WAFL Zoning (and Expansion)

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Silent Alarm

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I've uploaded a list of metro zones for the WAFL. The reason I'm bringing this up is to have a domain for an on-going and probably forever going debate regarding districts and ownerships. These screenshots are from a 2009 pdf but 90% of the information is right on, with only marginal changes and alterations coming up.

These images might be low resolution or constantly changing in shape, but they're ripped from a document. I can't be bothered sourcing the precise boundaries on maps, and these illustrate the zones.

The WAFC operates from a 'spoke' model in terms of the metro area – essentially dichotomising the urban sprawl. Established areas and growth areas are taken into account. For example, West Perth have the north (near where they play, up in Joondalup) and Peel have the whole Peel and lower region. This is unlike Claremont with their comfortable inner-city areas. Speaking of which, the Tiges have the plushy golden triangle while South Fremantle and Swans have the biggest area in terms of participation but the lowest in terms of socio-economics.

spoke.png

Claremont Tigers
claremont.png


Perth Demons
demons.png


East Fremantle
east fremantle.png


East Perth
east perth.png


Peel Thunder
peel.png


South Fremantle
souths.png


Subiaco Lions
subi.png


Swan Districts
swans.png


West Perth
westperth.png
 
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Silent Alarm

sack Lyon
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One question: West Perth have gone northward to differentiate themselves and have been in Joondalup for, what, 20 years? Their zone has changed as a result. Although not right in the middle, Arena Joondalup is close enough for most potential juniors to travel to. And it also caters to the biggest, nearest population pool. Furthermore, like Peel, the ground is capable of always getting funding – they are political gold in low socio-economic areas. Funding will always exist and be patronised.

But what about clubs like East Fremantle? Their home ground is falling down. And even if it were up to nick, it's still a collection of tin sheds. It's also far too close to Fremantle proper (and Souths). Considering the issue with local councils and the way their zone tilts so south-westerly, should they buy a new ground closer to this area? Would this encourage new supporters and ease travel for young players? There's Trevor Gribble Park in Bull Creek and Karoonda Park in Booragoon that could be used to set up facilities for Old Easts.

Perth are also about to lose their ground temporarily as the Eagles set up. And with an AFL club training full time, should they look elsewhere? Would they be wise to join up with Curtin University and utilise South Oval and Curtin Stadium?

What about East Perth and Subiaco – who don't even gain their zone anywhere near Leederville Oval? There's a place in Bayswater suitable for Royals, who'd probably end up sharing with the cricket (and footy?) club that's already there.

Second question: The WAFL league is set and stuck at the nine teams. There's no need to expand considering the perpetual shitness of Peel and the struggles of Perth. There are also issues with the dilution of sponsorships and resources. But should there be another colts side? Considering the existence of the bye, it would be simple to instal a new side that would simply play against whoever didn't that week. And where should this potential club set up shop? Bunbury? Kalgoorlie? Is even Albany close enough?
 
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fabulousphil

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Perth should move down to around the Carousel and train line, the Eagles should help with it, after all they are taking over Perths home ground.

FWIU each WAFL club has around 5,000 juniors in there zones, a couple of years ago Subi wanted Whitfords FC which is in the southern zone of West Perth right next to the northern end of Subis zone, Whitfords like a few junior clubs up here in Northern Perth has around 1000 kids and is also one of the biggest senior clubs ( in terms of teams) in Australia ...... the result ..... a big no no.

I would say the next WAFL team may be Bunbury, ( if there is one) Kal and Albany have 100 + year old comps and a WAFL club would possibly be a negative rather than a positive for footy in those areas.

What about Geraldton, i am not sure of how traditional and set in its ways footy is up there ?.
 

Rob

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If they cound ensure that's it's suitably funded, the Bunbury is a no brainer for a colts team. The combined population of Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough and surrounding areas is well over 100,000 and growing ridiculously. A local team so kids don't need to travel to Perth just to play under 18's at the highest level makes a lot of sense.

Great maps SA, could you also mark the home ground of each club on each map? You have to feel for a kid in Ellenbrook who has to travel to Leederville multiple times a week just to train. Or worse, a kid in the hills that has to go to Fremantle.
Just based on those maps you'd think Perth could easily justify a move to Kelmscott/Armadale. The whole area is split between 3 different clubs and everyone there lives a light year from their 'local' WAFL club. You could understand why any talented player from that area would just say fu** it and go play amateurs instead.
 

Silent Alarm

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The more you look at those maps, the more ludicrous of a position East Fremantle, Perth, and Subiaco have their grounds.

I strongly think the Victorian model of 'community hubs' is a pretty smart way to go about ground maintenance and creation. For example, East Freo Oval is land no one wants to get rid of. The local residents have recently had council meetings bitching about the footy being there. You have to keep that lot of land. The wisest comparison is that of Vic Park – both were in pretty average nick and in serious need of a refurb or knock down. The residents are pretty similar too, both trendies intent on having a place for little Jasper to throw the frisby (but not kick the footy – dad doesn't know how).

I would be inclined to demolish essentially everything (I would try and keep the old facade and some of the buildings, the 'EFFC' lettering is really cool). Retain the football ground. Then do an Arden Street and put in a community gym or something there; you might even be able to allow a franchise gym to go in there. I'd do a Princes Park and put up those open gyms you get, with little hurdles and instructions. Of course, there is the issue of the fence (Collingwood can get away with no admission fees for their VFLs). You would have the colts, reserves, training, and HQ out in the middle of their zone – Meville, Bull Creek or something – and have that with two or so decent standard ovals, with another 'community hub' operating there. I suppose you could patronise games between both the new Shark Park and the old one.

Perth should move and will have to, realistically, barring an alignment with the Eagles. Laithlain is catered for with the Eagles moving in and so their ground doesn't become irrelevant. I'd put the new Demons oval along the Albany Highway – anywhere along that strip, in their zone, would be appropriate.

East Perth and Subiaco both have a set-up at Leedy and you can have the two teams playing there on alternate weekends. Both can be based there. Colts and ressies could still exist as per usual, as I think that experience of playing before the seniors is only a good thing for the players, the fans, and the clubs (with those extra hours of revenue).

Royals could sit right in Dianella and have the benefit of an almost exactly central location as well as proximity to the city.

Subi would be making a big social change if they went farther north-west in their new ground. But the teams wouldn't actually play, so is there an issue? They'd like Stirling or up towards Trigg and Sorrento, but it would be better for them to go inland despite the worse areas.

I would say the next WAFL team may be Bunbury, ( if there is one) Kal and Albany have 100 + year old comps and a WAFL club would possibly be a negative rather than a positive for footy in those areas.
I can't say in regards to Kal, but the Great Southern Football League isn't as strong as it used to be. Although it hosts one of the only new football clubs to start up in Australia in the last few years (Sharks), the quality is a bit thin. I think more kids are excited by the potential to move up to Perth. If you're good enough to have a go for Claremont, they'll front up and help you with a job, while you probably have mates up there to live with. Plenty of people are happy to live up in the city and play ammos as well, so the quality is declining. Then you have to look at relatively recent expulsions of other sides and the dissolution of South and North Mt Barker (who would produce incredible, usually Aboriginal, footballers). No idea how a colts side would work for the Great Southern exclusively – plus, are Claremont really going to want to give up a big town? And a town that's produced about six AFL footballers in the last three or four drafts?

Other than that, I would say an Albany side (called the Whalers?) could actually be a big positive for junior development and an enticement for the local competition to nurture U18s. You would probably need a concession as well, maybe allow up to 19 year olds to play and a finite number (say 6 on a list of 40) to be 19-22 as well.
 

fabulousphil

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The thing is if you create a WAFL team out of The Great Southern league you risk putting further pressure on the tier underneath in regards to volunteers, depth and quality of teams.

It may work it may not, after a couple of years the travel factor becomes a real burden IMO and the initial enthusiasm disappears, players once again start playing at local clubs and family and friends etc follow.

From memory and my son played development this year they had a South West side as well as the standard WAFL teams.

As for East Freo, i hope they keep it, i actually like that ground, beautiful posi IMO and can't stand whinging and whining residents who move into a area knowing full well what is there and then whinge about it.
 

Spongebob

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I have not lived in Perth for more than 30 years, so I find some of the historical changes interesting.

When I was a kid, we in Tuart Hill were in the West Perth zone and competition. Of course, the Cardies were based at Leederville. Later there was a change of boundaries and Subiaco took over some of the area.

Now it appears to fall into the evil clutches of East Perth - who have ceded their ground to soccer.

I also look at this and some of the bf threads on traditional locations of Melbourne teams and wonder about the impacts of boundary changes and kids identification with teams.
 

Albert Ross

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If they cound ensure that's it's suitably funded, the Bunbury is a no brainer for a colts team. The combined population of Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough and surrounding areas is well over 100,000 and growing ridiculously. A local team so kids don't need to travel to Perth just to play under 18's at the highest level makes a lot of sense.
The original post lacks the Country Zones. A colts team in Bunbury would weaken the Peel and Swans colts teams who hardly have a reputation as world beaters as it is.
 

fabulousphil

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The original post lacks the Country Zones. A colts team in Bunbury would weaken the Peel and Swans colts teams who hardly have a reputation as world beaters as it is.
The development WAFL squads 14,s 15's and 16's have the standard 9 WAFL teams and also a South West team

For EX ....

Thursday 2 October 2014 Uner 15's early team.

East Fremantle v South Fremantle @ East Fremantle Oval
Perth v South West @ Lathlain Park
Peel Thunder v Claremont @ Bendigo Bank Stadium
East Perth v West Perth @ Medibank Stadium
Swan Districts v Subiaco @ Steel Blue Oval

So it actually stands to reason that a colts team may work as well.

The devlopment teams are structured 14's early, 14 late, 15 early 15 late 16 etc

By early and late pertains to what part of the year they are born.
 

Rob

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The original post lacks the Country Zones. A colts team in Bunbury would weaken the Peel and Swans colts teams who hardly have a reputation as world beaters as it is.
Not sure we should be forcing kids to relocate 200km when there may be a better option simply because a couple of clubs might lose a couple of players.

Funny you mention Swans, I remember an anecdote from a guy that is a Swans regular about a couple of kids that lived in Lockridge who were training with Swans. With the zone changes a few years ago they were rezoned to East Perth and had to travel half an hour plus each way just to get to training, as opposed to going just down the road to Basso. They gave the game away.
My point is that at WAFL level the game needs to be accessible to players as possible. It's not the AFL and players aren't going to get paid much, if anything. So they shouldn't be expected to travel big distances just to play.

SA - the problem with Kal and Albany is they wouldn't have the numbers. If you split the 1.9m in Perth into 9 clubs you're looking at 200,000 each. The only area outside Perth that comes close to this is Bunbury and surrounding towns (and is still a fair way short). Albany and Kalgoorlie aren't even 20% of it and i'd imagine the quality of a colts team would drop off significantly after the first half a dozen.
 

Kwality

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I have not lived in Perth for more than 30 years, so I find some of the historical changes interesting.

When I was a kid, we in Tuart Hill were in the West Perth zone and competition. Of course, the Cardies were based at Leederville. Later there was a change of boundaries and Subiaco took over some of the area.

Now it appears to fall into the evil clutches of East Perth - who have ceded their ground to soccer.

I also look at this and some of the bf threads on traditional locations of Melbourne teams and wonder about the impacts of boundary changes and kids identification with teams.
Subi were to merge with Scarboro - I well remember Spud Slater (then Subi's playing coach) in a Subi Scarb mock up guernsey.

Most footy fans inherit clubs from Mum or Dad, location is no big deal.
 

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Albert Ross

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Not sure we should be forcing kids to relocate 200km when there may be a better option simply because a couple of clubs might lose a couple of players.
I don't think the issue would be a club losing a couple of players. I think it would be more trying to spread an already thin talent pool across an extra Colts side and the impact that would have on fielding competitive junior sides.
 

Defacto

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great post Silent Alarm one thing that works well for east perth and subi and is something that should be looked at for other clubs is that sharing the ground also shares cost. with growing costs and a reduction in revenue, more clubs may be looking at this

for instance east freo could move in with south freo with the dockers moving out

maybe perth and swannies could share a home at bassendean

i've always wondered why there isnt a ground in armadale given the housing growth thats happened in perth out on the fringe

i've also wondered why 1 or 2 country areas have not been granted teams
 

fabulousphil

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The original post lacks the Country Zones. A colts team in Bunbury would weaken the Peel and Swans colts teams who hardly have a reputation as world beaters as it is.
If i am not mistaken SD colts finished on top of the ladder this year, i am not actually sure a colts team from the Bunbury area would weaken the WAFL colts comp, a lot of boys because of travel factors don't bother and that would certainly include indigenous boys as well, most WAFL colts teams have about 100 boys tryout for a place, i would imagine that there would be a similar amount of colts around Bunbury, Busso etc that would do the same.
 

Rob

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I don't think the issue would be a club losing a couple of players. I think it would be more trying to spread an already thin talent pool across an extra Colts side and the impact that would have on fielding competitive junior sides.
What do you mean 'already thin'? There are more kids playing footy now than ever before.

The thing is, i'd imagine most of the kids in the South West in the colts age group that are good enough to play probably don't. Not at WAFL colts level anyway. All you're really doing is bringing more kids into the WAFL system instead of wasting away in the South West league colts, or worse, lost to the game.
 

Kwality

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Kwality

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What do you mean 'already thin'? There are more kids playing footy now than ever before.

The thing is, i'd imagine most of the kids in the South West in the colts age group that are good enough to play probably don't. Not at WAFL colts level anyway. All you're really doing is bringing more kids into the WAFL system instead of wasting away in the South West league colts, or worse, lost to the game.
Why drag kids out of the bush, its pedigree producing footballers is there for all to see.
 

Rob

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Why drag kids out of the bush, its pedigree producing footballers is there for all to see.
You're not dragging them out of the bush, that's the point. You're creating an elite pathway whilst not forcing them to move.

Bear in mind i'm talking about a South West team just at colts level. Whether to bring them in as a full WAFL member is another argument.
 

fabulousphil

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What do you mean 'already thin'? There are more kids playing footy now than ever before.

The thing is, i'd imagine most of the kids in the South West in the colts age group that are good enough to play probably don't. Not at WAFL colts level anyway. All you're really doing is bringing more kids into the WAFL system instead of wasting away in the South West league colts, or worse, lost to the game.
I would agree, rather than the talent pool in WA thinning, IMO it is actually getting stronger, the population increases in WA have been extraordinary recently, if Adelaide can run with 10 SANFL teams then Perth could as well, of course the tenth WAFL team would be no mean feat, but a tenth Colts team would be much easier.
 

Rob

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As a comparison, the TAC Cup in Victoria has teams based in Ballarat, Bendigo and Albury Wodonga.

All cities that Bunbury is expected to overtake in population in the next 5-20 years.
 

Silent Alarm

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Absolutely nowhere to another League side when Peel have failed to improve enough.

As said though, South Australia has more sides and Victoria's patronising plenty of bonafide country towns. Plus you've got the competition up in the northern states and if anything, the pathway for WA kids is a little fair.

I don't agree with this 'diluting the talent' argument. When you're the AFL, it's better to have a higher standard because you rely on good games to bring in supporters and income. No one wants to see thinly spread talent in what's supposed to be your premier comp. The WAFL, meanwhile, works well with the current number of teams: it enables a relatively even competition that allows most clubs a realistic chance to win a flag, while the standard is relatively high and the benefits for that are obvious. Furthermore, WAFL sides say there aren't enough sponsors to go around, so there's that.

The thing about getting on an AFL list is you need luck.

Have an injury at 17, a long holiday, or more important things than footy in your life? Probably out. Can't get to that tryout? Somehow miss that game the recruiter who would rally hard for you was at? There are always little variables. You're allowing more kids into the system, meaning a higher chance of exposure and luck – for AFL and WAFL teams and the player himself. You're not just introducing 35 kids from Bunbury – you'd be allowing those now freed up 20 spots, that would've gone to Swans or the Thunder, to brand new kids otherwise left to play WAAFL.
 

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