Thank You, Graham

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 2:12 PM

Graham is an AFL Hall of Famer, Brownlow Medalist,  Claremont Premiership Captain, Player and Coach.  Mossy has pretty much achieved everything there is on the footy ground. When you meet the great man he is humble, quiet and polite. I have never heard him say a bad word against anyone.
 
The year was 1985, I was 17 when Graham gave me an opportunity to play against Carlton in a pre-season game. The game was memorable to me as I played on my boyhood hero Ken Hunter. I will be forever thankful to Mossy for believing in me and giving me my first league game.
 
Fast forward 30 years, I join the Claremont Board and Graham takes up the position of CEO. We are reacquainted and Graham has not changed a bit. Still competitive, focussed, organised.
 
On behalf of the Board, members, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, we thank you for your  hard work of transitioning the Club from the show grounds to our new facility. For keeping calm when all the stresses around you were mounting up. You had the ability to just get things done without making a big deal of any issues that arose.
 
The Club is extremely proud of the efforts that Graham has put into this magnificent club on and off the field. Graham is now stepping down as our CEO but I believe he still has plenty to offer in other areas and I look forward to Graham continuing to contribute on our special projects in the future.


Grant Povey
President

CEO Announcement 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 2:11 PM

Dear Members and Supporters,
 
It was a great win last Saturday which enabled the Club to secure a home Elimination final against East Perth this Sunday, the first final at our new club rooms.
 
This result provides me with an opportunity to make an announcement regarding my future at the Club, an issue I have been discussing with the Board for several months.
 
I have decided to step down as CEO of the Claremont Football Club at the conclusion of the playing season but will continue to be involved in a part time advisory capacity to assist initially with the annual financial audit and Annual General Meeting, carry out an end of season sponsors review and assist in the future with a number of special projects which the Club is considering including a major renovation of the oval playing surface and an upgrade of the oval lighting.
 
I was invited to take on the role of CEO in late 2015 primarily to assist the Club with the building project and the Club’s transition into the new building. The transition is now complete and with the transfer of the Liquor licence and catering operations back to the Club combined with the Club’s improved on field performance and the appointment of Darren Harris as Senior Coach for a further two years the time is right for me to handover the reigns to a new CEO.
 
I am pleased to advise that the Board has appointed Darcy Coffey as the new CEO and Darcy will commence in that role from the 8th October. Darcy is in my opinion the best Football Operations Manager in the WAFL and with youth and exuberance on his side is keen to broaden  his career in the football industry in the role as CEO.
 
The Claremont Football Club is very fortunate to have Board members who possess a broad range of commercial skills together with a deep understanding of the culture of a WAFL football Club and they will be of great assistance to Darcy as he transitions into the role of CEO.
 
Grant Povey has demonstrated in his short time as President that he has both the passion and skill set to guide this Club through the many challenges that WAFL Clubs are facing. Our main challenge is to maximise the financial opportunities which our new facilities provide whilst at the same time re-engaging with our members and the Tiger community and to continue the improvement of our on field performance so that a Premiership becomes reality in the very near future.
 
I have had an amazing journey with the Claremont Football Club as a player, a coach and a CEO. The Club has been a part of my life for over five decades and it will continue to be part of my life hopefully for many decades to come.


Graham Moss
Chief Executive Officer

Mitchell’s Milestone

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 1:16 PM

By Ken Casellas

Kane Mitchell is the consummate professional and an inspiring team player who will celebrate his 100TH senior match with Claremont when the Tigers do battle with East Perth in the WAFL elimination final at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Much water has flowed beneath the bridge since his first involvement with the Tigers as a member of the club’s 14’s side in the Claremont district junior competition in 2004.

This is his first year back after a five-year absence --- as an AFL player with Port Adelaide for four years and then enjoying a well-deserved respite from football as he and his fiancée Rachel spent 2017 travelling around Canada and north and south America.

The competitive edge still burns brightly and the super-fit, skilful and hard-running midfielder has developed into an outstanding leader who has played a significant role in the league side recovering from a tardy start to the season to finish in fourth place on the premiership table to earn the right to play host to the Royals on Sunday.

“I can see no reason why we can’t beat East Perth and go all the way and win the premiership,” Mitchell said. “We beat East Perth by 32 points in round 12 at Leederville Oval and beat them again by 24 points in the swamp here at Claremont in round 16.

“Our win at Leederville Oval was one of our better games of the year. We were on from the get-go, our pressure was good, our forwards kicked goals and our backs were unbelievable.”

Mitchell said that slow starts and giving the opposition big leads in the past two weeks before fighting back and beating Peel Thunder by eight points and Swan Districts by five points was far from ideal.

“You don’t want to do that in a final,” he said. “Five goals in a final is more like eight goals because of the extra pressure. However, we showed plenty of character to push through and win those two matches, and that was rather nice. But we don’t want to do that on Sunday. We want a big start; we want to fight and hunt.

“Over the course of the year our second halves have been really good and if we start well in the finals it will set us up perfectly for the second halves. We’ve got a great balance, a few old heads and a lot of young guys and as long as we keep hunting, applying pressure and backing ourselves in the way we want to play, I can’t see why we can’t be successful.”

Typical of Mitchell’s play throughout his career has been his fierce determination and when asked how he developed such a strong work ethic he replied: “Being the youngest of four boys brought about a highly competitive nature. I always wanted to prove myself. It wasn’t to prove anyone wrong, per se, it was more to prove to myself that I could do things. And I was so lucky to have the mentors and the quality of players I had around me when I was young.

“I had so many to look up to. Ian Richardson, in particular, was someone I latched on to. Richo and I used to do extra sessions together, and then Tommy Lee joined in as well. People might think that at Claremont we are college kids. But we work as hard as anyone, if not harder.”

Mitchell, now a battle-hardened 28-year-old, has excelled in his comeback season with the Tigers and he continues to amaze football fans with his endurance and wholehearted tackling pressure.

He showed early promise and was the winner of the fairest-and-best award in the 14’s grade at Claremont before making his debut in the Tigers colts side as a 16-year-old in 2006.

He finished second in the fairest-and-best award in the reserves side in 2008 and was fifth the following year when he also chalked up eight league appearances.  He played in five losing grand final sides with the Tigers, with the colts in 2006 and 2007, the reserves in 2008, the league side in 2010 and in the Foxtel Cup in 2011 before enjoying league premiership triumphs in 2011 and 2012 as well as a Foxtel Cup victory in 2012.

The year 2012 was a breakout one for Mitchell, who won the club’s fairest-and-best award and the Sandover Medal with a record-equalling tally of 58 votes. And then he was drafted as a rookie by Port Adelaide, a club with which he made 35 AFL appearances, including only four in 2016 when he won the fairest-and-best award with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL competition and finished equal third in the Magarey Medal behind Sturt captain Zane Kirkwood.

“I enjoyed my time in Adelaide,” he said. “It was awesome to live the dream and be a professional footballer and play in the AFL. The friends I made remain the biggest memories.”

Mitchell said that before joining Port Adelaide he had learnt a lot at Claremont where his teammates included several with AFL experience, notably Andrew Browne, Luke Blackwell, Andrew Foster and Byron Schammer.

“It was a step up at Port Adelaide where I experienced how competitive their players were,” he said. “They never wanted to lose at anything. They were so diligent about everything and dotted every I and crossed every T.”

At times, Mitchell was employed as a tagger by Port Adelaide and he explained how he was prepared for his run-with roles by shadowing star players like Travis Boak, Robbie Gray and Kane Cornes at training. “It was just to see if I could run with them, stay with them and then work offensively off them,” he said.

Mitchell admitted he was saddened by Port’s decision to delist him at the end of 2016 after 35 AFL matches. “But you’ve got to be happy with what happened,” he said. ”You can’t really do much about selection. You have got to try to play as best as you possibly can. I would’ve loved to have played a hundred AFL games, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“In the end you’ve got to be at peace with it. If you don’t then you can become really resentful about the experience. I don’t want to be angry or upset. I’m more than happy with where my career has gone. How many people can actually say that they have played AFL, let alone 35 games?”

This year Mitchell is Claremont’s co-vice-captain with Ryan Lim and he says that he is loving the leadership role. “Richo is a fabulous captain and I’m just a bit of a sounding board for him,” he said.

“We have a rather large age gap, with a few of us older guys and a lot of 21 and 22-year-olds and some even younger. I’ve loved the way Jared Hardisty has gone about his football this year. He is as hard as they come and is super impressive. Limmy is a great leader and Haydn Busher, Tom Lee and Jess Laurie have a positive impact. Ollie Eastland has been a dominant ruckman. There are so many positives.

“There were times this season that you had doubts whether we were good enough. But we have stayed the course and are ready to show our best. Our coaching staff has been absolutely sensational the whole year, giving us a whack when we deserved it, but staying positive all the time.”

League: Bolton Sinks Swans

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 12:42 PM

Photographer: Gary Day

Article by: Daniel Scamozzi

Brilliant midfielder Jye Bolton has made a habit of dominating the opposition at Steel Blue Oval during his nearly-completed three seasons as a Claremont Tiger.

So it was fitting that the ball was in his hands when the final siren sounded at the sunbathed venue on Saturday afternoon in the final round of the home-and-away season.

The Tigers were trailing by one point when Bolton marked a pass from Alex Manuel (eight marks, game-high five goals) at the eastern end of the ground about 40m from goal on a slight angle during the final stages of an enthralling contest.

Bolton, who works tirelessly and has nerves of steel, then split the middle to give the Tigers a pulsating five-point win, 13.13 (91) to 13.8 (86), sending the team and the travelling Tiger Army into raptures.

The result secured fourth position on the ladder and a home elimination final against East Perth at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Bolton, who recorded a game-high 33 disposals and won the players’ player award for his hardworking performance, will now play in his first final for the club, along with several of his teammates when the Tigers aim to knock off the Royals for a third time this season.

The Tigers’ ninth win of the season was their third in succession and resulted from a will to never give in.

Despite trailing at every change, the Tigers refused to surrender and ran out the game much stronger than Swans, with Manuel putting the team on his shoulders during a herculean final term.

The hardworking No.27, who possesses brilliant foot skills on both sides of his body and regularly brings his teammates into the game, kicked three of his goals to provide the inspiration the Tigers needed to record the latest in a series of nail-biting wins.

Defender Lachlan Martinis (19 disposals, six marks) is also in terrific form and was another key contributor, while hard-running, joint vice-captain Kane Mitchell (31 disposals, nine tackles), who plays his 100th game next week, continues to get to contest after contest.

17-year-old defender Jordan Clark (19 disposals) continues to shine with his skill, composure and superb ability to read the play, and brilliantly denied Swans with an outstanding smother at the start of the final term, while Tyron Smallwood made a promising debut and kicked a vital goal after the quarter-time siren.

Meanwhile, the hard-leading and strong-marking Tom Lee (eight marks, two goals) provided a focal point in the forward line, while Oliver Eastland returned from illness in one of two changes to the team that defeated Peel Thunder in round 20.

Swans were best served by strong-marking forward Brayden Noble (10 marks, four goals), but were overrun by a determined Tigers outfit and suffered their third consecutive loss and 12th for the season.

The Tigers kicked to the western end of the ground in the opening term but found themselves trailing by 19 points just before time-on after Swans kicked the first three goals on the back of dominating contested disposal and inside 50s.

A strong mark and accurate finish from debutant T. Smallwood pulled the Tigers to within 12 points at quarter-time, despite 15 fewer contested disposals and 11 fewer inside 50s, with coach Darren Harris imploring the team to lift and run harder.

A 50m penalty allowed Swans veteran Tony Notte to extend the hosts’ lead to 18 points early in the second term, before Clark took a great mark in defence.

Lee then kicked truly following repeat efforts from Clark, before Noble, who was already proving a handful for the Tigers, kicked his third and fourth goals.

Tigers captain Ian Richardson replied after making the most of a spearing pass from joint vice-captain Ryan Lim, before Swans hit back through goals to Notte (second) and David Ellard.

Now trailing by a game-high 29 points, vital late goals from Manuel and Haydn Busher pulled the Tigers to within 16 at half-time, in a situation that had a familiar feel to the encounter with Peel seven days earlier.

A strong mark and second goal to Lee resulted from a clearance from midfielder Jared Hardisty and gave the Tigers a perfect start to the second half, before a crumbing Tom Ledger gave the team four consecutive goals and slashed Swans’ lead to just five points.

Albert Dean replied for the hosts, before a holding-the-ball free kick and brilliant finish from Keifer Yu pulled the Tigers to within three points.

Manuel then converted a spearing pass from Lee and gave the Tigers the lead, before Tobe Watson edged Swans in front by six points at the final change.

A composed address from Harris reiterated that a home final was on the line, as Clark’s brilliant smother denied Swans in the early stages of the final term.

What came next was quite breathtaking, as Manuel kicked consecutive goals to give the Tigers a five-point lead, before 17-year-old Swans debutant Mitchell Bain ran from half-back to full-forward to kick one of the goals of the season.

Enter Manuel.

A fifth goal, this time a brilliant left-footed snap while running towards the boundary line, reclaimed the lead for the Tigers in what was turning into an enthralling contest.

Goals to Notte and Matt Riggio then reclaimed the lead for Swans, before Kaiden Gilbert and Richardson both had the chance to put the Tigers back in front but couldn’t convert.

It was then up to Bolton, who brilliantly iced the game and broke Swans’ hearts.

CLAREMONT 1.2 5.5 9.7 13.13 (91)

SWAN DISTRICTS 3.2 8.3 10.7 13.8 (86)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 5 A. Manuel, 2 T. Lee, 1 K. Yu, I. Richardson, J. Bolton, T. Ledger, H. Busher, T. Smallwood.

SWAN DISTRICTS: 4 B. Noble, 3 T. Notte, 1 D. Ellard, T. Watson, M. Riggio, J. Turner, A. Dean, M. Bain.

BEST

CLAREMONT: A. Manuel, L. Martinis, J. Bolton, K. Mitchell, J. Clark.

SWAN DISTRICTS: B. Noble, A. Howard, C. Gault, M. Riggio.

Reserves: Tigers Pipped By Swans

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 12:41 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves suffered a disappointing six-point defeat against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval in round 21, dropping the Tigers to third position on the ladder after the completion of the home-and-away season.

Despite a dominant but inaccurate (3.6) opening term which resulted in an 18-point lead at quarter-time, a drop-off in work rate and blue-collar effort from the Tigers resulted in a 14.7 (91) to 12.13 (85) defeat in glorious conditions.

Claremont now face East Perth in the qualifying final at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Midfielder Rylie Morgan continued his stellar form and recorded team-high totals of 28 disposals, 10 marks and nine tackles to finish as Claremont’s best player, while Jordan Law responded to his League omission by laying eight tackles and kicking two goals in a tireless and hardworking performance.

Ruckman Jeremy Goddard (17 disposals, 38 hit-outs) continued his good form, while defender and acting captain Jesse Laurie (six marks) returned to the team and marshalled the Tigers’ defence.

Morgan Davies (21 disposals, five inside 50s) returned from a back injury for his first game at any level since round 16 and was one of four Tigers to kick two goals, while defender Lewis Davis thwarted several of Swans’ attacks with his outstanding spoiling and deservedly won the players’ player award.

And Eddie Simpson (nine marks, two goals) responded to his League omission by working hard around the ground and taking several strong marks.

The Tigers kicked to the eastern end of the sunbathed ground in the opening term and got off to a great start thanks to goals from Law and Davies, with the visitors dominating territory and locking the ball in their front half.

A courageous spoil from the busy Declan McNamara was an early highlight of the contest, before forward Nicholas Allan hauled in a great mark.

A rare inside 50 for Swans resulted in the first of Steven Wityk’s four goals, before the returning Matt Palfrey made the most of an outstanding kick-to-advantage from defender Jacob Orr and gave the Tigers an 18-point lead at the first change.

12 more contested disposals, 14 more handball receives, five more tackles, eight more inside 50s and eight more scoring shots reflected the Tigers’ dominance, however, their wasteful return on the scoreboard had let Swans off the hook.

Coach Steven Armstrong praised the Tigers’ “really good quarter” but implored the team to be more composed with the ball and take its chances, before a goal to Simpson in the opening minute of the second term extended the lead to 24 points.

Taryce Stewart replied for Swans, before Nic Bucknall, playing further up the ground, kicked truly after repeat efforts from Simpson on the wing and a pass from Law to kick the Tigers’ fifth major and restore their 24-point lead.

A smother on the wing from McNamara reiterated the busy Tiger’s appetite for the contest, before Allan made the most of a great pass from Laurie to give the Tigers a game-high 29-point lead.

However, three goals in four minutes from Swans, including two more to Stewart, cut the Tigers’ lead to 10 points before Palfrey kicked his second major to extend it to 16 at half-time.

Swans’ Josh Cipro cut it back to 10 early in the second half, before a dashing run, two bounces and a cool finish from Davies gave the smooth Tiger his second major.

Goals to Adam Faulkner and Wityk (second) left Swans trailing by just one point at the 16-minute mark of the third term, before the speedy Bailey Bennett kicked truly for the Tigers.

However, second goals to Faulkner and Cipro and a third to Wityk gave Swans the lead for the first time and an eight-point lead at the final change, with a furious Armstrong demanding an improvement from the Tigers in terms of work ethic and blue-collar effort in the final term.

A second goal to Law gave the Tigers a perfect start to the final term and pulled them to within one point, before Alphonse Charlie replied for Swans.

Josh Bennett then kicked truly for the Tigers and was mobbed by his jubilant teammates, before consecutive goals to Swans gave the hosts a 14-point lead.

Simpson then kicked his second goal but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers, who now turn their attention to the Royals.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts suffered a 31-point defeat against Swan Districts, 10.8 (68) to 5.7 (37), a result which sees the Tigers finish in sixth position on the ladder after the completion of the home-and-away season.

CLAREMONT 3.6 7.7 9.10 12.13 (85)

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.0 5.3 11.6 14.7 (91)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 M. Davies, M. Palfrey, J. Law, E. Simpson, 1 B. Bennett, J. Bennett, N. Bucknall, N. Allan.

SWAN DISTRICTS: 4 S. Wityk, 3 T. Stewart, 2 A. Faulkner, J. Cipro, 1 J. Slater, W. Wilson, A. Charlie.

BEST

CLAREMONT: R. Morgan, J. Law, J. Goddard, J. Laurie, M. Davies.

SWAN DISTRICTS: S. Wityk, T. Whittle, A. Faulkner, J. Cipro.

Round 21 Preview Swan Districts vs. Claremont

Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 9:37 AM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont face Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon in the final round of the home-and-away season, where a win will secure the Tigers fourth position on the ladder and a home elimination final.

The Tigers will be aiming for their third consecutive win and ninth of the season, and enter the clash full of confidence after their inspirational triumph against Peel Thunder in round 20.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Reserves will be aiming for consecutive wins and to secure a top-two position, while Claremont’s Colts will aim to finish their season on a high and record their third consecutive win.

The club encourages the Tiger Army to attend the games and support the mighty Tigers.

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

Steel Blue Oval, Saturday, August 25, 2.15pm.

Reserves: 11.30am.

Colts: 9.00am.

RADIO:

Tune in to 107.3 HFM for LIVE coverage. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Played: 256.

Swan Districts: 97.

Claremont: 157.

Draws: 2.

League: Consecutive Wins For Tigers

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 4:03 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

An inspirational, come-from-behind eight-point win from Claremont against Peel Thunder in glorious conditions at Claremont Oval in round 20 has catapulted the Tigers into fourth position on the ladder ahead of the final round of the home-and-away season.

Despite trailing by 35 points in time-on of the second term, the Tigers staged a stirring comeback to kick nine of the last 11 goals of the game and prevail 12.8 (80) to 11.6 (72).

The triumph capped off a brilliant day for the club and 100-gamer Keifer Yu, who was chaired from the ground by captain Ian Richardson and Haydn Busher, before the Tigers belted out a rousing rendition of the club song.

It was then announced during post-game presentations that coach Darren Harris has signed a two-year contract extension.

A seven-goals-to-two second half saw the Tigers overcome Peel and record their eighth win of the season, with the hosts recording 80 more disposals, 38 more marks, 16 more inside 50s and three more scoring shots.

But it was the Tigers’ never-give-in attitude, blue-collar work rate and mateship which separated them from Peel.

Speaking of work rate, midfielder Tom Ledger has taken his defensive efforts to a new level since returning from a three-game stint in the Reserves, and was Claremont’s best player and kicked a team-lifting goal in time-on of the third term.

Defender Jack Lewsey (18 disposals, seven marks) starred in just his fourth game and won the players’ player award for his inspirational efforts, while prolific midfielder Jye Bolton (29 disposals, six inside 50s, one goal) also performed strongly.

Full-back Anton Hamp (16 disposals, seven marks) continued his outstanding form, while joint vice-captain Ryan Lim (24 disposals, six tackles) worked tirelessly and drove the Tigers forward.

Tough midfielder Jared Hardisty and hardworking forward Alex Manuel kicked two goals apiece, while returning vice-captain Kane Mitchell (32 disposals) laid a team-high seven tackles.

Peel were best served by small defender Corey Morris and forward Hugh Dixon (three goals), but were overrun by a more determined Tigers outfit after half-time.

Mitchell and Eddie Simpson both came into the team which beat Perth seven days earlier for Matt Palfrey (concussion) and Oliver Eastland (ill) as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze.

Busher kicked the opening goal of the game from a tight angle after being found by J. Hardisty, before Peel replied through Mitchell Crowden.

Bolton then restored the Tigers’ six-point lead, before goals from Brayden Lawler and Luke Strnadica gave Peel a three-point lead at quarter-time.

Wayward kicking (2.5) and 13 fewer uncontested marks were both areas that the Tigers needed to rectify, with Harris imploring the team to get more physical and use more voice, but also praising the efforts from Lewsey and Ledger.

Three goals in five minutes from Dixon gave Peel a strong start to the second term and a 21-point lead, before Jack Beeck steadied for the Tigers.

However, Peel hit back through goals to Blair Bell, Strnadica (second) and Lloyd Meek, giving the visitors a game-high 35-point lead, before late goals to J. Hardisty and Simpson saw the Tigers close to within 23 points at half-time and would turn out to be pivotal in the context of the game.

A second goal to J. Hardisty gave the Tigers a perfect start to the second half before the in-form Tiger set up Manuel with a spearing pass and the No. 27 converted to give the team four consecutive goals.

A brilliant smother from Lachlan Martinis in defence epitomised the Tigers’ appetite for the contest, before a dashing Ledger finished brilliantly to send the Tiger Army into a frenzy as the hosts closed to within six points.

A second goal to Lawler extended Peel’s lead to 11 points at the final change, however, the Tigers had wrestled back the momentum and turned for home with a boisterous crowd behind them.

After kicking four behinds in the opening term, forward Tom Lee found his radar at just the right time after repeat efforts from Lim and pulled the Tigers to within five points, before Richardson put the hosts in front with an outstanding finish from 50m.

A booming finish from Manuel (second) extended the lead to eight points before second-gamer Jordan Clark ran into an open goal to kick his first in League ranks and send a heaving venue into raptures.

A late goal to Peel’s Ben Howlett trimmed the lead back to eight points, however, the energetic Tigers wouldn’t be denied, as a steadying mark in defence from Dylan Smallwood denied the visitors and the hosts recorded consecutive wins.

The Tigers will aim for three consecutive wins and to consolidate fourth position when they face Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval in the final round of the home-and-away season.

CLAREMONT 2.5 5.5 8.6 12.8 (80)

PEEL THUNDER 3.2 9.4 10.5 11.6 (72)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 J. Hardisty, A. Manuel, 1 T. Lee, I. Richardson, J. Beeck, J. Bolton, T. Ledger, H. Busher, J. Clark, E. Simpson.

PEEL THUNDER: 3 H. Dixon, 2 B. Lawler, L. Strnadica, 1 B. Howlett, L. Meek, M. Crowden, B. Bell.

BEST

CLAREMONT:  T. Ledger, J. Lewsey, J. Bolton, A. Hamp, R. Lim.

PEEL THUNDER: C. Morris, H. Dixon, L. Strnadica, B. Howlett, B. McGowan.

Reserves: Tigers Roar Past Thunder

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 3:59 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves returned to the winners’ list after defeating Peel Thunder by 40 points in glorious conditions at Claremont Oval in round 20.

The 19.12 (126) to 13.8 (86) triumph – the Tigers’ highest score of the season – was set up by a 12-goals-to-five first half which resulted in a commanding 46-point lead at half-time.

And what a brilliant first half it was.

Midfield dominance, great ball movement, immaculate finishing and eight goal kickers was the result of the Tigers’ determined mindset and ruthless attack on the contest.

The Tigers were down two rotations for the second half, with acting captain and gun midfielder Jacob Sideris (groin) and the returning Ryan Murphy (two goals), who played his first game at any level since round nine, taking no further part in the game.

Overall, the Tigers recorded 38 more disposals, 23 more inside 50s and 10 more scoring shots on the way to their 12th win of the season.

Midfielder Rylie Morgan won the players’ player award after recording a game-high 32 disposals, a team-high eight tackles and equal team-high eight inside 50s as he starred in the middle and continuously drove the Tigers forward with his outstanding work in clearances, while Alec Waterman (26 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) was another strong performer and excelled with his penetrating kicking.

Nic Bucknall kicked a game-high four goals and was dangerous across the half-forward line, while Lewis Davis, who normally plies his trade in defence, kicked three goals – the first three he’s kicked at Reserves level.

And ruckman Jeremy Goddard (46 hit-outs) put on a clinic, regularly giving the midfield first use with his brilliant tap-work.

The tough-as-nails Isaac Wallace, Rhett Lloyd and Jack Blaauw all came into the team as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze, and they couldn’t have started the contest any better after Murphy kicked the first goal of the game in the opening minute.

Peel replied through Jacob Perry, before a great turn allowed the speedy Bucknall to kick the Tigers’ second goal after a clearance from Morgan.

Cooper Nitschke then dribbled through the Tigers’ third after a clearance from Waterman, before Peel replied through Robert Schindler-Taylor.

A great tackle from Lloyd earned the Tiger a free kick before Murphy kicked his second goal after a perfectly-weighted pass from the prolific Waterman.

Peel replied through Ben Roberts, before Nitschke kicked his second goal and Davis split the middle from outside 50m after a spearing pass from Blaauw.

The speedy Tyron Smallwood then became the Tigers’ fifth goal kicker after making the most of another clearance from the busy Morgan, giving the hosts a 27-point lead at quarter-time.

Seven more hit-outs, eight more clearances, 24 more contested disposals and nine more inside 50s reflected the Tigers’ dominance, with returning coach Steven Armstrong praising the team for the great start to the contest.

A brilliant hit-out from Goddard got the second term underway before Nicholas Allan gave the Tigers four consecutive goals and a 34-point lead after some great work from Smallwood.

Great pressure created a turnover and allowed the dashing Jake Stergiou to split the middle and extend the lead to 40 points, before Peel’s Oliver Walton was reported for rough conduct on Declan McNamara.

Michael Randall then kicked Peel’s fourth goal and ended a run of five consecutive majors from the Tigers, before a groggy Shaquille Morton left the field but would soon return.

Lightning transition from defence allowed Bucknall to kick his second goal and reply for the Tigers, before Kaine Ah-Chee kicked the first of his three majors for Peel.

Waterman then made Peel pay for a turnover in defence with a booming finish from outside 50m which split the middle, before Allan kicked his second goal after great passes from Brett Wilson and Smallwood.

The five-goals-to-two term extended the Tigers’ lead to 46 points at half-time, before Peel kicked the first three goals of the second half either side of a great smother from Wilson in defence.

A third goal to Bucknall allowed the Tigers to steady, before Peel hit back through Lachlan Cullen.

A great pass from Lloyd then allowed Davis to kick his second goal and gave the Tigers a 35-point lead at the final change, with Armstrong imploring the team to give blue-collar effort in the final term.

A great snap gave Davis his third goal and the Tigers a great start to the final term, before Ah-Chee replied for Peel with consecutive majors.

Smallwood then kicked his second and third goals either side of a second to Peel’s Schindler-Taylor, before Jacob Orr denied the visitors on the last line of defence.

James Wiltshire then kicked Peel’s 13th major, before Morton pulled down a screamer at half-back.

Wilson, playing a solid game in the unfamiliar role of defender, then got forward to kick the Tigers’ 18th goal before Bucknall kicked his fourth major after the final siren and with the theme song playing in the background to cap off a great win for the hosts.

The Tigers will aim for consecutive wins when they face Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval in the final round of the home-and-away season.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts recorded consecutive wins after defeating Peel Thunder by 20 points, 9.7 (61) to 6.5 (41).

CLAREMONT 7.3 12.6 14.9 19.12 (126)

PEEL THUNDER 3.0 5.2 9.4 13.8 (86)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 4 N. Bucknall, 3 T. Smallwood, L. Davis, 2 R. Murphy, N. Allan, C. Nitschke, 1 A. Waterman, B. Wilson, J. Stergiou.

PEEL THUNDER: 3 K. Ah-Chee, 2 R. Schindler-Taylor, 1 L. Cullen, J. Dowding, M. Randall, M. Humble, B. Roberts, O. Walton, J. Perry, J. Wiltshire.

BEST

CLAREMONT: R. Morgan, A. Waterman, N. Bucknall, J. Goddard, L. Davis, N. Winmar.

PEEL THUNDER: O. Walton, M. Randall, J. Kirby, K. Ah-Chee, A. Cohen.

Round 20 Preview Claremont vs. Peel Thunder

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 3:36 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont host Peel Thunder in a vital clash at Claremont Oval on Saturday afternoon, with the Tigers aiming for consecutive wins and to further consolidate their position in the top five.

Heading into the fifth-placed Tigers’ final home game and the penultimate round of the home-and-away season, both teams enter the contest with 7-9 records, though the hosts’ superior percentage has them two positions above the seventh-placed Thunder on the ladder.

The versatile, robust and dashing Keifer Yu will play his 100th game as the Tigers aim for their eighth win of the season.

The club encourages the Tiger Army to attend the game and support the mighty Tigers.

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

Claremont Oval, Saturday, August 18, 2.15pm.

Reserves: 11.30am.

Colts: 9.00am.

RADIO:

Tune in to SportFM (91.3) from 1.45pm for LIVE coverage. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Played: 57.

Claremont: 39.

Peel Thunder: 18.

Yu Notches His Century

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 2:26 PM

By Ken Casellas

The gentle nature and Keifer Yu’s ever-smiling countenance belies the fierce commitment he has shown on the field over the past ten years at Claremont.

And this year he has reinvented himself, switching from the role of a fearless and uncompromising defender to a robust and aggressive forward. His vigour, his courage and unyielding attitude has resulted in being knocked out six times, broken bones and a variety of injuries to most parts of his muscular body.

Now 27, Yu will chalk up a memorable milestone when he leads the Tigers on to the field for the clash against reigning premiers Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval on Saturday. He will be the 116th player to notch a hundred league matches for Claremont --- and only the second indigenous player in the club’s 93-year history to achieve this honour and the first from the Kimberley region.

Of the many outstanding Aboriginal footballers to have represented the Tigers, only dual league premiership player Kevin Mitchell (113 games) has reached the century. Many other indigenous men from Claremont went on to forge marvellous reputations in VFL and AFL ranks and they include Jim and Phil Krakouer, Derek Kickett, Dale Kickett, Michael Mitchell, Chris Lewis, Scott Chisholm and Gavin Mitchell.

Yu, charming and unassuming off the field, has never shirked a physical battle on the field and his inspirational courage has made him a much-admired and loved character at Claremont.

He holds a unique record, being one of only two men to have played in six premiership sides for the Tigers, the other being Gerrick Weedon, another indigenous star from the Kimberley. Yu enjoyed premiership success with the Claremont colts side in 2009, the reserves in 2010-11-12 and 2016 and the senior side in the 2012 Foxtel Cup triumph over Werribee.

Yu’s ferocious and fearless attack on the ball has left his body battered, bruised and broken, but he has never complained. His courage was rewarded in just his second league appearance when he won the Ralph Honner trophy as the player who most clearly embodied the Anzac spirit when the Tigers defeated East Fremantle by 72 points in April 2010.

Yu said that he had only one more box to tick after having played in six premiership sides --- and that was to help the Tigers win the league grand final this year, a task he believes is well within the side’s capabilities.

Sadly, for his many admirers, Yu will retire as a Claremont player at the end of this season. His partner Sophie is pregnant and is expecting the couple’s first child on January 30.

“I will be moving back to Broome at the end of the year and I’ll probably play up there with one of the clubs,” he said.

Originating from Broome and educated at Hale School, Yu was a member of Claremont’s development squads from the age of 14 and played in 17 colts matches in 2009 and, wearing the No. 20 jumper, he was a member of the side which beat Peel Thunder in a memorable grand final under lights at Subiaco Oval.

Wearing the No. 55 jumper, Yu made only five league appearances in 2010 when he admits he was a bit chubby. However, he became determined to succeed and his attitude to training improved dramatically. But he fractured his left wrist in 2010 --- and kept on playing --- before he tore the ligaments off the bone in his right elbow in the reserves grand final when, typically, going back with the flight of the ball, he landed awkwardly.

“I had an operation on my elbow and then surgery on my damaged wrist which forced me to miss the first half of the 2011 season,” he said. Yu returned to action in 12 appearances with the reserves in the second half of the season.

“I was still a bit unfit in 2012 when Marc Webb was coach and I played in two league and 17 reserves matches,” he explained. Fourteen league matches and six with the reserves in 2013 was followed by only five league appearances under first-year coach Michael Broadbridge in 2014.

“Those five games came towards the end of the season after a meeting with Broadbridge and Jake Murphy,” Yu said. “It was a straightforward conversation and they told me what I needed to do. It was to get fitter, and I took their advice and was able to play 21 league games in 2015 and 14 the following year.”

Yu has been a league regular in 2017 and 2018 under coach Darren Harris. He has missed only one game this year, and that was the week after he was knocked out and concussed in the round five match against South Fremantle in Albany in late April.

A fortnight before he was knocked out when he was tackled heavily and his head crashed into Nick Suban’s knee, Yu was a hero in the round-three match against East Fremantle at Claremont Oval when he kicked the winning goal as the final siren was sounding.

Jordan Law had taken a mark at centre-half-forward, about 40m out from goal and defender Yu dashed alongside his teammate and called for a handpass. Law obliged and Yu’s soaring kick was sailing goalwards as the siren blared.

“Darcy Coffey was calling me from the bench to get the ball because Jordy had missed one in the second quarter from about the same distance,” Yu said. “I’ve never done that before, calling for the handball in a similar situation. It was a pretty amazing feeling.”

Yu has is recognised as Claremont’s longest kicker, and this exciting goal quite likely prompted Harris and his coaching assistants to switch Yu from defence and into attack. “I think that the coaches wanted someone with a penetrating kick to head up forward,” Yu said.

Regarding his ferocious attack on the ball and his fierce tackling, Yu said: “I got that from my cousin Kimba O’Connell, who taught me how to tackle as a young fella. He’s a big boy and I’ve always enjoyed tackling.”

Yu, a qualified carpenter who holds a building diploma, has in recent years enjoyed mentoring youngsters from the Kimberley at Claremont. His message is: “Give it a crack and stick at it. I never thought I’d play a single league game, let alone one hundred. I hope youngsters Jimmy Egan and Shaq Morton go on and play a hundred games as well.”

Yu is looking forward to his parents Peter and Sarah and other members of the family coming down from Broome to watch Saturday’s match.

His biggest regret at ending his wonderful career at Claremont is in his words: “I’ll miss being around the club where everyone is so friendly and all have welcomed me with open arms.”