Can the Lions be challenged?
A look at the WAFL...
SUBIACO has so dominated the WAFL in recent seasons that finding someone to actually challenge them in 2009 is priority one for the competition.
Priority two will be for the competition to regain its reputation in representative football against the SANFL and VFL over the next couple of years.
Brad Smith will play on for Subiaco in 2009 and attempt to kick 100 goals for the third season in a row. Some other interesting goal scorers emerged in 2008. Peel’s Hayden Ballantyne kicked 72 goals, won the Sandover Medal and was drafted by Fremantle. Ian Richardson kicked 62 goals for Claremont and scored five for WA in winning the Simpson Medal in the interstate game against Queensland. The left-footer was overlooked in the drafts.
Swan Districts pair Chris Yarran and Jeff Garlett each kicked over 30 goals in 2008. They will both be at Carlton in 2009.
There will be three new coaches in 2009. Andrew Jarman replaces Simon Eastaugh at Perth and it will be interesting to see how he goes in the WAFL’s toughest job. Headlines seem certain.
Tony Micale is back at East Perth where he coached premierships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Royals took the wooden spoon in 2008 under Glen Bewick. West Perth’s Todd Curley has joined the Fremantle coaching group and former Subiaco and Peel player Bill Monaghan will take his place at the Falcons.
Claremont: 2008 fairest and best: Ian Richardson. 2009 coach: Roger Kerr. Eighth in 2008. Former Swan Districts and Carlton player Luke Blackwell will play for his father’s team in 2009.
East Fremantle: 2008 fairest and best: Andrew McGarrey. 2009 coach: Shane Woewodin. Fifth in 2008. Courtney Johns is back from Essendon.
East Perth: 2008 fairest and best: Tim Noakes. 2009 coach: Glen Bewick. Ninth in 2008.
Peel: 2008 fairest and best: Hayden Ballantyne. 2009 coach: Chris Waterman. Sixth in 2008. Heath Black has joined the Thunder.
Perth: 2008 fairest and best: Brendon Jones. 2009 coach: Andrew Jarman. Seventh in 2008. Steven Armstrong has decided to stay and the Demons have picked up Matthew Moody, Matt Ferguson and Dean Dick.
South Fremantle: 2008 fairest and best: Toby McGrath. 2009 coach: John Dimmer. Fourth in 2008.
Subiaco: 2008 fairest and best: Greg Broughton. 2009 coach: Scott Watters. Premiers in 2008.
Swan Districts: 2008 fairest and best: Josh Roberts & Garth Taylor. 2009 coach: Brian Dawson. Second in 2008.
West Perth: 2008 fairest and best: Jay Van Berlo. 2009 coach: Bill Monaghan. Third in 2008.