Ultimate Wool Team: Western Australia

Here’s a WA team based on nominations that have come in this season, and earlier. Please argue for changes (as the South Australians have been doing). And add any further nominations. There’s quite a few nominations of footballers who may have an association with wool. If you can shed any light on these please do by adding a comment.

Profiles of the selected players are below.


WA Wool Team (provisional)


Full Backs                     Allen Mycock             Darren Glass               Justin Longmuir


Half Backs                    Scott Edwards                        Billy Duckworth         Ron Quartermaine


Centres                        Peter Matera                Nat Fyfe                      Vern Orr


Half Forwards            Phil Krakouer              Stephen Michael         Nicky Winmar


Full Forwards              Phil Matera                  Ross Ditchburn           Jim Krakouer


Followers                    Aaron Sandilands       Mark Bairstow            Billy Walker


Interchange (from):     Gary (Stretch) Sandilands, John Duckworth and the other Duckworths, Wally Matera, Eric Krakouer, Troy Longmuir, Johnny and Norm Dennis, John Ditchburn, Buddy Franklin’s Dad Lance snr, The Goodings boys, The other Krakouers – Billy, Eric, Andrew, Gary Pope, Neil Williams, Clinton Wolf, Keith Miller, Keith Doncon, The Hayward brothers, Lin ‘Blue’ Richards, Keith ‘Muscles’ Everett, Frank Copeman, Brian Currie, Ron Boucher, Neil Jackson, Don Jackson,

Other Possibles (do any of these blokes have a connection with wool?):

Are the Kickett’s connected with wool? Barry Cable? John Todd? Alec Epis? (What should we do with butchers?) Harry Taylor? Jamie Cripps? Daniel Chick? Josh Kennedy? Andrew Lockyer? Paddy Ryder? Chris Mainwaring? Jaeger O’Meara



Allen Mycock             Claremont back pocket/ruckman in the early `60s.


Darren Glass               Northam (Railways). West Coast Eagles 2000-2014 270 games, 8 goals, 2006 premiership, captain 2008-14, All Australian. Family have been on the land in the Northam area.


Justin Longmuir          (Koorda), West Perth. Fremantle 1999-2007 139 games, 166 goals. Willowy forward/ruckman. Sheep farm.


Scott Edwards                        Claremont. Fremantle 1995-96 in the inaugural team, 15 games, 2 goals. Once sheared a sheep as a Freo promo. Wing/half back. Sheep farmer.


Billy Duckworth         from the legendary Duckworth family of Dudinin. Sheep farmers and footballers. West Perth. Essendon 1982-90. 126 games, 64 goals. 1984 Norm Smith Medalist. Brother John played for Fitzroy and won a Magarey Medal at Central Districts.


Ron Quartermaine       East Perth back pocket/back flanker. 75 games.


Vern Orr                      Scotch College Team of the Century, Claremont, Best and Fairest 1972. Wingman.


Nathan Fyfe                The AFL’s best player at the moment – not often there is such a standout. Lake Grace. Aquinas College. AFLPA MVP. All-Australian. Family is involved in wool industry through rural trucking business.


Peter Matera                ‘Roo’. Brother of Phil and Wally. Magnificent wingman. South Fremantle. West Coast Eagles 1990-2002, 253 games, 218 goals. Premierships 1992,1994. Norm Smith Medal 1992 (playing on Mark Bairstow for much of that Grand Final).


Phil Krakouer              North Barker. Calremont 1978-81. Morth Melbourne 1982-90. Footscray 1990-91. Brother of Jim. Rover/small forward. Son of Eric (shearer).


Stephen Michael         Kojonup, South Fremantle 1975-85. 243 games, 231 goals. Legendary WA footballer who chose to remain in the West despite offers from Melbourne clubs. Has been involved in wool industry. (Please help us with specific info here)


Nicky Winmar             Neil Elvis Winmar known also as Cuz. Pingelly. South Fremantle. St Kilda 251 games 317 goals. Western Bulldogs. Still a rousabout in the Lake Grace region.


Phil Matera      South Fremantle. West Coast Eagles 1996-2003 179 games, 389 goals, All Australian 2003


Ross Ditchburn           Kukerin. Claremont 1975-80. Carlton 1982-83. 28 games, 91 goals. 1982 Carlton premiership. Sheep farmer. (Brother John also a good footballer)


Jim Krakouer   North Barker. Claremont 1977-81 88 games, 214 goals. North Melbourne 1982-89. 134 games, 229 goals. St Kilda 1990-91 13 games, 7 goals.


Aaron Sandilands       son of shearer Gary ‘Stretch’ Sandilands who used to ruck for North Barker – to his rovers Jim and Phil Krakouer. East Fremantle. Fremantle: 2003-now, 220+ games, Best and Fairest 2009. 4 x All Australan.


Mark Bairstow            Lake Grace. South Fremantle 40 games, 32 goals. Geelong 1987-94 146 games, 172 goals. Geelong captain. From a sheep property at Dumbleyung.


Billy Walker                Narambeen. Swan Districts. Premierships 1961,62,63. Best and Fairest, 1965,66,68,69,70. Sandover Medal 1965,66,67,70. All Australian 1969. Sheep farmer.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. John, I can confirm that Derek, Dale and Larry Kickett (158 games for East Perth, 69 for Claremont) came from Tammin in the heart of the WA Wheatbelt. My family had a farm in Tammin for 101 years (not that I’m that old). Plenty of wheat and wool (Merino) out there.

  2. Tom Martin says

    JTH, my adopted province seems a mite complacent with the current lack of input here. Perhaps the mindset is understandable with the natural riches on display above (if not elsewhere). Then again I’m just a blow-in Crowgroper (g’day Peter_B), so what would I know.

    Barry Cable may have been an apprentice butcher, but it’s also said he grew up on a wheat and sheep farm.

    Polly Farmer must be an ‘in’. He’s a bloody Farmer, he must know a bit about wool.

    If no genuine Sandgropers are interested, I may as well nominate me mate Shaun – last name unknown – who (it’s now all but confirmed) shore round Narrogin now and again and regularly kicked a bag on the odd Satdee between sheds.

  3. Fantastic to see Fremantle Hall of Famer Stephen Michael holding down a key position. The big fella hails from Kojonup – home of the Big Wool Wagon. I remember watching him in State of Origin clashes in the 80s when I was a kid and his jaw dropping athleticism had me captivated. Arguably 20 years ahead of his time. Oh, the carnage he could cause in the modern game!

  4. Actually, in doing some homework on Stephen Michael. I found this on the big fella from the West Australian last year when his two young boys played in a youth carnival.

    He’s carrying quite the farmer’s rig these days – and the muscle suggests there might still be a few wool bales/wheat bags being tossed around – not to mention a few pots at sundown. It would be great if anyone knows what he’s doing these days.


  5. Dennis Gedling says

    Last I heard Stephen was a truck driver. This may have changed in the past couple of years though.

  6. Dennis Gedling says

    Polly also grew up in the south east suburbs of Perth. He’s as much a sheep farmer as I am. Harry Taylor Sr is more in to wheat and canola more than sheep according to the old man.

  7. Alec Epis started out as a butcher.

    Stephen Michael now works on a coal mine but he might have driven a sheep truck in his earlier days.

    Justin and Troy Longmuir are from Koorda (a slip of the keyboard finger in your piece I think JTH).

  8. Still see Billy Walker down at Swan Districts whenever I go to a game. The Avenging Eagle always tells him how he was her hero (when she was a girl).
    Good to put a smile in an old man’s eye. In Bill’s case it’s more like a glint. Always a bit of a devil.
    Like Stephen Michael, Billy Walker is one of the greats of WA footy who never went east save for the occasional State game. I saw Cable and Walker as the WA roving duo a couple of times at Adelaide Oval.
    Most people over here who saw them both in their heyday reckon there was not a cigarette paper between them as footballers.
    That says how good Billy Walker was.
    That WA team would trouser all the other Wool sides. No contest. I counted 11 that are All Australian standard footballers.

  9. Agree with you Peter about Billy Walker. I saw him when I was a youngster.He won three Sandover Medals when Cable was playing in the WAFL,who had to go to the VFL to win any silverware

  10. Les Everett says

    Can confirm that Bill Walker was part of a shearing team in his youth.

    Keith Doncon farms Merinos in Wickepin. He was an All Australian after the Hobart Carnival in 1966. Champion rover for East Perth not far behind contemporaries Cable & Walker. Must be in this team

    Mark Bairstow’s family farm at LAKE GRACE also ran Merinos.

    And Stephen Michael did cart wool bales.

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