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Friday, August 18, 2017 - 11:22 AM - by Chris Pike

KODY Manning lives and breathes for the West Perth Football Club and no player is more inspirational or puts his body on the line more than the premiership player as he prepares for his 100th game at the Falcons on Saturday.

Manning remains the standout player in the WAFL who can inspire his team through his physicality and that's not to say he isn’t fair and doesn’t have a lot of other strings to his bow.

The 2013 premiership player simply plays in a style where he thrives on the physical contact and whether that means he lays a big bump, puts on a crunching tackle or bursts through a contest or a pack, he just goes about his football in a way that you rarely see in the modern day.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 1:01 PM - by Chris Pike

ONE of West Perth's favourite sons returned for his first game in over two years on Saturday and while Matt Guadagnin's comeback didn’t turn out how everyone hoped, coach Bill Monaghan is glad he made it back out there no matter what happens from here.

Guadagnin initially injured his knee back in Round 16, 2015 when he was in the middle of another outstanding season in the West Perth midfield and was a key contributor in the Falcons being near the top of the ladder and ending up playing off in the grand final of that year.

He underwent the second knee reconstruction of his career but he wasn’t about to let it be the end for him. The 2013 premiership star returned late last season for a couple of reserves appearances desperate to push for a league spot come finals time.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 10:44 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth's longest serving coach Bill Monaghan spoke following Saturday's win against East Fremantle that kept the Falcons in the 2017 WAFL finals hunt and looked to this Saturday's clash with the league-leading Subiaco at Leederville Oval.

QUESTION: It was scrappy but in the end you just needed to find a way to win to keep your season alive and you did that?
Our third quarter was great but it was an ugly, ugly against a side that is sitting towards the bottom of the ladder and who have struggled to win in the second half of the year. The good thing for us is that confidence and belief has been really down, and we know that if we play like that against better teams that we will struggle, but the fact is the players are feeling better after a win. It keeps our finals hopes alive even though they are slim given East Perth had another good win and the fact that we have the top side next week. With Swans losing though, they finish against Claremont and East Fremantle and we are only a game behind them. Our percentage is about the same as theirs so that gives us a couple of options to go in but we have the big road block of having to play Subiaco. All we can do is go out, try our best and try to play the style of footy we want and if we're good enough to win then we'll win. It's not as if we haven’t been trying and striving to find ways to win, but things had been conspiring against us and we hadn’t been doing things extremely well. This was a step in the right direction but we're still a way off where we need to be.

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Monday, August 14, 2017 - 11:07 PM - by Chris Pike
WEST Perth did enough to beat East Fremantle by 13 points at HBF Arena on Saturday on the back of a strong third quarter to see the Falcons remain in the WAFL finals race with two rounds remaining.
West Perth had to overcome a goalless first quarter and a one-goal first half with East Fremantle leading by as much as 24 points at HBF Arena on Saturday, but with the Falcons' season on the line they found a way to win.
On the back of some impressive football in the third quarter where West Perth kicked five goals to no score, it was enough to set up the crucial 8.15 (63) to 7.8 (50) victory. 
The win might not have been overly impressive by the Falcons but it was the four points that mattered to keep them in the finals race.
The victory improves West Perth to a 9-9 record on the season to remain just percentage behind the fifth placed East Perth. 
They are also just a game behind the fourth placed Swan Districts with a similar percentage with two rounds of the season remaining so there might still be two teams the Falcons are capable of replacing if they hope to play finals again in 2017.
It was a competitive performance again from East Fremantle who has had a significantly improved second half of the season compared to the first. The Sharks only losing to the Falcons by 13 points keeps them off the bottom of the ladder with their percentage remaining above that of Perth's.
West Perth welcomed back some important players who helped in the return to the winner's list with Andrew Strijk a strong contributor off half-back with 24 possessions and a trademark long-range goal.
Kody Manning was his usual hard-at-it self down back in his 99th game with 22 disposals and five tackles while Michael Lourey spent time in defence to free up Nick Rodda to play forward. Mark Hamilton also did a strong defensive job on East Fremantle big man Cameron Symonds.
The other return for the Falcons was the comeback of 192-game premiership winning on-baller Matt Guadagnin. It was his first league appearance since injuring his knee in Round 16, 2015. But he injured a hamstring before half-time to make his return bittersweet.
Tyler Keitel did end up kicking three goals for West Perth from 16 possessions and 12 marks. 
Shane Nelson racked up another 34 disposals in the midfield while Aaron Black amassed 29 touches, Corey Chalmers 28, Trent Manzone 28, Luke Meadows 23 and Aidan Lynch 19 to go with eight tackles.
Scott Simpson battled hard in the ruck for 13 touches and 26 hit outs.
The first quarter sure wasn’t anything to write home about from either side. There wasn’t a lot of reason for it either with only a slight breeze at HBF Arena and there was no rain falling despite some wet patches still on the ground.
East Fremantle kicked the only goal of a forgettable opening quarter thanks to Jack Perham while West Perth continued its trend of the season of struggling in front of goal. The Falcons kicked five behinds in the first quarter including several relatively easy shots.
East Fremantle then threatened to kick away during the second quarter with the opening two goals from Matthew Watson and Tom Marshall to open a 13-point advantage.
West Perth eventually kicked its first goal of the game at the 16-minute mark of the second term with Nathan Alexandre kicking the first major of his league career.
That would remain the Falcons' only major of the opening half, though, with the Sharks kicking two more goals before half-time thanks to Jayden Schofield and Cameron Symonds to be in control by 18 points at the main break.
West Perth's season was teetering on the edge at half-time and a loss to East Fremantle would be fatal to its finals hopes. As a result the Falcons responded well in the third quarter kicking the only five goals.
They kicked five behinds as well so the damage could have been greater still. But the goals from Tyler Keitel, Blake Wilhelm, Keitel again, Andrew Strijk and Nick Rodda all helped West Perth open a 17-point lead by three quarter-time.
Keitel did well to take two of his chances after three behinds in the first half while Wilhelm's goal was a perfect crumbing effort as he got to the fall of the ball and snapped truly. Strijk nailed a trademark long bomb on the breeze and Rodda also marked strongly and kicked truly.
It was two goals apiece in the last quarter with West Perth going on to record the important yet unspectacular win. But the 13-point defeat was enough to keep East Fremantle off the bottom of the ladder.
The day's action began at HBF Arena with the colts contest that saw the league-leading East Fremantle beat West Perth 11.13 (79) to 4.6 (30).
Dylan Yem kicked two goals for West Perth to go with 17 possessions, five marks and four tackles.
Daniel Rowe gathered 22 disposals for the Falcons, Thomas Boyes 18, Tyrese Miller 18, Thomas Medhat 16 and Nathan Murray 16.
West Perth's reserves then held on for a thrilling 10.6 (66) to 9.10 (64) victory against East Fremantle at HBF Arena.
Mitch Antonio was a dominant presence for the Falcons with 33 possessions, 11 marks and four goals. Tom O'Brien also booted two goals.
Conal Lynch picked up 24 disposals for West Perth, Dean Munns 20, Joel Horgan 18, Broderick Walton 18, Dylan Campbell 17, Angus Allen 16, Josh Hatch 15, Baylee James 15, Rudy Riddoch 15 and ruckman Chris Keunen 15 to go with 42 hit outs.
West Perth is a chance to return to the top five if able to defeat Subiaco this Saturday at Leederville Oval before the Falcons finish the home and away season against Claremont at Claremont Oval.
WEST PERTH 0.5 1.8 6.13 8.15 (63)
EAST FREMANTLE 1.0 5.2 5.2 7.8 (50)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 3; Alexandre, Rodda, Wilhelm, Strijk, Antonio.
Best: Manzone, Nelson, Keitel, Chalmers, Manning, Black, Hamilton, Strijk.
EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: McNamara, Perham, Marsh, Schofield, Watson, Symonds, Marshall.
Best: Marsh, Anthony, Watson, McNamara, Crichton, Schofield, Harrold.


Monday, August 14, 2017 - 4:11 PM - by Darrell Kent

IT wasn’t a pretty game to watch and West Perth struggled to hit the scoreboard for three of the four quarters but they still did enough to record a victory over East Fremantle. The most important aspect of the 13-point victory is that it keeps the Falcons in the hunt for a finals berth.

West Perth kicked to the Perth end of the ground in the first quarter. This was to be the scoring end even with a fairly large puddle at the top of the goal square. Despite this, it was East Fremantle who kicked the first goal, and their only score for the quarter, at the two-minute mark. 

The rest of the quarter was dominated by the Falcons as was shown by the 17 to four inside-50 count. But the ability to finish accurately was once again a problem. West Perth managed only five behinds and as a result trailed by a point at the first change; 1.0 (6) to 0.5 (5).

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Friday, August 11, 2017 - 4:01 PM

RADIO Edge has entered the WAFL set up this season broadcasting matches each round and now has expanded that to form an exciting new partnership with the West Perth Football Club.

Sporting clubs have something very powerful that businesses dream of.

They have 'fans'. Every business works towards going beyond having clients and customers and turning them into raving advocates for their brand. It rarely happens.

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Friday, August 11, 2017 - 11:49 AM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth plays its final home game at HBF Arena of the season on Saturday in Members' Appreciation Round against East Fremantle in a must-win contest.

Plenty goes on the line between the Falcons and Sharks at HBF Arena on Saturday and while their reasons for winning might be significantly different, the fact that both will be desperate for four points sets up a fascinating contest.

West Perth needs to win to be any chance of returning to the top five not only by Saturday night, but at all this season.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 4:21 PM - by Blake Wilhelm

RATHER than keeping to the same structure as the last column I wrote, I wanted to mix things up a bit and go down another path. I thought I would start with a bit of a key focus for this column which is: 

'The Power of Positivity'

Whilst not an uncommon phrase, I distinctively remember first hearing this focus from one of the greatest (and longest) reserves captains to ever put on the red and blue, Cameron Branch. Whilst his shoulders are dodgy (that’s being polite) and his new venture into being a comedian is laughable, the great man still has some pearls of wisdom in him. 

To start things off, I can’t go past mentioning how exciting the youth of this football club is. As part of the leadership group this year we have focused hard on building our culture up to another level this year and the excitement around the young group of players has been a big part of that. 

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 10:18 PM - by Chris Pike
IT was a day to forget for West Perth against East Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday but the positive is a quick response this Saturday at home to East Fremantle and the Falcons could return straight to the WAFL top five.
Fifth position went on the line at HBF Arena on Saturday and every indication was that a close game was in order through the first quarter with West Perth actually managing to lead at quarter-time by eight points.
But the Falcons wouldn’t score again until the 18-minute mark of the third quarter and wouldn’t kick another goal until the opening minute of the fourth term. 
East Perth went on to kick the next 15 goals in the game and the Royals couldn’t have been more empathic about replacing West Perth in the top five coming away from HBF Arena with the 21.13 (139) to 8.7 (55) victory.
East Perth has now won two games on the trot against the other two teams fighting for that fifth spot, Claremont and West Perth. That sees the Royals improve to an 8-9 record to sit fifth percentage ahead of the Falcons as they try to play finals for a sixth straight year.
West Perth has lost its past two games to slip to an 8-9 record and out of the top five, but the finals hopes of the Falcons are far from over with games to go against East Fremantle, Subiaco and Claremont.
Personnel or lack thereof will never be used as an excuse but West Perth did go into Saturday's clash without Andrew Strijk, Kody Manning, Michael Lourey, Joe Morrow, Steve Potente, Tyson Moulton, Scott Nelson, Mark Hamilton and Dean Munns.
That opened the door for rising star Oscar Allen to make his league debut. It wasn’t the ideal game to experience league football for the first time but he showed some good signs with eight possessions and five marks.
Aidan Lynch kicked two goals to go with 23 possessions, six marks and six tackles for the Falcons while Brayden Antonio also booted two majors and laid seven tackles.
Shane Nelson racked up another 29 possessions and laid six tackles for West Perth with Luke Meadows compiling 24 disposals, Trent Manzone 21, Corey Chalmers 21, Jay van Berlo 20 and Aaron Black 18.
Ruckman Chris Keunen battled hard for 12 touches, four tackles and 17 hit outs.
Despite the day not turning out too positive for West Perth, the game started quite well with the Falcons kicking the game's first two goals thanks to Chalmers and Manzone.
Then in response to East Perth getting on the board through its first major from Nathan Vardy, the Falcons again led by 14 points with Meadows kicking truly. East Perth reduced the quarter-time gap to eight a late goal from Fraser McInnes.
It took just 20 seconds for McInnes to kick his second to start the second quarter and then just three minutes later the Royals were in the lead for the first time after a goal to Julian Ameduri. That lead would only continue to grow the rest of the afternoon.
West Perth went scoreless the entire second quarter with East Perth piling on goals from Josh Hill, Patrick McGinnity, Jake Waterman, Maginness and Nathan Blee that saw the Royals lead by 37 points by the long break.
West Perth managed just one behind for all the third term that came at the 18-minute mark through Kris Shannon.
Before that, the Royals added goals to Ameduri, Vardy, Shayne Hille and Waterman. And then after that Falcons behind, East Perth ended the second term with goals to Sharrod Wellingham and Hill to be up by 76 points at the last change.
West Perth finally got its fourth goal on the board to start the last quarter when Antonio kicked truly. That broke the drought from the 23-minute mark of the first term but it wasn’t going to be enough to change the disappointing result.
In the end, the Falcons did end up kicking four more goals in the last quarter with Antonio adding a second, Aidan Lynch booting two and Max Alexander the other.
But East Perth wasn’t about to let up with six goals of its own to stretch its lead by the final siren to 84 points and to emphatically replace West Perth in fifth position on the WAFL ladder.
The day didn’t start well for West Perth either in the colts with East Perth beating the Falcons 17.12 (114) to 2.8 (20) at HBF Arena.
Slade Hawkins and Lachlan Sherriffs were West Perth's goal scorers.
Thomas Medhat gathered 26 possessions for the Falcons, Daniel Rowe 23, Nathan Murray 21, Bailey Chalmers 21, Sherriffs 17 and Dylan Yem 16.
West Perth was significantly more competitive in the reserves but East Perth still managed to prevail, winning 11.9 (75) to 10.10 (70) on Saturday at HBF Arena.
Matt Guadagnin put his hand up for a league recall with the 191-game veteran looking good with 25 possessions, nine tackles and two goals in his third game back in 2017, and second full match.
Sam Rotham and Connor West also kicked two goals each for the Falcons.
Mitch Antonio picked up 23 possessions for West Perth, Conal Lynch 20, Thomas O'Brien 17, Baylee James 17 and Michael Ashfield eight to go with 32 hit outs in the ruck.
West Perth has the chance to try and return to fifth position by beating East Fremantle at HBF Arena on Saturday in the Falcons' last home game of 2017. A win for the Falcons and a loss for East Perth to Swan Districts and they will be back inside the top five.
WEST PERTH 3.5 3.5 3.6 8.7 (55)
EAST PERTH 2.3 9.6 15.10 21.13 (139)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Antonio, A Lynch 2; Meadows, Alexander, Chalmers, Manzone.
Best: A Lynch, Meadows, Nelson, Chalmers, Alexander.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Hille, Maginness, Ameduri, Wellingham, Vardy, Waterman, McInnes, Hill 2; Dobson, Mutimer, Blee, Wright, McGinnity.
Best: Blee, McGinnity, McInnes, Hille, Wellingham, Ameduri, Waterman.


Monday, August 7, 2017 - 3:09 PM - by Darrell Kent

IN the time since 2006 that I have been doing the match day report I have always tried to write them from the perspective of a fan. Saturday was one of those days that you like to forget. After a bright start the Falcons fell right away and were beaten by 84 points by the Royals. 

After quarter-time not a lot went right but no one knows that more than the players and coaches. The reality is that it is a team down on personnel because of injury and it is a side that has been developed from within. Some class players such as Rohan Kerr and Laine Rasmussen moved on at the end of last year and there was limited recruiting with the emphasis being on developing the players from the West Perth District. 

As a result there was little margin for error and the injuries have been the difference. The side had all of our hopes up after a 7-3 start to the year but some narrow losses, inaccurate kicking and the injuries have taken their toll. The message that I am trying to give is get behind the West Perth Football Club. 

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