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2013 Season Preview: Part 1

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:04 PM

With only two weeks until the opening round of the 2013 WAFL Premiership Season, is going to preview the fast approaching season with a two-part Season Preview.

Part One - Looking Back

The Sharks had a magnificent season in all three grades but were unable to bring any silverware back to Moss Street.

Season 2012 began for the Sharks in Round 3, with a massive 44 point win over reigning Premiers Claremont at East Fremantle Oval.

The winning streak continued for just one more game against Peel Thunder, before the Subiaco curse continued as they registered their first loss for the season.

A loss to East Perth made it two defeats in a row but East Fremantle bounced back with a three match-winning streak.

The Sharks thumped South Fremantle by 85 points, Perth by 26 points and then recorded a thrilling come-from-behind win against West Perth by 2 points.

East Fremantle’s form the then seesawed over the next four games winning two and losing two.

By Round 13 the Sharks sat fourth on the Ladder with seven wins and four loses, just six points clear of fifth-placed West Perth.

The Sharks then cemented themselves in the Top Four after hitting a purple patch, w winning four games straight games.

They entered Round 19 sitting second on the Ladder, equal with Claremont on Premiership Points.

What happened next was East Fremantle’s only noticeable imperfection of the season, a 98 point thumping from Claremont.

Leading Goal Kicker Max Duffy went down with a leg injury that ended his League season, while Richard Hadley missed the next two matches after his cheekbone was fractured in an incident involving reigning Sandover Medalist Luke Blackwell.

A four point loss to South Fremantle followed before the Sharks finally bounced back with a resounding 103 point win over West Perth.

The win kick started a remarkable five game winning streak that was only brought to an end on Grand Final day.

Old-Easts beat the Royals by 7 points in Round 23 and Peel Thunder by 54 points in Round 24.

By the end of the Season East Fremantle had finished third on the Premiership Table, with 14 wins and 6 losses, earning them a home final.

Moss Street filled out for what was a rematch of the 2010 1st Semi Final, however the Sharks avenged their 14-point loss from two years earlier with a massive 47 point win. 

Rob Young and Leith Teakle both kicked three goals in the win, with Teakle playing in his first ever Finals win in his 164th League appearance.

The Sharks then turned up for what was one of their best performances of the year, booking themselves a spot in the Grand Final with a sensational 27 point win over Swan Districts in front of a crowd of five-and-a-half thousand.

Mark McGough played one of his finest games of the season; collecting 29 possessions while Steven Dodd held Swans spearhead Ashley Hanson to one goal. 

The win meant the Sharks would take on Claremont in the Grand Final, their first League Grand Final since 2000.

Many Sharks fans would care to forget Grand Final day as they witnessed the Colts, Reserves and League all stumble at the final hurdle.

The League’s Grand Final loss could be put down to a poor first quarter, which saw Claremont take a 47 point lead into the first break.

East Fremantle appeared inspired in the second term kicking six goals to three before a stunning third quarter saw the underdogs go into the final break just 7 points down.

Despite getting within a point of Claremont late into the final stanza, the reigning Premiers managed to outrun the dogged Sharks and win by 26 points.

Ruckman Jonathon Griffin was magnificent in a near best-on-ground performance that saw him kick three goals, take eight marks and win 48 hit-outs.

Bradd Dalziell also battled hard in the Sharks midfield picking up 25 disposals and taking 10 marks.

Rob Young was highly influential in the forward line kicking three goals.

14 players made their League Debuts in 2012, while Steven Dodd and Andrew Stephen were rewarded for their consistent performances down back with the duo picked in Western Australia’s State side.

Dodd was later rewarded for impressive season, winning his first Lynn Medal.

Josh Simpson (Fremantle), Marco Paparone (Brisbane), Max Duffy (Fremantle) and Harrison Marsh (Sydney) were all taken in the 2012 AFL Nation Draft while Alex Howson (Fremantle) was taken in the 2012 AFL Rookie Draft.


Season 2012 at a Glance

No of Players used in League in 2012: 40

Weeks in the top four: 22

Players in 2012 State 16s: Jack Cripps, Grady Tomelty

Players in 2012 State 18s: Josh Simpson, Harry Marsh, Marco Paperone, Andrew Stokes, Lachlan Dennis and Alex Howson

Players in 2012 State team: Steven Dodd, Andrew Stephen

Fairest and Best 2012 League: Steven Dodd

Fairest and Best 2012 Reserves: Aidan Tropiano

Fairest and Best 2012 Colts: Marco Paparone

Top five goal scores (and no of goals): Brock O’Brien 44, Jack Perham 34, Max Duffy 33, Rob Young 27, Bradley Dick 27


Looking Forward.

After their remarkable 2012 campaign the Sharks have a big year ahead of them in 2013, with high expectations coming from members, supporters, and the football viewing public.

Thanks to the new ‘Host Clubs’ situation, East Fremantle are set to lose up to 13 home grown AFL listed players in 2014 meaning this season could be their best chance to bring home a Premiership.

East Fremantle start their season on March 16 at home against Swan Districts before having a bye in Round 2.

2013 also sees the East Fremantle Football Club celebrate 60 years at East Fremantle Oval.

Sharks fans can look forward to possible Grand Final revenge in Rounds 9, 15 and 24 of the coming season, when they take on Claremont.

Derbies are always high on the agenda with the two Fremantle Side playing in Rounds 7, 11 and 19.


Keep a look out for Part 2 of the 2013 Season Preview, coming next Wednesday.


By Ryan Miller – follow him on Twitter @Ryan_DMiller