Busselton to host WAFL match

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times
East Perth take on South Fremantle at Medibank Stadium in last year’s season. The two sides are set to battle it out in Busselton in a round 18 match this year.
Camera IconEast Perth take on South Fremantle at Medibank Stadium in last year’s season. The two sides are set to battle it out in Busselton in a round 18 match this year. Credit: The West Australian, Ian Munro

Busselton Football Club is set to host a WAFL game between East Perth and South Fremantle in July, the first to be played here in more than a decade.

The West Australian Football Commission last week confirmed McDonald’s WAFL Premiership games would be played in Busselton and Esperance as part of the Department of Sport and Recreation and State Government’s Country Sports Enrichment Scheme.

The round 18 league game scheduled for Saturday, July 22, will be the second WAFL fixture played in Busselton, following the 2003 match which saw East Perth and Swan Districts draw in a night game in front of a 1473-strong crowd.

Busselton Football Club president Rob Witten said the club was looking forward to hosting the game.

“We’ve just started the planning process, but hopefully it will be a full day of footy,” he said.

“We will play our Busselton-Margaret River game as a curtain-raiser which will be great to showcase a South West game to the wider public.”

Local sporting legend and BFC life member Mike Adams said he was lucky enough to attend numerous WAFL games in the past, but said many players and footy fanatics throughout the South West were not given the same opportunity.

“A lot of people can’t get up to a WAFL game in Perth,” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of Busselton players playing for East Perth particularly so having a WAFL game here helps grow the whole community and particularly for the kids - they get to see their idols on home ground.”

Mr Witten said hosting the game would also benefit the club financially and further promote the game.

“South Fremantle has a strong team of supporters so it should be very well attended,” he said.

“There will be some AFL players playing along with the WAFL guys who have come up through Busselton and Margaret River teams, which will be great.”

Western Australian Football Commission executive manager football operations Jon Haines last week said regional games were important in connecting WAFL clubs with regional communities.

“Country WA has a proud history of developing some of the game’s top talent so it’s vital we keep engaging with these communities,” he said.

71 WAFL games have been played in county WA since 1984, with 53 games played through Country Sports Enrichment Scheme funding since it commenced in 1999.

The venues for each game remain subject to final ground assessments.

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