Fremantle AFL Football Club
Fremantle Football Club also called 'The Dockers' is a fairly new entrant to the Australian Football League. Due to its' long association with Australian Rules football, the club is based in the port city of Fremantle in Western Australia. The first football match was played in Fremantle in the 1880's and teams based in Fremantle won 24 of the 34 WAFL premierships. It was represented for over a century by two very strong clubs, East Fremantle and South Fremantle. However, it was only in 1995 that it got representation in a national Australian Football competition. The newly formed club held its first training session on 31 October 1994 at Fremantle Oval.
No sooner was it formed, that there emerged a controversy in 1997 surrounding the use of nickname ‘Dockers’. Levi and Strauss & Co. that manufactured Dockers brand of clothing objected the usage of name ‘Fremantle Dockers’. Even thought the club discontinued with the name, the manner in which the fans continued their strong association with the name led to the formation of a new arrangement with clothing giant that allowed the club to use the name on clothing and other brand elements. This also led to a change in club logo and playing strip.
After enduring a hard time in its initial years, struggling at the bottom of the premiership ladder, Fremantle Football Club made it to the finals in 2003, for the first time in eight years after its formation. In the club’s biggest ever games which it lost too, it played against Essendon at Patersons Stadium. This was followed by a defeat in the finals of the following two seasons. By the end of 2006 season, Fremantle Football Club had finished 3rd after pocketing record 15 wins in a year. Fremantle is also the only club apart from Gold Coast Suns that has never played in a drawn match, even though there was a huge controversy caused at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, Tasmania in 2006 in Round 5 match against St Kilda.
Matthew Pavlich has been leading the Fremantle Football Club ever since the beginning of the 2007 season. Some of the high profile players of the club include Aaron Sandilands, former captains Peter Bell and Shaun McManus, AFL Rising Star awardees Paul Hasleby and Rhys Palmer, Luke McPharlin and Jeff Farmer. Following the resignation of Chris Connolly in mid 2007, Mark Harvey became its new coach. This however led to little or change in the team’s performance that only slumped to it slowest score in the year 2009. It was in the year 2006 that the team made its first final appearance. The win was all owed to the strong performance put up by McPharlin and AdamMcPhee.
For the 2011 current season, the Dockers stand sixth on the Premiership ladder. It is at Freemantle Oval that the Club organizes its training sessions and also houses administration facilities. It plays its home games at Patersons Stadium and each year awards the Doig Medal for elite performance.