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Matthew Jupp To Celebrate 150 WAFL Games This Saturday

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 1:06 PM

After celebrating his 150th East Fremantle game last weekend (149 WAFL + 1 Foxtel Cup), East Fremantle Captain, Matthew Jupp will line up for his 150th WAFL game this week against Peel Thunder. Jupp has been a pillar of strength down back in recent seasons, winning the 2019 Lynn Medal and making his State debut this season against South Australia. We sat down with him this week to reflect on his career to date and some of his favourite memories.

Tell us about your first year of League football. Your expectations going in and how you found it?

I was lucky early in my career to be apart of senior group and a strong team. My first senior year was 2013 and the club was coming off the back of all 3 grades making the 2012 grand finals. I was probably gifted some games early, but I’ll never forget my debut. It was the 2013 Anzac Day derby. We played at South Fremantle Oval, and we ended up winning in front of 10,000 people. It’s still the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of. It was electric. I played every game in 2014 including 2 finals, one amazing 7 goal comeback and one heart shattering loss in which we kicked 27 behinds in a prelim. But footy was pretty simple for me back then, I just had to play my role in a good side that was rolling. It was a lot of fun!


You’ve experienced the ups and downs of footy, playing finals and then seeing the club struggle and rebuild- how were those experiences and how has that shaped your outlook on football?

After those early years and finals the club really struggled both culturally and on field performance wise. Whilst football was still fun for me, the embarrassment of dwelling at the bottom of the ladder burnt and stung. It was tough on so many fronts and looking back on it, I certainly wasn’t doing enough to get us out of that position. Those tough times have driven me to change the way I played, the way I lead and the person I am and that change I made was also made by many others which has seen the rise and rebuild of the club. Now we have strong set of values that we live by, we train hard and the good performances on field are just coming to fruition. Footy is still fun but winning just makes everything more enjoyable. And the lure of a premiership is what pushes me to run those grueling session in the middle of November when footy isn’t even in on the radar.


What are some of your favourite moments?

My two favourite games I’ve ever played in was my one finals win in 2014 when we came back from 7 goals down at ¾ time to win. And obviously my debut game. It was amazing to be a part of some great mates milestone games – Andrew Stephens 150th, Jack Perham 100th, Cam Eardley’s 100th and Jamie McNamara 100th. Trips overseas with the boys are great highlights and the coffees and dinners before and after trainings are usually the times I enjoy the most. 

Who have been some of your toughest opponents and why?

Being Full Back, I’ve had to play on some great players over the years. But the opponents that stand out to me are Andrew Strijk, who was powerful and quick and could score from 55m which always made him hard to stop, Tyler Keitel, who is quite agile for a big man and very strong in the air but quick to react when it hit the ground, Darcy Cameron, who was such a big kid but also mobile who was nearly impossible to stop once he got his hands up in the air and Ben Saunders, who not only sat on your head but could sniff out a goal from any angle. They would be a few of my toughest. 


Who has influenced or been with you along the way that helped you achieve this milestone?

Early days my junior coach Gino Stefani who stuck me at Full Back when I was 13, probably because I was too useless to play anywhere else. He gave me great belief in my ability and he showed real value in me as a person and footballer, that lit the fire. Jon Dorotich was the first person that gave me the hard conversation that I needed to improve my training standards to be good enough to make it to the level and for that I’m grateful. Stava (Former Coach, Steve Malaxos) for giving me first game and backing me in as a young kid. Bill Monaghan and Brad Dodd for taking my performance to a new level and helping me grow as a person and a leader. Mum and Dad have always been at my games and my biggest supporters, it’s a bit of running joke with a few mates that dad always says I was best on ground no matter how good or bad I play. 


In closing, a great achievement- any closing comments?

I just want to thank the East Fremantle Football Club for shaping me as a person after 12 years at the club I’ve grown immensely and it’s the lessons and values this place has instilled in me that has shaped me to become who I am. I’ll always be grateful for that.



Images by Phil Elliott