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FALCONS FINISH STRONG TO CLAIM POLLY FARMER SHIELD

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 2:23 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth has claimed the inaugural Polly Farmer Cup opening its 2017 WAFL season with a 21-point win over East Perth at HBF Arena on Sunday.

Following the bye in the opening round, West Perth made its first appearance for 2017 and it was up against arch-rivals East Perth on home turn at HBF Arena with the Polly Farmer Shield on the line named in honour of one of Australian football's legendary figures who played with both clubs.

Little separated the two teams all day either in a typically spirited contest between the two clubs. There were nine lead changes along the way but the last one went West Perth's favour 17 minutes into the third term with a goal to Steve Potente.

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FALCONS MAKE WINNING START

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 10:28 AM - by Darrell Kent

THERE was a lot to like about the first game of the year against East Perth. All three grades recorded a hard fought victory.

Senior coach Bill Monaghan had his 100th victory as Falcons coach; this is the first time that this has been achieved. It confirms how good a coach he is as the players do give their best for him.  Scott Nelson and Nathan Alexandre made their debuts. The local products more than held their own.

Experienced Victorian big man Scott Simpson also debuted and showed that he is going to be a valuable acquisition. It was also pleasing to see younger players Tyson Moulton, James Batterham, Dean Munns, Corey Chalmers and Kris Shannon rewarded for their pre-season form and perseverance by being chosen for the season opener.

West Perth kicked to the city end to start the game; this was into a swirling breeze. They made all the running early but were unable to kick the first major until the 16-minute mark. This went to Chalmers who was on the end of a long pass. He converted from 30. The second followed shortly after when Moulton finished from a sharp angle 30 out. This gave West Perth a 13-point lead going into time on. From this point in time the Royals settled and they attacked consistently. Their first major came at the 22-minute mark courtesy of Kurt Mutimer. The Falcons defended hard but a goal after the siren by Tom Lamb gave the visitors a four-point lead going into the first change. The scores were East Perth 3.1 (19) to West Perth 2.3 (15).

The second quarter continued to be a hard fought contest with each side gaining the ascendancy for short periods. West Perth hit the scoreboard first courtesy of a second to Moulton. He finished from the square after a clever kick forward by Andrew Strijk. The next 10 minutes belonged to East Perth and they kicked two goals, including a second to Lamb, and led by nine. West Perth, who had been doing little wrong as they tried to move the ball on at all costs, then steadied to momentarily wrest back the initiative.

A wonderful left foot pass by Trent Manzone hit Michael Lourey on the chest 50 out. He went back and kicked the first of his three. Manzone also kicked two goals on his non-preferred left foot. The first of these came at the 18-minute mark when he finished from just on 50. The Falcons now led by four but shortly after a major to Luke Partington gave the advantage back to East Perth. But the Falcons weren’t done with yet. The impressive Luke Meadows launched a terrific 50m pass to James Batterham. He marked 20 out, on an angle, and his accurate kick gave West Perth a three point half time lead; 6.5 (41) to 6.2 (38).

A highlight of the game was the high number of lead changes and the third term was no exception. Lamb kicked his third at the nine-minute mark to regain the lead for the Royals, Lourey got it back for the Falcons with his second but a fourth to Lamb saw the lead, once again, in the visitors hands. At the 18-minute mark good hands from the skipper, Jay van Berlo, enabled Steve Potente to kick the first of his two from the square. This gave West Perth a three-point lead; one that they didn’t relinquish for the rest of the day.

It continued to be a tight contest with the Falcons kicking three behinds before Lourey kicked his third. This was a wonderful effort with him carrying the ball a long way, taking three bounces and finishing on the run from 30. The lead was now 12 but as had been the case all day East Perth rallied and at the final change had narrowed the margin to just four; 9.8 (62) to 9.4 (58).

The game was up for grabs going into the last quarter. Play opened up and scoring became easier. Tyler Keitel, who had looked dangerous up forward, kicked his first from 30 and a strong tackle laid by Chalmers enabled him to kick his second. At the nine-minute mark the lead was out to 23 when Manzone scored his second left foot major. West Perth had all of the momentum and were playing strong, team football. East Perth kicked two of the next three goals and had reduced the margin to 19 midway through the term. The West Perth goal was a second to Potente and occurred within seconds of an East Perth major with the ball coming straight out of the middle. As the game moved into time on East Perth rallied for the final time and they narrowed the margin to just 13 before West Perth had the last three scoring shots to run out 21-point victors. The 14.15 (99) to 12.6 (78) was a great start to the season.

As a result of the victory West Perth are the winners of the inaugural Polly Farmer Shield. This was recognised with a presentation at the end of the game.

Congratulations to Ryan Lasscock who scored a first up victory as colts coach and to Paul Sanzone who did the same back in the chair as reserves coach. Sanza coached the reserves to a premiership in 2014; their first since 1960. Players in the reserves to receive awards included the returning Mitch van Berlo, Conal Lynch, Brayden Antonio and best was Aidan Lynch who will soon force his way back into the league side. Best for the league were Kody Manning, Trent Manzone, Shane Nelson and best was Luke Meadows. It was a very even team performance. Another big challenge lays ahead next week with the Falcons taking on Subiaco at HBF Arena. Be there to help get the teams over the line.

BY DARRELL KENT
PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING HBF ARENA ACCESS

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 3:06 AM

The Falcons season kicks off HBF Arena with the Polly Farmer Shield clash with rivals East Perth Football Club this Sunday at 1.40pm … a great day out for the whole family, with a kids zone on the eastern bank from 1pm.

Our new facility is taking shape and for those who haven’t been to the ground for a while, you’ll be pleased to see the progress on our new home.

It is however a major construction site with multiple road closures, so please allow yourself extra time to gain entry. There is no entry from Moore Drive so all vehicles are to enter Kennedya Drive from Joondalup Drive.

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ROUND 2 PREVIEW V EAST PERTH

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 5:53 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth has had an extra week's wait to open the 2017 WAFL season and now the Falcons get underway with a derby against East Perth at HBF Arena with the Polly Farmer Shield on the line on Sunday.

West Perth had the opening round bye to prepare for the derby to start its season in 2017 on the back of another finals appearance in 2016.

East Perth, meanwhile, also played finals in 2016 and started the season last Saturday night with a 17-point defeat at the hands of Peel Thunder at Leederville Oval.

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FALCONS ENTER 2017 WITH WELL-BALANCED PLAYING GROUP

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 3:26 PM - by Chris Pike

DESPITE West Perth losing some key players over the summer coach Bill Monaghan likes the blend that he still has in the Falcons playing group and a key to that is the retention of veterans.

West Perth has lost some important players since the end of last season including premiership players Luke Tedesco, Matt Fowler, Laine Rasmussen and Rohan Kerr along with Drew Rohde, Max Duffy, Joel Leeson and Keegan Knott.

While each of those players will be missed, Monaghan is comfortable with the squad the Falcons enter 2017 with that begins this Sunday at HBF Arena against East Perth.

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KEY POSITION STOCKS LOOK STRONG FOR FALCONS

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 3:45 PM - by Chris Pike

KEY position players are increasingly difficult to find for any WAFL club and that's why West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is looking forward to seeing how the addition of Scott Simpson to Nick Rodda, Tyler Keitel, Michael Lourey and Mark Hamilton pans out in 2017.

A lot more goes into being a successful team obviously than just the players you have filling key position roles, but it does have a significant impact and West Perth appear well stocked in that area coming into 2017.

The Falcons have signed former AFL-listed and VFL big man Simpson for the 2017 season and he brings with him plenty of size and experience to help the emerging Keitel, Rodda and Hamilton.

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FALCONS LAUNCH NEW ONLINE TEAM STORE

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 12:33 PM

THE West Perth Football Club is excited to launch its new online Team Store in time for the 2017 WAFL season giving fans of the Falcons the best ever chance to purchase all the items and gift cards they could hope for.

The Falcons have launched the fantastic online Team Store which is a significant upgrade and will make it a treat for all our supporters and members to peruse, and purchase from.

The Team Store can be found at: shop.westperthfc.com.au

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NATIONAL STORAGE JOINS WEST PERTH AS FEMALE FOOTBALL PARTNER

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 10:27 PM

THE West Perth Football Club is delighted to announce its first dedicated female football partner with National Storage signing on with the Falcons for the next three seasons.

National Storage has signed with the West Perth Football Club in an agreement for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 WA Women's Football League seasons.

The arrangement will see National Storage have their logo on the back of the West Perth female playing jumpers and polo shirts for each of the next three seasons.

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LETTER CLARIFYING SPORTS MEMORABILIA AT PERTH STADIUM

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 9:56 PM

OPEN LETTER TO ALL WAFL PRESIDENTS AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS REGARDING SPORTS MEMORABILIA AT PERTH STADIUM

I write to you collectively to clarify my views about the importance of recognising the rich history of WA football at the new Perth stadium and to address some of my inadvertent comments in last week’s article.

I want to reassure you that ALL options to showcase WAFL footy memorabilia at the new Perth stadium are still on the table – including the Sandover Medal Walk - and all options are still being discussed by our sporting memorabilia reference group, led by Ronnie Hurst.

Only last week, the WAFC presented an excellent submission to the Sporting Memorabilia Reference Group. At that meeting, Ronnie outlined the room naming strategy and confirmed that all WAFL Champions and Legends will be duly recognised at the new stadium. He did, however, confirm that he couldn’t exactly state where and how they would be recognised at this point in time because discussions are still continuing.

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FALCONS TAKE ON DEMONS OVER FRIDAY, SATURDAY

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 3:07 PM

WEST Perth has its second official pre-season hit out against Perth with the matches involving all four grades spread across Friday and Saturday at HBF Arena this weekend.

Following the first hit out in 2017 last weekend against East Fremantle also at HBF Arena, it is back home at the Joondalup venue this weekend.

Due to the forecast heat on Saturday once again, the West Perth 16s and colts teams will take on Perth on Friday night with the reserves and league sides to head onto HBF Arena on Saturday.

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