan Roberton, Hayden Crozier, Jayden Pitt

Main gains: Brendan Lee, Scott Lycett, Blayne Wilson, Jamie Cripps, Cale Morton


West Perth

2012: Fifth

Fairest & best: Mark Hutchings

Coach: Bill Monaghan


Main losses: Brent LeCras, Dion Fleay, Joel Rice

Main gains: Rohan Kerr, Trent Manzone, Shaun Marusic


South Fremantle

2012: Sixth

Fairest & best: Kris Miller

Coach: Paul Hasleby

Captain: Ryan Cook

Main losses: Toby McGrath, Ryan Murphy, Josh Head, Hayden North.

Main gains: Alistair Gillespie, Mitch Banner, Warrick Andreoli, Mitch Carter, Craig White.



2012: Seventh

Fairest & best: Aidan Parker

Coach: Jarrad Schofield

Captain: Aidan Parker

Main losses: Blake Broadhurst, Des Headland, Jack Anthony, Kane Bloxsidge, Brant Chambers

Main gains: Jarrod Kayler-Thomson, Andrew McDougall, Ryan Herring



2012: Eighth

Fairest & best: Ross Young

Coach: Damien McMahon

Captain: Paul Bevan

Main losses: Leon Davis, Ross Young, Jarrod Kayler-Thomson, Andrew McDougall, Mitch Leyendekkers

Main gains: Chance Bateman, Kyle Reimers, Jackson Sketcher, Jarod Risol, Chad Sandilands



2012: Nineth

Fairest & best: Brendon Jones

Coach: Cam Shepherd

Captain: Brendon Jones

Main losses: Mitch Leyendekkers, Scott Lycett, Blayne Wilson, Brendan Hancock

Main gains: Marlon Motlop, Jarrhan Jacky, Paul Bower, Cruize Garlett, Zac Clarke, Hayden Crozier, Jack Hannath, Jayden Pitt, Tanner Smith, Matt Taberner



About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the footyalmanac.com WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites australianrules.com.au and talkingfrankie.com and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at scoreboardpressure.com


  1. Was sad to see Brett Peake leave the Saints, but sure he will have a great season with East Freo.
    Thanks for great article, Les.

  2. Rick Kane says

    Money’s on Peel to make the 8.

  3. Good call Rick, They almost did it last year.

  4. Thanks for this Les.
    Is Travis Casserly related to ex East Fremantle and Central Districts star Tony?

  5. Crio… I think not but I’m seeking further information.

    Travis Casserly copped a two year ban after the 2010 grand final after testing positive to a banned substance… Sudafed.


  6. James Hothersall says

    despite the loss of Mitchell and Lee….. Claremont will be damn hard to stop.

    East Freo…pffffttt…. I’m more concerned of a Swan Districts side full of fire after an off season of turmoil

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