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Reserves Second Semi-Final Preview v Perth

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 6:40 PM

SOUTH Fremantle's reserves has been outstanding right throughout 2013 benefitting from 42 players used in the league team of 2013 and now head into Sunday's second semi-final a strong chance of going straight through to the grand final.

South Fremantle's reserves finished the home and away season with a 13-7 record to be in second position to book in a second semi-final against the minor premiers Perth.
The game will take place on Sunday morning at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval at the earlier start time of 9.05am.
The Bulldogs' reserves did lose their first two and three of the first four reserves games of the season and after Round 12 were sitting on just a 5-6 record, but lost just one more match the rest of the way home in a tremendous run of form.
With the league side performing better, injuries lessening and form players fighting to earn their place back in the senior side, the reserves became a well-oiled machine for South Fremantle in the second half of the home and away season.
They went on a three-game winning between Rounds 14 and 16 with wins over Swan Districts, Perth and Claremont before a hiccup in Round 18 against West Perth at Arena Joondalup.
However, that was to be South Fremantle's last loss of the season as the reserves team finished off with wins against East Fremantle, Subiaco, Peek, East Perth and Perth to secure second position on the ladder and a finals double chance.
Now if South Fremantle beats Perth on Sunday morning, the Bulldogs reserves will be straight through to the grand final. Meanwhile a loss will mean a preliminary final next Sunday against the winner of the first semi-final between East Perth and West Perth at Claremont Oval on Sunday.
It is a strong-looking South Fremantle side as well with Reece Adams, Warrick Andreoli, Alex Grima, Tyler Hall, Blaine Johnson, Tim Kelly, James Laurino, Jason Maskos, Kaiden Matera, Justin Monaco, Marlon Pickett, Kingsley Smith, Zac Strom, Brendan Verrier and Jarrad Winter all playing league football in 2013.
Several of those players because key players in the league line-up as well.
Adams, a premiership player from 2009, played 12 league games to take his career tally to 61 while Grima has played 25 matches, Winter 65 and Bewick 49.
Meanwhile, both Johnson and Pickett played the last two games of the year in the league team and were tremendous.
Pickett, 21, made one of the most memorable debuts ever in the win over East Perth and then backed it up with a strong showing against Perth in the final round while Johnson was terrific in his second game with 18 possessions and three goals against the Demons.
Laurino played the last three games and was outstanding in run-with roles keeping quiet Subiaco's Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and the AFL-listed Cale Morton.
Andreoli struggled in the first half of the season, but finished off the year in the league team playing tremendous football running off half-back.
Smith kicked 10 goals in 11 games in the league side to go with 16 goals in nine reserves matches.
Verrier proved himself an outstanding ball winner at league level over the last eight games including a high of 32 in Round 22 against Peel while Kelly is one of the most exciting young players in the WAFL playing the last 12 league games averaging over 19 possessions.
Matera also played three leagues during the year but in the reserves he starred as the competition's leading goalkicker with 47 majors.
Simon Panizza, Jarrod Parry, Strom, Dale Hamilton and Rhys D'Alton were also strong performers all season long in the reserves side with Myles Bolger showing good signs in the ruck.
The Perth team, however, is strong as well with league players from this year Mark Deaves, Simon Donovan, Brad Fry, Joel Houghton, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt, Jarrad Irons, David Johnson, Joel Kalajzic, Joel Leeson, Mitchell Lleyendekkers, Cameron Manuel, Michael Mather, Kane Ransted and Reese Richardson to line-up on Sunday at Bassendean.
SOUTH FREMANTLE TEAM:
Reece Adams, Warrick Andreoli, Shaun Bewick, Myles Bolger, Steven Borovac, Rhys D'Alton, Jayden D'Vauz, Alex Grima, Tyler Hall, Dale Hamilton, Blaine Johnson, Tim Kelly, James Laurino, Jason Maskos, Kaiden Matera, Justin Monaco, Simon Panizza, Joseph Pantano, Jarrod Parry, Marlon Pickett, Michael Russell, Kingsley Smith, Zac Strom, Anthony Van Manen, Brendan Verrier, Jarrad Winter.
PERTH TEAM:
Daniel Arangio, Tyler Chrimes, Jason Currie, Mark Deaves, Simon Donovan, Aaron Dow, Kristian Egan, Brad Fry, Ryan Gray, Sean Holland, Joel Houghton, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt, Jarrad Irons, David Johnston, Cameron Jones, Joel Kalajzic, Joel Leeson, Mitchell Lleyendekkers, Cameron Manuel, Michael Mather, Harrison Morgan, Kane Ransted, Reese Richardson, Blake Robinson, Chad Sandilands, Josh Stark, Kerwin Stuart.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle's reserves has been outstanding right throughout 2013 benefitting from 42 players used in the league team of 2013 and now head into Sunday's second semi-final a strong chance of going straight through to the grand final.

South Fremantle's reserves finished the home and away season with a 13-7 record to be in second position to book in a second semi-final against the minor premiers Perth.

The game will take place on Sunday morning at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval at the earlier start time of 9.05am.

The Bulldogs' reserves did lose their first two and three of the first four reserves games of the season and after Round 12 were sitting on just a 5-6 record, but lost just one more match the rest of the way home in a tremendous run of form.

With the league side performing better, injuries lessening and form players fighting to earn their place back in the senior side, the reserves became a well-oiled machine for South Fremantle in the second half of the home and away season.

They went on a three-game winning between Rounds 14 and 16 with wins over Swan Districts, Perth and Claremont before a hiccup in Round 18 against West Perth at Arena Joondalup.

However, that was to be South Fremantle's last loss of the season as the reserves team finished off with wins against East Fremantle, Subiaco, Peek, East Perth and Perth to secure second position on the ladder and a finals double chance.

Now if South Fremantle beats Perth on Sunday morning, the Bulldogs reserves will be straight through to the grand final. Meanwhile a loss will mean a preliminary final next Sunday against the winner of the first semi-final between East Perth and West Perth at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

It is a strong-looking South Fremantle side as well with Reece Adams, Warrick Andreoli, Alex Grima, Tyler Hall, Blaine Johnson, Tim Kelly, James Laurino, Jason Maskos, Kaiden Matera, Justin Monaco, Marlon Pickett, Kingsley Smith, Zac Strom, Brendan Verrier and Jarrad Winter all playing league football in 2013.

Several of those players because key players in the league line-up as well.

Adams, a premiership player from 2009, played 12 league games to take his career tally to 61 while Grima has played 25 matches, Winter 65 and Bewick 49.

Meanwhile, both Johnson and Pickett played the last two games of the year in the league team and were tremendous.

Pickett, 21, made one of the most memorable debuts ever in the win over East Perth and then backed it up with a strong showing against Perth in the final round while Johnson was terrific in his second game with 18 possessions and three goals against the Demons.

Laurino played the last three games and was outstanding in run-with roles keeping quiet Subiaco's Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and the AFL-listed Cale Morton.

Andreoli struggled in the first half of the season, but finished off the year in the league team playing tremendous football running off half-back.

Smith kicked 10 goals in 11 games in the league side to go with 16 goals in nine reserves matches.

Verrier proved himself an outstanding ball winner at league level over the last eight games including a high of 32 in Round 22 against Peel while Kelly is one of the most exciting young players in the WAFL playing the last 12 league games averaging over 19 possessions.

Matera also played three leagues during the year but in the reserves he starred as the competition's leading goalkicker with 47 majors.

Simon Panizza, Jarrod Parry, Strom, Dale Hamilton and Rhys D'Alton were also strong performers all season long in the reserves side with Myles Bolger showing good signs in the ruck.

The Perth team, however, is strong as well with league players from this year Mark Deaves, Simon Donovan, Brad Fry, Joel Houghton, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt, Jarrad Irons, David Johnson, Joel Kalajzic, Joel Leeson, Mitchell Lleyendekkers, Cameron Manuel, Michael Mather, Kane Ransted and Reese Richardson to line-up on Sunday at Bassendean.

SOUTH FREMANTLE TEAM:

Reece Adams, Warrick Andreoli, Shaun Bewick, Myles Bolger, Steven Borovac, Rhys D'Alton, Jayden D'Vauz, Alex Grima, Tyler Hall, Dale Hamilton, Blaine Johnson, Tim Kelly, James Laurino, Jason Maskos, Kaiden Matera, Justin Monaco, Simon Panizza, Joseph Pantano, Jarrod Parry, Marlon Pickett, Michael Russell, Kingsley Smith, Zac Strom, Anthony Van Manen, Brendan Verrier, Jarrad Winter.

PERTH TEAM:

Daniel Arangio, Tyler Chrimes, Jason Currie, Mark Deaves, Simon Donovan, Aaron Dow, Kristian Egan, Brad Fry, Ryan Gray, Sean Holland, Joel Houghton, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt, Jarrad Irons, David Johnston, Cameron Jones, Joel Kalajzic, Joel Leeson, Mitchell Lleyendekkers, Cameron Manuel, Michael Mather, Harrison Morgan, Kane Ransted, Reese Richardson, Blake Robinson, Chad Sandilands, Josh Stark, Kerwin Stuart.

By Chris Pike

Opportunity of a lifetime

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 8:34 PM

The opportunity of a lifetime - your chance to play a round of golf with Paul Hasleby, Shaun McManus and golf legend Terry Gale!

The Bulldogs annual golf day is being held next Friday 13 September at the Royal Fremantle Golf Club and we are giving supporters the opportunity to be the 4th player in this team.

Bid price starts at $500.00 for this exclusive offer!!

Place your bids ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE ONLY in the comment box.

Final bids close Thursday 12 September at 12pm.

WAFL Grand Final lunch with Kevin Sheedy

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 5:04 PM


Sunday 22 September • Bill Walker Room • Patersons Stadium • 12.30pm
Tickets : $150

 

Ticket includes 3 course meal plus beer, wine and soft drinks
Premium undercover seating for the Grand Final match
RSVP: Tracy Thompson (tthompson@wafc.com.au or 9381 5599)
by Tuesday 17 September

 

Bulldogs just fall short of fourth straight win to end season

Monday, September 2, 2013 - 3:18 AM

SOUTH Fremantle started on fire kicking the first five goals against Perth at Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday but just fell short in the end of finishing the season with a fourth straight win.

The Bulldogs were in tremendous form heading to the Lathlain venue for the final game of the 2013 season having won their last three matches against East Perth, Peel Thunder and Subiaco, and four of their last five overall to be building some good momentum.
That continued into the start of the contest against the Demons with the Bulldogs kicking the first five goals in the first quarter and leading most of the day, but Perth finished the stronger to end up winning 17.13 (115) to 13.13 (91).
South Fremantle now finishes the 2013 season in seventh position on the ladder with a 6-14 record but things improved markedly after a 0-7 start to the year.
The Bulldogs went 6-7 from that point on but more impressively won four of their last six matches including impressive victories over finals teams West Perth and East Perth along the way.
Bulldogs ruckman Sean Tighe was outstanding as he has been since arriving two years ago finishing the season off with a best on ground display with 29 possessions, six marks, 36 hit outs and six inside-50 entries.
Mitch Banner racked up 25 possessions and kicked two goals also to secure the club's leading goalkicker award for 2013 with Paul Mugambwa not managing a major for the afternoon.
Last year's Bernie Naylor Medal winner Ben Saunders kicked four goals while second-gamer Blaine Johnson booted three from 18 disposals.
Veteran Kris Miller also kicked two goals from 18 possessions and four inside-50 entries in his 298th WAFL game, and 145th with South Fremantle.
South Fremantle's back-line again provided strong run and drive led by 24 possessions from Adam Guglielmana with Dylan Ross having 21 disposals, Warrick Andreoli 20, Nick Borovac 19 and Adam McIntosh 19.
Ashton Hams was back from his one-week suspension after the win over Peel a fortnight ago and picked up 22 possessions with Toby Bairstow returning to the league side with 19 touches, Jacob Martinez 18, James Laurino 17, Tim Kelly 16 and Brendan Verrier 15.
Second-gamer Marlon Pickett again showed exciting signs after his remarkable debut last week against East Perth. On this occasion, he finished with 22 possessions, seven inside-50 entries, five marks and even four hit outs in another strong all-round performance.
South Fremantle's league team might have missed out on playing finals for the second straight year, but both the Bulldogs' reserves and colts sides will be taking part in the finals.
The reserves hammered Perth 16.15 (111) to 2.8 (20) and now the two teams will do battle once again in the second semi-final this weekend with a grand final spot up for grabs.
Alex Grima, Reece Adams, Jarrad Winter, Anthony van Manen, Kaiden Matera and Ben Sokol all kicked two goals each for South Fremantle's reserves in the massive 91-point victory.
Jarrod Parry collected 32 possessions for the Bulldogs with Dylan Main finishing with 25 touches, Winter 24, Shaun Bewick 23, Grima 23, Mitch Carter 23, Sokol 20, Simon Panizza 20, van Manen 20 and Adams 18.
The colts are on the hunt for a third straight premiership and finished the home and away season in second position with a 15-5 record to set up a second semi-final match-up with Claremont with the winner into the grand final for 2013.
Willie Rioli and Callum Ah Chee kicked three goals each for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart kicking two while Jacob Dragovich collected 26 possessions, Stewart 20, Jye Depane 18, Oliver Sexton 16 and Jarrod Garlett 16.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 6.4 9.6 11.9 13.13 (91)
PERTH 1.2 8.5 10.9 17.13 (115)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders 4; Johnson 3; Miller, Banner 2; Hams, Cook.
Best: Tighe, Banner, Pickett, Guglielmana, Johnson, Miller, Andreoli, Ross.
PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Leeson 3; Bevan, White 2; O'Sullivan, Reimers, Jacobs, Houghton, Richardson.
Best: Leeson, Reimers, Hodge, Stack, O'Sullivan, Sketcher.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle started on fire kicking the first five goals against Perth at Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday but just fell short in the end of finishing the season with a fourth straight win.

The Bulldogs were in tremendous form heading to the Lathlain venue for the final game of the 2013 season having won their last three matches against East Perth, Peel Thunder and Subiaco, and four of their last five overall to be building some good momentum.

That continued into the start of the contest against the Demons with the Bulldogs kicking the first five goals in the first quarter and leading most of the day, but Perth finished the stronger to end up winning 17.13 (115) to 13.13 (91).

South Fremantle now finishes the 2013 season in seventh position on the ladder with a 6-14 record but things improved markedly after a 0-7 start to the year.

The Bulldogs went 6-7 from that point on but more impressively won four of their last six matches including impressive victories over finals teams West Perth and East Perth along the way.

Bulldogs ruckman Sean Tighe was outstanding as he has been since arriving two years ago finishing the season off with a best on ground display with 29 possessions, six marks, 36 hit outs and six inside-50 entries.

Mitch Banner racked up 25 possessions and kicked two goals also to secure the club's leading goalkicker award for 2013 with Paul Mugambwa not managing a major for the afternoon.

Last year's Bernie Naylor Medal winner Ben Saunders kicked four goals while second-gamer Blaine Johnson booted three from 18 disposals.

Veteran Kris Miller also kicked two goals from 18 possessions and four inside-50 entries in his 298th WAFL game, and 145th with South Fremantle.

South Fremantle's back-line again provided strong run and drive led by 24 possessions from Adam Guglielmana with Dylan Ross having 21 disposals, Warrick Andreoli 20, Nick Borovac 19 and Adam McIntosh 19.

Ashton Hams was back from his one-week suspension after the win over Peel a fortnight ago and picked up 22 possessions with Toby Bairstow returning to the league side with 19 touches, Jacob Martinez 18, James Laurino 17, Tim Kelly 16 and Brendan Verrier 15.

Second-gamer Marlon Pickett again showed exciting signs after his remarkable debut last week against East Perth. On this occasion, he finished with 22 possessions, seven inside-50 entries, five marks and even four hit outs in another strong all-round performance.

South Fremantle's league team might have missed out on playing finals for the second straight year, but both the Bulldogs' reserves and colts sides will be taking part in the finals.

The reserves hammered Perth 16.15 (111) to 2.8 (20) and now the two teams will do battle once again in the second semi-final this weekend with a grand final spot up for grabs.

Alex Grima, Reece Adams, Jarrad Winter, Anthony van Manen, Kaiden Matera and Ben Sokol all kicked two goals each for South Fremantle's reserves in the massive 91-point victory.

Jarrod Parry collected 32 possessions for the Bulldogs with Dylan Main finishing with 25 touches, Winter 24, Shaun Bewick 23, Grima 23, Mitch Carter 23, Sokol 20, Simon Panizza 20, van Manen 20 and Adams 18.

The colts are on the hunt for a third straight premiership and finished the home and away season in second position with a 15-5 record to set up a second semi-final match-up with Claremont with the winner into the grand final for 2013.

Willie Rioli and Callum Ah Chee kicked three goals each for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart kicking two while Jacob Dragovich collected 26 possessions, Stewart 20, Jye Depane 18, Oliver Sexton 16 and Jarrod Garlett 16.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 6.4 9.6 11.9 13.13 (91)

PERTH 1.2 8.5 10.9 17.13 (115)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Saunders 4; Johnson 3; Miller, Banner 2; Hams, Cook.

Best: Tighe, Banner, Pickett, Guglielmana, Johnson, Miller, Andreoli, Ross.

PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Leeson 3; Bevan, White 2; O'Sullivan, Reimers, Jacobs, Houghton, Richardson.

Best: Leeson, Reimers, Hodge, Stack, O'Sullivan, Sketcher.

By Chris Pike

Excitement machine Mugambwa to keep flying for Bulldogs

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 2:00 AM

SOUTH Fremantle excitement machine Paul Mugambwa has confirmed he will play on in 2014 and likely the year after for the Bulldogs with the lure of life membership and the excitement from the strong band of youngsters too much to walk away from.

The 32-year-old has now played 127 games with South Fremantle since making his league debut with the Bulldogs in 2005 so in order to get to 150 matches to earn life membership; he will need to either play on in 2015 or for the team to play in at least two finals without him missing a game.
The story of the South African-born Mugambwa is one of the best ever WAFL success stories and he had to put in a lot of work, and he continues to, on his football skills after not playing the game growing up.
However, he has perhaps the biggest leap that any South Fremantle player ever has had and that has meant that despite standing only 182cm and weighing 80kg, he has been able to spend much of his career playing well above his stature and build.
Mugambwa has spent significant time in the ruck throughout his career but mostly it has been as a key forward target, but the added bonus for South Fremantle is that he is the best pressure forward in the competition as well and outstanding at ground level.
The first half of the 2013 season was tough to be the main forward target for Mugambwa given the team lost their first seven games and full-forward Ben Saunders was out injured, but has continued to battle hard.
He kicked another three goals from 14 possessions and six marks in last Saturday's thrilling and high-scoring win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval to now be leading South Fremantle's goalkicking with 32 for the season.
Mugambwa has now kicked 140 goals overall in his 127-game career and he sees no end in sight just yet while he is still enjoying what he is doing so much.
"I've always said to myself that the only things that would stop me from playing would be if my body couldn’t do it anymore or if I lost the excitement to play," Mugambwa said.
"I still love coming down and this was a great example of how exciting it can be when you see young guys make their debuts and carve it up. It's exciting times at the club and you can see the potential so I definitely want to hang around to play my role as much as I can."
There will be no South Fremantle player with a greater story to become a life member if Mugambwa is able to reach 150 games either late next year or in 2015.
That is something he would certainly be proud to achieve, but with him already having his name booked on the No. 20 locker and being a premiership player in 2009 means he already has left quite the legacy – not to mention excited each and everyone who has watched him play.
"If I play a full year next year I might end up at 148 if we don’t play finals, but I have been at the club for 11 years and I have set myself a few personal milestones. If I could get to 150 and be a life member of this club it would be an amazing achievement," he said.
"As you get older you tend to reflect a bit more and even this week I was thinking to myself that I'm not ready to leave all of this yet. I just love being around the boys and over the years I have literally seen hundreds of players come and go from this club.
"Some have stayed for two weeks and some for five years, but I have seen a lot of faces and to have been here for 11 years this club is my second home. For me to keep going with that lure of the 150 games would be a major achievement if I can get there."
While South Fremantle's attacking game was outstanding in last Saturday's 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win over East Perth with Kris Miller kicking five goals, Ben Saunders four and Mugambwa three along with three from debutant Marlon Pickett, it was the other end that Mugambwa was impressed with.
Dylan Ross and Nick Borovac have held down the key defensive positions all season tremendously while Adam McIntosh has continued his emergence as a leader and key player.
However, it's important to have strong defence all over the field and Mugambwa has also been impressed with the outstanding run-with roles James Laurino has succeeded with early in his career – firstly Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and now Cale Morton.
"Our defence has probably been our best line this year. Dylan Ross, Nick Borovac and 'Smack' have been unbelievable in terms of some of the big games they've had to play against experienced players," Mugambwa said.
"Jimmy Laurino came in for his first game and shut down Kayler-Thomson and this week he got the job on an AFL player and he just did his job. Everyone in our team knows they have a role and if everyone does their job we will improve, and hopefully get more wins."
South Fremantle had a tough first half of 2013, but has now won its last three games impressively and four of the last five including victories over top-four sides West Perth and East Perth.
Mugambwa has enjoyed seeing the team come together at the end of the season and that has him excited for the future as well.
"We've got a young group and it has taken some time for everyone to find their place and role, and for us to perfect our game plan," he said.
"The game plan has changed a little bit, but over the last two months we have kind of gelled a lot tighter, the way we've been executing our game plan has been outstanding and we've got a lot of exciting young guys coming up. It's been great and hopefully we finish off with another win next week now."
While young players like Tim Kelly, Brendan Verrier, Jacob Martinez, Pickett, Warrick Andreoli, Kaiden Matera, Mitch Carter and a host of players give the Bulldogs reason for optimism looking forward, Mugambwa also knows keeping some experience around is crucial.
That's why he wants to continue playing and he has certainly enjoyed having more help in the forward-line in recent weeks not only with the return of Saunders, but with 297-game veteran Miller also joining him in attack.
With Miller still playing such outstanding football and kicking five goals last Saturday for the first time in his remarkable career, and being so close to 300 WAFL games and 150 with South Fremantle, Mugambwa can't fathom how the soon to be 33-year-old could even consider retiring.
"Obviously as you get a bit older and I'm still only 5'11 and am asked to play a key position which can be hard, but when Benny comes back in that helps us a lot. He just finds a way to kick goals and he might only have three kicks but you know they will all be goals," Mugambwa said.
"Kris Miller is just so smart around the ball and so experienced that he thinks a step ahead. It's amazing to watch him because he's not that fast and they try older and younger guys on him, and he still outsmarts them. It's been great watching him close up since he joined us up forward.
"He has to play on, I don’t think it's an option to be honest. He's close to playing 300 games and isn’t far off life membership here where it would be an amazing milestone. He is so close to those milestones and he's playing really good footy so as far as I'm concerned he should definitely be playing next year."
By Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle excitement machine Paul Mugambwa has confirmed he will play on in 2014 and likely the year after for the Bulldogs with the lure of life membership and the excitement from the strong band of youngsters too much to walk away from.

The 32-year-old has now played 127 games with South Fremantle since making his league debut with the Bulldogs in 2005 so in order to get to 150 matches to earn life membership; he will need to either play on in 2015 or for the team to play in at least two finals without him missing a game.

The story of the South African-born Mugambwa is one of the best ever WAFL success stories and he had to put in a lot of work, and he continues to, on his football skills after not playing the game growing up.

However, he has perhaps the biggest leap that any South Fremantle player ever has had and that has meant that despite standing only 182cm and weighing 80kg, he has been able to spend much of his career playing well above his stature and build.

Mugambwa has spent significant time in the ruck throughout his career but mostly it has been as a key forward target, but the added bonus for South Fremantle is that he is the best pressure forward in the competition as well and outstanding at ground level.

The first half of the 2013 season was tough to be the main forward target for Mugambwa given the team lost their first seven games and full-forward Ben Saunders was out injured, but has continued to battle hard.

He kicked another three goals from 14 possessions and six marks in last Saturday's thrilling and high-scoring win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval to now be leading South Fremantle's goalkicking with 32 for the season.

Mugambwa has now kicked 140 goals overall in his 127-game career and he sees no end in sight just yet while he is still enjoying what he is doing so much.

"I've always said to myself that the only things that would stop me from playing would be if my body couldn’t do it anymore or if I lost the excitement to play," Mugambwa said.

"I still love coming down and this was a great example of how exciting it can be when you see young guys make their debuts and carve it up. It's exciting times at the club and you can see the potential so I definitely want to hang around to play my role as much as I can."

There will be no South Fremantle player with a greater story to become a life member if Mugambwa is able to reach 150 games either late next year or in 2015.

That is something he would certainly be proud to achieve, but with him already having his name booked on the No. 20 locker and being a premiership player in 2009 means he already has left quite the legacy – not to mention excited each and everyone who has watched him play.

"If I play a full year next year I might end up at 148 if we don’t play finals, but I have been at the club for 11 years and I have set myself a few personal milestones. If I could get to 150 and be a life member of this club it would be an amazing achievement," he said.

"As you get older you tend to reflect a bit more and even this week I was thinking to myself that I'm not ready to leave all of this yet. I just love being around the boys and over the years I have literally seen hundreds of players come and go from this club.

"Some have stayed for two weeks and some for five years, but I have seen a lot of faces and to have been here for 11 years this club is my second home. For me to keep going with that lure of the 150 games would be a major achievement if I can get there."

While South Fremantle's attacking game was outstanding in last Saturday's 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win over East Perth with Kris Miller kicking five goals, Ben Saunders four and Mugambwa three along with three from debutant Marlon Pickett, it was the other end that Mugambwa was impressed with.

Dylan Ross and Nick Borovac have held down the key defensive positions all season tremendously while Adam McIntosh has continued his emergence as a leader and key player.

However, it's important to have strong defence all over the field and Mugambwa has also been impressed with the outstanding run-with roles James Laurino has succeeded with early in his career – firstly Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and now Cale Morton.

"Our defence has probably been our best line this year. Dylan Ross, Nick Borovac and 'Smack' have been unbelievable in terms of some of the big games they've had to play against experienced players," Mugambwa said.

"Jimmy Laurino came in for his first game and shut down Kayler-Thomson and this week he got the job on an AFL player and he just did his job. Everyone in our team knows they have a role and if everyone does their job we will improve, and hopefully get more wins."

South Fremantle had a tough first half of 2013, but has now won its last three games impressively and four of the last five including victories over top-four sides West Perth and East Perth.

Mugambwa has enjoyed seeing the team come together at the end of the season and that has him excited for the future as well.

"We've got a young group and it has taken some time for everyone to find their place and role, and for us to perfect our game plan," he said.

"The game plan has changed a little bit, but over the last two months we have kind of gelled a lot tighter, the way we've been executing our game plan has been outstanding and we've got a lot of exciting young guys coming up. It's been great and hopefully we finish off with another win next week now."

While young players like Tim Kelly, Brendan Verrier, Jacob Martinez, Pickett, Warrick Andreoli, Kaiden Matera, Mitch Carter and a host of players give the Bulldogs reason for optimism looking forward, Mugambwa also knows keeping some experience around is crucial.

That's why he wants to continue playing and he has certainly enjoyed having more help in the forward-line in recent weeks not only with the return of Saunders, but with 297-game veteran Miller also joining him in attack.

With Miller still playing such outstanding football and kicking five goals last Saturday for the first time in his remarkable career, and being so close to 300 WAFL games and 150 with South Fremantle, Mugambwa can't fathom how the soon to be 33-year-old could even consider retiring.

"Obviously as you get a bit older and I'm still only 5'11 and am asked to play a key position which can be hard, but when Benny comes back in that helps us a lot. He just finds a way to kick goals and he might only have three kicks but you know they will all be goals," Mugambwa said.

"Kris Miller is just so smart around the ball and so experienced that he thinks a step ahead. It's amazing to watch him because he's not that fast and they try older and younger guys on him, and he still outsmarts them. It's been great watching him close up since he joined us up forward.

"He has to play on, I don’t think it's an option to be honest. He's close to playing 300 games and isn’t far off life membership here where it would be an amazing milestone. He is so close to those milestones and he's playing really good footy so as far as I'm concerned he should definitely be playing next year."

By Chris Pike

Chewin' the Fat – Kris Miller column August 29

Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 12:34 AM

THE WAFL is a fantastic competition and it has obviously been around for a long time and it has changed a lot over the last 25 years with the AFL kicking in, but in terms of its position in the state as a feeding competition it is hugely important.

It is a competition that I don’t think anyone would let dwindle. People can say it's struggling here and there, and whilst the AFL is the strongest sport in Australia, the second-tier competitions will never dwindle out because even the AFL knows how important they are.
It is probably even more important for the blokes who won't get to play in the AFL. It gives them a chance to play in a competition where your commitment is the biggest factor in you succeeding or not. You don’t need that commitment in the country or amateurs. We have 40 or 50 blokes at training every night, we have good facilities, we have physios and trainers here every night and you wouldn’t get that anywhere else below the AFL except in the WAFL in Western Australia.
From a playing perspective, I see that the competition is in a really good position but I wouldn’t have a clue from an administration point of view how hard it is to tap into the corporate dollar. From a playing perspective and a spectator's point of view, I think the competition is as good as it's been for a fair while though.
Whether I'm slowing down or not I don’t know, but it definitely seems like the game in the WAFL is a lot faster now than what it was when I first started when blokes would sit on the bench for three quarters and then come on and play in the last quarter. Now you come on in the first five minutes if you start on the bench so the amount of rotations has helped to speed the game up quite a bit.
Another big change in my time has been that you just don’t have the same amounts of senior players sticking around the club than there was back then but I think that is a bit of a reflection on society as well. Young kids tend to want things easier and easier these days and they aren’t as prepared to work hard for things as we were brought up to do. Even the generation before me, they had a totally different attitude to things where they persisted until they couldn’t give anymore but now if things don’t happen for young blokes straight away a lot of them don’t stick it out.
That is probably part of the reason why you don’t have a heap of senior players hang around clubs these days. A lot of guys might stay for a couple of years and as soon as it gets a bit harder or they get dropped or something, and they just disappear and give up.
The most important thing at WAFL level to maintain the players at the club, and not let them walk away just because things get a bit hard. I think sometimes the players get undervalued and forgotten when they are actually the club's greatest asset. People think that there are a lot of other people and factors more important than players, but at the end of the day without players there'd be no club. A club would survive for a year without a coach, CEO or doctor but they wouldn’t survive without players. That can get lost in translation sometimes and the club that can maintain the most senior players will end up coming out on top eventually.
When it comes to your coach, the most important thing is the way they manage people at this level. You have to man manage 50 or 60 who all have different jobs and lives away from the club, but if you are able to do it you are a long way ahead of the game. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do and you still are never going to please everyone, but if most players are enjoying being here and want to stay then I really think the rest takes care of itself. WAFL players need to have enormous commitment and dedication so if a coach can keep them happy, then he's done half his job. 
Without a doubt, John Dimmer is the best man manager as a coach I've played under and as a result he is the one I have had the most team success under as well. He really did keep things very simple but he also put a lot of trust in us senior players. If you had work commitments or couldn’t train for some reason, he would never question your commitment or anything like that and you get to a point where you just never want to do the wrong thing by him because of the trust he has put in you. No one wanted to let him down and that trust between him and his players was a big reason why he was so successful.
There is a lot of talk with the alignments next year that will come into play and I think they will have a fair impact on the competition, but it will come down to when you play a side and what sort of AFL players they have available. You might play Peel one week with all their Dockers players available so they will be a very good, but then another side might play them the next with no Fremantle players available and they could be a terribly weak side. In terms of that, it will have a big impact because you might play East Perth and Peel at full strength and another team might play them when they are weakened.
East Perth might be a bit different, but Peel will be very up and down dependant on their Dockers players. They could be very strong one week and very weak the next because I don’t think they will have the depth to be strong without their Fremantle players. If they can't have the depth there this year when it's not a full alignment, then next year is going to be a lot worse I would think.
The thing with East Perth back in the early 2000s, and I was at East Fremantle when we played them in the 2000 grand final when they won their first premiership, was that their strength was actually their senior players not the Eagles ones. They had Devan Perry, Rod Wheatley, Jeremy Barnard, David Swan, Ryan Turnbull and all those guys so that was their strength and then they had these young Eagles players who were top up to that. It was East Perth's core group who won them those flags and they also had some good young Eagles blokes to help out, but they had that stability of a core group so they didn’t rely on any AFL players to be their best players every week.
That's why I think East Perth will be better off than Peel next year if their senior guys like Johnson, Smith, Swan, Wulff, Seal and those types all play on. They will be a terribly difficult side to beat next year because they are a good side now this year and they only had two West Coast Eagles players against us on the weekend so they could have a side similar to the early 2000s if they were able to keep a lot of those senior players.
Off the field, things at the club have changed a lot over my career. Now there is a lot more emphasis on GPS and these sorts of things that weren’t available before. I wore one once and I blew it up, they weren’t able to actually get the data off it. I cooked it. Things like a GPS can't measure effort or commitment or desire or even your ability to find the footy, and there are more important things than how far you run. If you have that competitive desire, that will get you a lot further than winning a running race as such. There are a lot of fit people out there who wouldn’t be able to play good WAFL footy so all that sports science is nowhere near as important as people are making out.
By Kris MillerTHE WAFL is a fantastic competition and it has obviously been around for a long time and it has changed a lot over the last 25 years with the AFL kicking in, but in terms of its position in the state as a feeding competition it is hugely important.

It is a competition that I don’t think anyone would let dwindle. People can say it's struggling here and there, and whilst the AFL is the strongest sport in Australia, the second-tier competitions will never dwindle out because even the AFL knows how important they are.

It is probably even more important for the blokes who won't get to play in the AFL. It gives them a chance to play in a competition where your commitment is the biggest factor in you succeeding or not. You don’t need that commitment in the country or amateurs. We have 40 or 50 blokes at training every night, we have good facilities, we have physios and trainers here every night and you wouldn’t get that anywhere else below the AFL except in the WAFL in Western Australia.

From a playing perspective, I see that the competition is in a really good position but I wouldn’t have a clue from an administration point of view how hard it is to tap into the corporate dollar. From a playing perspective and a spectator's point of view, I think the competition is as good as it's been for a fair while though.

Whether I'm slowing down or not I don’t know, but it definitely seems like the game in the WAFL is a lot faster now than what it was when I first started when blokes would sit on the bench for three quarters and then come on and play in the last quarter. Now you come on in the first five minutes if you start on the bench so the amount of rotations has helped to speed the game up quite a bit.

Another big change in my time has been that you just don’t have the same amounts of senior players sticking around the club than there was back then but I think that is a bit of a reflection on society as well. Young kids tend to want things easier and easier these days and they aren’t as prepared to work hard for things as we were brought up to do. Even the generation before me, they had a totally different attitude to things where they persisted until they couldn’t give anymore but now if things don’t happen for young blokes straight away a lot of them don’t stick it out.

That is probably part of the reason why you don’t have a heap of senior players hang around clubs these days. A lot of guys might stay for a couple of years and as soon as it gets a bit harder or they get dropped or something, and they just disappear and give up.

The most important thing at WAFL level to maintain the players at the club, and not let them walk away just because things get a bit hard. I think sometimes the players get undervalued and forgotten when they are actually the club's greatest asset. People think that there are a lot of other people and factors more important than players, but at the end of the day without players there'd be no club. A club would survive for a year without a coach, CEO or doctor but they wouldn’t survive without players. That can get lost in translation sometimes and the club that can maintain the most senior players will end up coming out on top eventually.

When it comes to your coach, the most important thing is the way they manage people at this level. You have to man manage 50 or 60 who all have different jobs and lives away from the club, but if you are able to do it you are a long way ahead of the game. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do and you still are never going to please everyone, but if most players are enjoying being here and want to stay then I really think the rest takes care of itself. WAFL players need to have enormous commitment and dedication so if a coach can keep them happy, then he's done half his job. 

Without a doubt, John Dimmer is the best man manager as a coach I've played under and as a result he is the one I have had the most team success under as well. He really did keep things very simple but he also put a lot of trust in us senior players. If you had work commitments or couldn’t train for some reason, he would never question your commitment or anything like that and you get to a point where you just never want to do the wrong thing by him because of the trust he has put in you. No one wanted to let him down and that trust between him and his players was a big reason why he was so successful.

There is a lot of talk with the alignments next year that will come into play and I think they will have a fair impact on the competition, but it will come down to when you play a side and what sort of AFL players they have available. You might play Peel one week with all their Dockers players available so they will be a very good, but then another side might play them the next with no Fremantle players available and they could be a terribly weak side. In terms of that, it will have a big impact because you might play East Perth and Peel at full strength and another team might play them when they are weakened.

East Perth might be a bit different, but Peel will be very up and down dependant on their Dockers players. They could be very strong one week and very weak the next because I don’t think they will have the depth to be strong without their Fremantle players. If they can't have the depth there this year when it's not a full alignment, then next year is going to be a lot worse I would think.

The thing with East Perth back in the early 2000s, and I was at East Fremantle when we played them in the 2000 grand final when they won their first premiership, was that their strength was actually their senior players not the Eagles ones. They had Devan Perry, Rod Wheatley, Jeremy Barnard, David Swan, Ryan Turnbull and all those guys so that was their strength and then they had these young Eagles players who were top up to that. It was East Perth's core group who won them those flags and they also had some good young Eagles blokes to help out, but they had that stability of a core group so they didn’t rely on any AFL players to be their best players every week.

That's why I think East Perth will be better off than Peel next year if their senior guys like Johnson, Smith, Swan, Wulff, Seal and those types all play on. They will be a terribly difficult side to beat next year because they are a good side now this year and they only had two West Coast Eagles players against us on the weekend so they could have a side similar to the early 2000s if they were able to keep a lot of those senior players.

Off the field, things at the club have changed a lot over my career. Now there is a lot more emphasis on GPS and these sorts of things that weren’t available before. I wore one once and I blew it up, they weren’t able to actually get the data off it. I cooked it. Things like a GPS can't measure effort or commitment or desire or even your ability to find the footy, and there are more important things than how far you run. If you have that competitive desire, that will get you a lot further than winning a running race as such. There are a lot of fit people out there who wouldn’t be able to play good WAFL footy so all that sports science is nowhere near as important as people are making out.

By Kris Miller

Round 24 Preview v Perth

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 8:25 PM

SOUTH Fremantle is aiming to continue its strong late season form heading to Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday to take on a Perth team who hasn’t been able to capitalise on an outstanding start to 2013.

South Fremantle and Perth's seasons have followed opposite paths with the Bulldogs having a horror start but now finishing strongly while the Demons started tremendously before now finishing off in disappointing fashion.
The Bulldogs lost their first seven games of the season before breaking through with a win over Peel in Round 9. South Fremantle then scored a tremendous Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle two weeks later, but then again went on another four-game losing run.
However, South Fremantle has now found some outstanding and exciting form for the future with a 39-point win over West Perth in Round 18, eight-point win over Subiaco in Round 20, 93-point thumping of Peel in Round 22 and then last Saturday's impressive 12-point win over East Perth.
That means that South Fremantle has now won its last three games and four of its last five heading into Saturday's clash with Perth, but the Demons' season has headed in the opposite direction.
Perth started the season in exciting fashion winning its first three games and five of its first seven with the only two losses being by under a goal in thrillers against East Fremantle and Claremont.
The Demons lost three straight games between Rounds 10 and 13, but then bounced with four wins in five matches to again look set for a first finals campaign since 1997.
However, since Perth has lost to East Fremantle by 28 points in Round 20, by 60 to West Perth in Round 21, 48 to East Perth in Round 22 and then by 21 points last Saturday against Claremont to have now fallen to a 9-10 record.
The Demons and Bulldogs have met twice so far in 2013 with Perth winning two tight affairs – the first one by 13 points in Round 3 at Brownes Stadium and then the return clash by 10 points at Fremantle Oval in Round 15.
In that last meeting, Perth kicked the last two goals to win the game after South Fremantle appeared set to record the win when in front during time-on.
If Perth hoped to bounce back from a disappointing finish to the season and get a win at home in the final round, then it hasn’t been helped both at selection and with the fact that an in-form South Fremantle is coming to Lathlain looking to keep its own winning run continuing.
Perth loses four key players from the side that went down to Claremont last Saturday with ruckman Mitchell Lleyendekkers, centre half-forward Fraser McInnes, dangerous forward Simon Tunbridge and classy midfielder Jarryd Morton all out of the line-up for the Demons.
A host of players are looking to come into the Perth side for its last game of 2013 led by Jackson Sketcher who racked up 40 possessions in the reserves last week.
Joel Kalajzic, Christian Eyres, Mark Deaves, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt and Daniel O'Sullivan are the other players look to earn a spot in the Perth side.
South Fremantle's hopes of finishing the season with a fourth straight win have received a massive boost at selection with West Coast's Ashton Hams to return.
Last time he played for the Bulldogs was two weeks ago against Peel when he kicked six goals with 31 possessions while averaging 25 disposals in his eight games for the Bulldogs this season while also kicking 22 goals.
Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe does go out for South Fremantle, though, after injuring his ankle in the dying stages of last Saturday's exciting win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval.
Experienced duo Toby Bairstow and Reece Adams, and Mitch Carter and Kaiden Matera are all trying to earn a spot in the South Fremantle league team for the last game of 2013 as well.
Veteran South Fremantle forward Paul Mugambwa knows it's crucial for the Bulldogs to continue their strong recent form now on Saturday.
"It's 100 per cent crucial that we finish off strongly against Perth," Mugambwa said.
"We're not taking anything lightly and to our credit we knew six weeks ago that we weren't going to play finals and we could have flown the white flag, but we are set on finishing strong and hopefully beating Perth, and then supporting our ressies and colts in the finals."
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle is aiming to continue its strong late season form heading to Lathlain's Brownes Stadium on Saturday to take on a Perth team who hasn’t been able to capitalise on an outstanding start to 2013.

South Fremantle and Perth's seasons have followed opposite paths with the Bulldogs having a horror start but now finishing strongly while the Demons started tremendously before now finishing off in disappointing fashion.

The Bulldogs lost their first seven games of the season before breaking through with a win over Peel in Round 9. South Fremantle then scored a tremendous Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle two weeks later, but then again went on another four-game losing run.

However, South Fremantle has now found some outstanding and exciting form for the future with a 39-point win over West Perth in Round 18, eight-point win over Subiaco in Round 20, 93-point thumping of Peel in Round 22 and then last Saturday's impressive 12-point win over East Perth.

That means that South Fremantle has now won its last three games and four of its last five heading into Saturday's clash with Perth, but the Demons' season has headed in the opposite direction.

Perth started the season in exciting fashion winning its first three games and five of its first seven with the only two losses being by under a goal in thrillers against East Fremantle and Claremont.

The Demons lost three straight games between Rounds 10 and 13, but then bounced with four wins in five matches to again look set for a first finals campaign since 1997.

However, since Perth has lost to East Fremantle by 28 points in Round 20, by 60 to West Perth in Round 21, 48 to East Perth in Round 22 and then by 21 points last Saturday against Claremont to have now fallen to a 9-10 record.

The Demons and Bulldogs have met twice so far in 2013 with Perth winning two tight affairs – the first one by 13 points in Round 3 at Brownes Stadium and then the return clash by 10 points at Fremantle Oval in Round 15.

In that last meeting, Perth kicked the last two goals to win the game after South Fremantle appeared set to record the win when in front during time-on.

If Perth hoped to bounce back from a disappointing finish to the season and get a win at home in the final round, then it hasn’t been helped both at selection and with the fact that an in-form South Fremantle is coming to Lathlain looking to keep its own winning run continuing.

Perth loses four key players from the side that went down to Claremont last Saturday with ruckman Mitchell Lleyendekkers, centre half-forward Fraser McInnes, dangerous forward Simon Tunbridge and classy midfielder Jarryd Morton all out of the line-up for the Demons.

A host of players are looking to come into the Perth side for its last game of 2013 led by Jackson Sketcher who racked up 40 possessions in the reserves last week.

Joel Kalajzic, Christian Eyres, Mark Deaves, Kieran Hug, Matthew Hunt and Daniel O'Sullivan are the other players look to earn a spot in the Perth side.

South Fremantle's hopes of finishing the season with a fourth straight win have received a massive boost at selection with West Coast's Ashton Hams to return.

Last time he played for the Bulldogs was two weeks ago against Peel when he kicked six goals with 31 possessions while averaging 25 disposals in his eight games for the Bulldogs this season while also kicking 22 goals.

Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe does go out for South Fremantle, though, after injuring his ankle in the dying stages of last Saturday's exciting win over East Perth at Fremantle Oval.

Experienced duo Toby Bairstow and Reece Adams, and Mitch Carter and Kaiden Matera are all trying to earn a spot in the South Fremantle league team for the last game of 2013 as well.

Veteran South Fremantle forward Paul Mugambwa knows it's crucial for the Bulldogs to continue their strong recent form now on Saturday.

"It's 100 per cent crucial that we finish off strongly against Perth," Mugambwa said.

"We're not taking anything lightly and to our credit we knew six weeks ago that we weren't going to play finals and we could have flown the white flag, but we are set on finishing strong and hopefully beating Perth, and then supporting our ressies and colts in the finals."

By Chris Pike

Bulldog veterans back Pickett to go to next level

Friday, August 30, 2013 - 3:51 PM

MARLON Pickett made a remarkable WAFL debut with South Fremantle last Saturday in the win over East Perth and the Bulldogs' two oldest current players have no doubt he deserves a chance at the next level even if having played just one league game.

The 21-year-old had played the last seven matches in the reserves at South Fremantle to earn his league debut last Saturday at Fremantle Oval against East Perth, and what an immediate impact he made.
Pickett's sheer numbers in the 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win were incredible with him finishing with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.
However, there was more to his performance than just the numbers. Pickett showed he has tremendous pace and evasive ability but he also can play tall and mark strongly above his head meaning that he can virtually play any position on the ground.
With good size, all the physical attributes most can only dream of and clearly a temperament that allows him to stand tall on the big occasion, Pickett has a bright future even though his WAFL league career is just one game old.
Kris Miller has now played 297 WAFL matches since making his debut in 1999 so he has seen players of all shapes, sizes and abilities come in and make their debuts with differing levels of success over the last 14 years.
The 32-year-old, who kicked five goals himself in the win, can't recall ever seeing a better debut than the one Pickett made and he would be encouraging any AFL club to pick him up and put him on their list later this year in the National Draft.
"I would pretty strongly be suggesting that he could be one of the rare blokes who could get drafted on the back of just one game. People might have been looking at him before anyway, but those physical attributes he has don’t just drop out of trees," Miller said.
"He has done the work, he is a really good guy, he has never missed a training session and he is a quiet fella but I can't see any reason why an AFL club wouldn’t give him a chance. He is still a very raw talent who with a little bit of polish, could be very good at the next level."
When Miller first laid eyes on Pickett with his size but athleticism, he instantly thought that he resembled another South Fremantle veteran, Paul Mugambwa.
However, Mugambwa didn’t grow up playing the game having been born in South Africa and his football skills have been something that he has continued to work on during his career to go along with his incredible physical and athletic traits.
So Miller instantly thought that Pickett had all those physical attributes of Mugambwa to jump high and run fast, but also has those natural football skills as well.
"I can't think of a better debut that I have seen anyway, and certainly not one that was as exciting. His physical attributes are just fantastic with the way that he is a 6'2 player who could play in the ruck for us but also as a small forward," Miller said.
"Honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw Marlon was that he was like Paul Mugambwa but with really good skills. The best way I can describe him to people is that he is a young version of Gumby who grew up playing football.
"If Gumby was as skilled as Marlon, then Gumby would have been an all-time great. It's no disrespect to Gumby, but seeing Marlon is like seeing him although with good skills. Gumby has all those skills as well because he is quick, has a great leap, is mobile, has a great desire to compete and is versatile, and Marlon is the same. They both fly for everything."
Mugambwa also was a strong contributor in last Saturday's win over East Perth with three goals from 14 possessions and six marks, including yet another massive screamer to add to his highlight reel.
However, the 32-year-old 127-game veteran found himself in awe of what Pickett was doing out on Fremantle Oval as the game unfolded.
"I was one of the ones clapping out there half the time seeing what he was doing. Usually guys are nervous when they make their debut and it takes a while for them to get used to the pace, but I just told him to back himself and he took it in his stride," Mugambwa said.
"He was shimming guys, taking guys on, kicking goals, taking marks and he gave us a lot of the speed and drive that we've been looking for consistently over the course of the year.
"It's just exciting to see him out there and his family come here to watch him. He's got a great story and I'm really proud to see him out there and take his opportunity."
Mugambwa also has no doubt that with AFL clubs now more willing to draft players in their 20s that Pickett deserves to be given a chance to see what he can do at the top level.
The scary thought is that he has the chance to get even better if put into a full-time football environment in the AFL.
"It has changed so much now where AFL clubs are recruiting players a lot older and there isn’t really a roof on it," Mugambwa said.
"I might not get drafted at 34, but at the same time a lot of clubs are realising that they might have missed guys when they were 16, 17 or 18 but now they are doing really well and are worth looking at if they are in their 20s.
"It was only one game for Marlon and he might have harder games when he gets more attention from the opposition, but he has the potential to play AFL definitely."
 
By Chris PikeMARLON Pickett made a remarkable WAFL debut with South Fremantle last Saturday in the win over East Perth and the Bulldogs' two oldest current players have no doubt he deserves a chance at the next level even if having played just one league game.

The 21-year-old had played the last seven matches in the reserves at South Fremantle to earn his league debut last Saturday at Fremantle Oval against East Perth, and what an immediate impact he made.

Pickett's sheer numbers in the 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) win were incredible with him finishing with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.

However, there was more to his performance than just the numbers. Pickett showed he has tremendous pace and evasive ability but he also can play tall and mark strongly above his head meaning that he can virtually play any position on the ground.

With good size, all the physical attributes most can only dream of and clearly a temperament that allows him to stand tall on the big occasion, Pickett has a bright future even though his WAFL league career is just one game old.

Kris Miller has now played 297 WAFL matches since making his debut in 1999 so he has seen players of all shapes, sizes and abilities come in and make their debuts with differing levels of success over the last 14 years.

The 32-year-old, who kicked five goals himself in the win, can't recall ever seeing a better debut than the one Pickett made and he would be encouraging any AFL club to pick him up and put him on their list later this year in the National Draft.

"I would pretty strongly be suggesting that he could be one of the rare blokes who could get drafted on the back of just one game. People might have been looking at him before anyway, but those physical attributes he has don’t just drop out of trees," Miller said.

"He has done the work, he is a really good guy, he has never missed a training session and he is a quiet fella but I can't see any reason why an AFL club wouldn’t give him a chance. He is still a very raw talent who with a little bit of polish, could be very good at the next level."

When Miller first laid eyes on Pickett with his size but athleticism, he instantly thought that he resembled another South Fremantle veteran, Paul Mugambwa.

However, Mugambwa didn’t grow up playing the game having been born in South Africa and his football skills have been something that he has continued to work on during his career to go along with his incredible physical and athletic traits.

So Miller instantly thought that Pickett had all those physical attributes of Mugambwa to jump high and run fast, but also has those natural football skills as well.

"I can't think of a better debut that I have seen anyway, and certainly not one that was as exciting. His physical attributes are just fantastic with the way that he is a 6'2 player who could play in the ruck for us but also as a small forward," Miller said.

"Honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw Marlon was that he was like Paul Mugambwa but with really good skills. The best way I can describe him to people is that he is a young version of Gumby who grew up playing football.

"If Gumby was as skilled as Marlon, then Gumby would have been an all-time great. It's no disrespect to Gumby, but seeing Marlon is like seeing him although with good skills. Gumby has all those skills as well because he is quick, has a great leap, is mobile, has a great desire to compete and is versatile, and Marlon is the same. They both fly for everything."

Mugambwa also was a strong contributor in last Saturday's win over East Perth with three goals from 14 possessions and six marks, including yet another massive screamer to add to his highlight reel.

However, the 32-year-old 127-game veteran found himself in awe of what Pickett was doing out on Fremantle Oval as the game unfolded.

"I was one of the ones clapping out there half the time seeing what he was doing. Usually guys are nervous when they make their debut and it takes a while for them to get used to the pace, but I just told him to back himself and he took it in his stride," Mugambwa said.

"He was shimming guys, taking guys on, kicking goals, taking marks and he gave us a lot of the speed and drive that we've been looking for consistently over the course of the year.

"It's just exciting to see him out there and his family come here to watch him. He's got a great story and I'm really proud to see him out there and take his opportunity."

Mugambwa also has no doubt that with AFL clubs now more willing to draft players in their 20s that Pickett deserves to be given a chance to see what he can do at the top level.

The scary thought is that he has the chance to get even better if put into a full-time football environment in the AFL.

"It has changed so much now where AFL clubs are recruiting players a lot older and there isn’t really a roof on it," Mugambwa said.

"I might not get drafted at 34, but at the same time a lot of clubs are realising that they might have missed guys when they were 16, 17 or 18 but now they are doing really well and are worth looking at if they are in their 20s.

"It was only one game for Marlon and he might have harder games when he gets more attention from the opposition, but he has the potential to play AFL definitely."

By Chris Pike

Debutant shines as Bulldogs beat Royals in high-scoring thriller

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 4:53 PM

SOUTH Fremantle took part in likely the most entertaining game of the WAFL season in a 43-goal thriller with debutant Marlon Pickett starring to lead the Bulldogs to an exciting 12-point victory.

The 21-year-old Pickett pulled off one of the most incredible WAFL debuts in history when he put in a best on ground display as South Fremantle recorded the eventual 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) victory in the final home match at Fremantle Oval for the 2013 season.
South Fremantle had to come back from conceding the first five goals of the game against the finals bound Royals, but were able kick an incredible 15.1 in the second half to secure the 12-point win.
The Bulldogs might have lost the first seven matches of 2013 but have now built some exciting form to close out the season having now won three straight games, and four of their last five.
Having played the last seven reserves games, Pickett earned his league debut for South Fremantle against East Perth and he put on an incredible display finishing the afternoon at Fremantle Oval with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.
Blaine Johnson also made his league debut and didn’t find the going quite as easy but he did manage three shots on goal for the day. He missed the first two badly but was able to get on the board in the third quarter.
Not only did Pickett kick three goals, but South Fremantle's forward-line helped to combine for 20-plus goals for the second straight week.
Kris Miller has moved to half-forward in the second half of 2013 despite still being one of the WAFL's most prolific ball winners in the midfield and he had a day out on Saturday kicking five goals all in the second half from 19 possessions and six inside-50 entries.
It is the first time that that the 32-year-old 297-game veteran has kicked five goals in a match in his remarkable WAFL career over both South Fremantle and East Fremantle since making his debut back in 1999.
Full-forward Ben Saunders also kicked four goals for the Bulldogs from just five kicks with Paul Mugambwa starring particularly in the second half with 14 disposals, six marks, five inside-50 entries and three goals.
The Bulldogs' back-line was also terrific led by centre half-back Dylan Ross who kept East Perth's main big forward Brock Higgins goalless while there was plenty of drive from the defence with Adam Guglielmana finishing with 21 disposals, Craig White 18, Warrick Andreoli 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Adam Carter 17.
Third-gamer James Laurino was also outstanding in keeping West Coast's Cale Morton to just 15 possessions and no impact in the game while kicking a terrific goal himself.
Mitch Banner picked up another 27 possessions to go with seven inside 50s and five clearances for the Bulldogs with Haiden Schloithe terrific with 25 touches, five tackles, seven clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.
Captain Ryan Cook picked up 24 possessions, Tim Kelly 21 and ruckman Sean Tighe 20 to go with 30 hit outs, six clearances and four inside 50s in a good battle with East Perth's Paul Johnson.
East Perth kicked the first five goals of the game in the first 20 minutes to put South Fremantle instantly on the back foot, but by quarter-time the Bulldogs had the same amount of scoring shots but inaccuracy had them still 20 points behind.
South Fremantle then came out firing to start the second quarter with goals to Guglielmana, White and Pickett in the first nine minutes tying scores up.
When the debutant Pickett kicked his second at the 19-minute mark the Bulldogs were in front for the first time but East Perth kicked the last three goals before half-time to still be 15 point on top at the long break.
Retiring West Coast veteran Selwood then remained forward for East Perth and kicked his team's three goals of the third quarter, but South Fremantle was on fire kicking eight goals straight including three to Miller, two to Saunders and two to Mugambwa to be six points in front at the last change.
East Perth got back in front to start the final term, though, with early goals to Michael Swan and Aaron Sweet before Saunders put the Bulldogs back in front with his fourth goal.
East Perth got back in front at the 17-minute mark when Arthur Bennell goaled, but Miller responded for the Bulldogs with his fourth for the afternoon and then despite two more East Perth goals, Mugambwa, Miller and Pickett all goaled for the Bulldogs in the last 10 minutes to secure the impressive 12-point win.
South Fremantle's reserves also  beat East Perth by 29 points with Kaiden Matera kicking six goals and Ben Sokol four with Toby Bairstow gathering 30 possessions, Alex Grima 24, Mitch Carter 22, Jarrad Winter 21, Jarrad Parry 18, Reece Adams 17 and Shaun Bewick 16 in his second game back from injury.
The Bulldogs colts team also opened up the day at Fremantle Oval with a 20.7 (127) to 9.7 (61) victory over East Perth.
Jarrod Garlett, Joel McComb, Jye Depane, Callum Ah Chee, Traye Bennell and Willie Rioli all kicked two goals apiece for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart gathering 25 possessions, Matthew Gundry 24, Jarrod Pickett 24, Bailey Matera 23 and Braden Fimmano 20.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.6 7.12 15.12 22.13 (145)
EAST PERTH 6.2 11.3 15.6 21.7 (133)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Miller 5; Saunders 4; Mugambwa, Pickett 3; Schloithe 2; Cook, Guglielmana, White, Laurino, Johnson.
Best: Pickett, Miller, Laurino, Schloithe, Ross, Cook, Banner, Guglielmana.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Selwood 5; Bennell 4; Oakley-Nicholls, Sweet, Cadwallader, Swan 2; Lee, Seal, Johnson, Clutterbuck.
Best: Seal, Lee, Johnson, Oakley-Nicholls, Selwood, Sweet, Wulff.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle took part in likely the most entertaining game of the WAFL season in a 43-goal thriller with debutant Marlon Pickett starring to lead the Bulldogs to an exciting 12-point victory.

The 21-year-old Pickett pulled off one of the most incredible WAFL debuts in history when he put in a best on ground display as South Fremantle recorded the eventual 22.13 (145) to 21.7 (133) victory in the final home match at Fremantle Oval for the 2013 season.

South Fremantle had to come back from conceding the first five goals of the game against the finals bound Royals, but were able kick an incredible 15.1 in the second half to secure the 12-point win.

The Bulldogs might have lost the first seven matches of 2013 but have now built some exciting form to close out the season having now won three straight games, and four of their last five.

Having played the last seven reserves games, Pickett earned his league debut for South Fremantle against East Perth and he put on an incredible display finishing the afternoon at Fremantle Oval with 26 possessions, nine marks, four clearances, eight inside-50 entries and three goals.

Blaine Johnson also made his league debut and didn’t find the going quite as easy but he did manage three shots on goal for the day. He missed the first two badly but was able to get on the board in the third quarter.

Not only did Pickett kick three goals, but South Fremantle's forward-line helped to combine for 20-plus goals for the second straight week.

Kris Miller has moved to half-forward in the second half of 2013 despite still being one of the WAFL's most prolific ball winners in the midfield and he had a day out on Saturday kicking five goals all in the second half from 19 possessions and six inside-50 entries.

It is the first time that that the 32-year-old 297-game veteran has kicked five goals in a match in his remarkable WAFL career over both South Fremantle and East Fremantle since making his debut back in 1999.

Full-forward Ben Saunders also kicked four goals for the Bulldogs from just five kicks with Paul Mugambwa starring particularly in the second half with 14 disposals, six marks, five inside-50 entries and three goals.

The Bulldogs' back-line was also terrific led by centre half-back Dylan Ross who kept East Perth's main big forward Brock Higgins goalless while there was plenty of drive from the defence with Adam Guglielmana finishing with 21 disposals, Craig White 18, Warrick Andreoli 17, Nick Borovac 17 and Adam Carter 17.

Third-gamer James Laurino was also outstanding in keeping West Coast's Cale Morton to just 15 possessions and no impact in the game while kicking a terrific goal himself.

Mitch Banner picked up another 27 possessions to go with seven inside 50s and five clearances for the Bulldogs with Haiden Schloithe terrific with 25 touches, five tackles, seven clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.

Captain Ryan Cook picked up 24 possessions, Tim Kelly 21 and ruckman Sean Tighe 20 to go with 30 hit outs, six clearances and four inside 50s in a good battle with East Perth's Paul Johnson.

East Perth kicked the first five goals of the game in the first 20 minutes to put South Fremantle instantly on the back foot, but by quarter-time the Bulldogs had the same amount of scoring shots but inaccuracy had them still 20 points behind.

South Fremantle then came out firing to start the second quarter with goals to Guglielmana, White and Pickett in the first nine minutes tying scores up.

When the debutant Pickett kicked his second at the 19-minute mark the Bulldogs were in front for the first time but East Perth kicked the last three goals before half-time to still be 15 point on top at the long break.

Retiring West Coast veteran Selwood then remained forward for East Perth and kicked his team's three goals of the third quarter, but South Fremantle was on fire kicking eight goals straight including three to Miller, two to Saunders and two to Mugambwa to be six points in front at the last change.

East Perth got back in front to start the final term, though, with early goals to Michael Swan and Aaron Sweet before Saunders put the Bulldogs back in front with his fourth goal.

East Perth got back in front at the 17-minute mark when Arthur Bennell goaled, but Miller responded for the Bulldogs with his fourth for the afternoon and then despite two more East Perth goals, Mugambwa, Miller and Pickett all goaled for the Bulldogs in the last 10 minutes to secure the impressive 12-point win.

South Fremantle's reserves also  beat East Perth by 29 points with Kaiden Matera kicking six goals and Ben Sokol four with Toby Bairstow gathering 30 possessions, Alex Grima 24, Mitch Carter 22, Jarrad Winter 21, Jarrad Parry 18, Reece Adams 17 and Shaun Bewick 16 in his second game back from injury.

The Bulldogs colts team also opened up the day at Fremantle Oval with a 20.7 (127) to 9.7 (61) victory over East Perth.

Jarrod Garlett, Joel McComb, Jye Depane, Callum Ah Chee, Traye Bennell and Willie Rioli all kicked two goals apiece for South Fremantle with Tim Stewart gathering 25 possessions, Matthew Gundry 24, Jarrod Pickett 24, Bailey Matera 23 and Braden Fimmano 20.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.6 7.12 15.12 22.13 (145)

EAST PERTH 6.2 11.3 15.6 21.7 (133)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Miller 5; Saunders 4; Mugambwa, Pickett 3; Schloithe 2; Cook, Guglielmana, White, Laurino, Johnson.

Best: Pickett, Miller, Laurino, Schloithe, Ross, Cook, Banner, Guglielmana.

EAST PERTH – Goals: Selwood 5; Bennell 4; Oakley-Nicholls, Sweet, Cadwallader, Swan 2; Lee, Seal, Johnson, Clutterbuck.

Best: Seal, Lee, Johnson, Oakley-Nicholls, Selwood, Sweet, Wulff.

By Chris Pike

McIntosh enjoying more responsibility with Bulldogs

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 10:31 PM

ADAM McIntosh was entrusted with a spot in South Fremantle's leadership group in 2013 and he continues to emerge as a future captain of the club with outstanding form as a key part of the defensive unit.

McIntosh had played just 17 league games with the Bulldogs coming into the season, but was one of a host of emerging players added to the leadership group underneath captain Ryan Cook and vice-captain Craig White and is paid back that faith shown in him in spades throughout the season.
The 23-year-old has had a strong season but had a day out last Sunday in South Fremantle's thumping 93-point win over Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals.
Not only was McIntosh's offensive game off half-back outstanding, but defensively he also did well holding former Sydney player Kristin Thornton to just 12 disposals and one goal.
"It's good to finally get some reward off half-back, it has been pretty tough there chasing players around all year. It was good to just play well personally. I had a pretty slow start to the year, but the last few games have been pretty good so that is good going into next year," McIntosh said.
"I was lucky he didn’t kick very straight, but it was also good to keep him pretty quiet. At the start of the year I was beating my opponents but wasn’t doing enough with my offensive run so it's good to be doing both at the end of the year."
It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for McIntosh this season though.
He was dropped after a quiet game against Swan Districts in Round 5 but took it on the chin well and went back to the reserves to rack up 37 possessions the next week against Subiaco and has been cemented back in the team since with his form getting better every week.
He was solid in the first half of the year but didn’t crack 20 possessions in the first 14 rounds, but he has managed to do that in all six games since culminating in the season-best 26 against Peel last Sunday.
McIntosh actually appreciates that he was given the wake-up call from coach Paul Hasleby early on in the season and is happy with the form he has been able to build throughout the season.
"I probably needed it to be honest," he said.
"I didn’t have much form and I went back to the twos and got some confidence back, and got my own game back on track. The last few weeks now things have started to really come together."
As for the win over Peel last Sunday, it was South Fremantle's biggest of the year and the 93-point margin was the biggest win in all of the WAFL this season.
It also made it the first time that the Bulldogs have strung successive wins together and after a tough year for the club, it was good for McIntosh and his teammates to get to enjoy a game that they had sewn up early to give them a chance to just have fun playing football for an afternoon.
"It was good to have a win like that. We haven’t had much success this year so it's good to finish the season well and have some confidence running into next year," McIntosh said.
"It has been pretty disappointing but it's good to find some form running into next year and finally getting the game plan that Hase wants us to play happening.
"It was pretty enjoyable out there. Everyone gets a kick, everyone gets to kick some goals and days like that are always pretty enjoyable.
"We have shown throughout the year that if we bring four quarters of effort then we can match it with everyone. We did that this week and against a lower side we just showed how well we can play."
With so many leaders and experienced players leaving South Fremantle in recent years including Toby McGrath, Hayden North, Ryan Murphy, Josh Head, Andrew McCarrey, Callum Wilson and Theo Adams the youngsters have needed to step up.
McIntosh has been one added to the leadership group this season along with Nick Borovac and Mitch Carter with Cook, White, Adam Guglielmana and Paul Mugambwa the more experienced members of that group.
McIntosh both has enjoyed being part of the leadership group this year and also likes the look of the defensive unit he is forming part of alongside Dylan Ross, Borovac, White, Guglielmana, Mitch Carter and at times Adam Carter.
"We are all pretty young but we are all starting to gel and the more games we get to play together and experience, the better we get. If we can all stick around, then we should be a pretty force back there for a long time," he said. 
"I have enjoyed being in the leadership group. I'm not much of a big talker off the field, but on the field I don’t mind using my voice and I am starting to learn a lot of leadership qualities from guys like Whitey and Cooky."
The Bulldogs now face a big test this Saturday against East Perth in the final game of the season at Fremantle Oval in the penultimate round, but McIntosh is confident of South Fremantle doing well even though the Royals are set for a finals berth in 2013.
"East Perth is probably the form side at the moment but if we played like we did this week and like we did show against Claremont, Perth and West Perth we can match it with them I reckon."
By Chris PikeADAM McIntosh was entrusted with a spot in South Fremantle's leadership group in 2013 and he continues to emerge as a future captain of the club with outstanding form as a key part of the defensive unit.

McIntosh had played just 17 league games with the Bulldogs coming into the season, but was one of a host of emerging players added to the leadership group underneath captain Ryan Cook and vice-captain Craig White and is paid back that faith shown in him in spades throughout the season.

The 23-year-old has had a strong season but had a day out last Sunday in South Fremantle's thumping 93-point win over Peel Thunder at Mandurah's Bendigo Bank Stadium finishing with 26 possessions and a career-best three goals.

Not only was McIntosh's offensive game off half-back outstanding, but defensively he also did well holding former Sydney player Kristin Thornton to just 12 disposals and one goal.

"It's good to finally get some reward off half-back, it has been pretty tough there chasing players around all year. It was good to just play well personally. I had a pretty slow start to the year, but the last few games have been pretty good so that is good going into next year," McIntosh said.

"I was lucky he didn’t kick very straight, but it was also good to keep him pretty quiet. At the start of the year I was beating my opponents but wasn’t doing enough with my offensive run so it's good to be doing both at the end of the year."

It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing for McIntosh this season though.

He was dropped after a quiet game against Swan Districts in Round 5 but took it on the chin well and went back to the reserves to rack up 37 possessions the next week against Subiaco and has been cemented back in the team since with his form getting better every week.

He was solid in the first half of the year but didn’t crack 20 possessions in the first 14 rounds, but he has managed to do that in all six games since culminating in the season-best 26 against Peel last Sunday.

McIntosh actually appreciates that he was given the wake-up call from coach Paul Hasleby early on in the season and is happy with the form he has been able to build throughout the season.

"I probably needed it to be honest," he said.

"I didn’t have much form and I went back to the twos and got some confidence back, and got my own game back on track. The last few weeks now things have started to really come together."

As for the win over Peel last Sunday, it was South Fremantle's biggest of the year and the 93-point margin was the biggest win in all of the WAFL this season.

It also made it the first time that the Bulldogs have strung successive wins together and after a tough year for the club, it was good for McIntosh and his teammates to get to enjoy a game that they had sewn up early to give them a chance to just have fun playing football for an afternoon.

"It was good to have a win like that. We haven’t had much success this year so it's good to finish the season well and have some confidence running into next year," McIntosh said.

"It has been pretty disappointing but it's good to find some form running into next year and finally getting the game plan that Hase wants us to play happening.

"It was pretty enjoyable out there. Everyone gets a kick, everyone gets to kick some goals and days like that are always pretty enjoyable.

"We have shown throughout the year that if we bring four quarters of effort then we can match it with everyone. We did that this week and against a lower side we just showed how well we can play."

With so many leaders and experienced players leaving South Fremantle in recent years including Toby McGrath, Hayden North, Ryan Murphy, Josh Head, Andrew McCarrey, Callum Wilson and Theo Adams the youngsters have needed to step up.

McIntosh has been one added to the leadership group this season along with Nick Borovac and Mitch Carter with Cook, White, Adam Guglielmana and Paul Mugambwa the more experienced members of that group.

McIntosh both has enjoyed being part of the leadership group this year and also likes the look of the defensive unit he is forming part of alongside Dylan Ross, Borovac, White, Guglielmana, Mitch Carter and at times Adam Carter.

"We are all pretty young but we are all starting to gel and the more games we get to play together and experience, the better we get. If we can all stick around, then we should be a pretty force back there for a long time," he said. 

"I have enjoyed being in the leadership group. I'm not much of a big talker off the field, but on the field I don’t mind using my voice and I am starting to learn a lot of leadership qualities from guys like Whitey and Cooky."

The Bulldogs now face a big test this Saturday against East Perth in the final game of the season at Fremantle Oval in the penultimate round, but McIntosh is confident of South Fremantle doing well even though the Royals are set for a finals berth in 2013.

"East Perth is probably the form side at the moment but if we played like we did this week and like we did show against Claremont, Perth and West Perth we can match it with them I reckon."

By Chris Pike