2017 – YEAR IN REVIEW
As 2017 comes to a close, the WRFL is reflecting on what was an action packed year both on and off the field.
Below is just a few highlights form the year:
The WRFL inducted seven people as 300-Game Life Members, Noel Crump, Daryl Jeffries, Michael Gilbert, Dennis Lazaridis, Alan Parker, Adrian O’Donnell and Philip Henderson.
Rod O’Connor from the Parkside Football Club was also awarded life membership of the league.
Click here for more.
WRFL/EDFL SENIOR WOMEN’S SEASON BEGINS
The Western Region Football League and Essendon District Football League’s inaugural Senior Women’s competition kicked off in April.
The historic round of football saw teams from both league’s go head-to-head for premiership glory.
Four clubs from the west competed in the 11-team competition. Manor Lakes, Glen Orden, Tarneit and Caroline Springs were all involved.
WRFL SCORE THRILLING INTERLEAGUE WIN
The Western Region Football League’s talented Under-19 team scored an impressive come-from-behind win over the Northern Football League at Preston City Oval in May.
The NFL led for much of the match, but the team from the west rallied in the third and final quarters to overtake the home side, winning by three points in a thrilling encounter.
WRFL SENIORS SUFFER INTERLEAGUE LOSS
The WRFL has slipped one spot down the AFL Victoria Community Championships rankings after its loss to the Northern Football League.
The NFL outmuscled the team from the west, with the WRFL losing by 125-points at Preston City Oval.
JUNIOR CARNIVAL HAILED A SUCCESS
The WRFL’s Junior Championships program was hailed a success with all seven representative teams showing off their talents on the Interleague stage.
Of the 15 games played as part of the AFL Victoria Junior Metro Championships, the WRFL won nine matches, with the Under-15B and Under-14B teams undefeated.
“The 2017 WRFL Junior Interleague Program was a huge success again this year with all seven teams competitive in their matches played over the Queen’s Birthday weekend,” WRFL Junior Operations manager Steph Zerowsky said.
EJ WHITTEN ROUND
The Western Region Football League celebrated EJ Whitten Men’s Health Round in June.
Senior players in all three Divisions, wore specially designed EJ Whitten armbands, to help raise awareness of men’s health issues in our community.
Ted Whitten Jnr, founder of the EJ Whitten Foundation, attended the Spotswood versus Sunshine clash at McLean Reserve. He spoke with players after the match about the importance of having annual check-ups with your doctor.
Click here to see the list of award winners.
LOVE THE GAME CUP
The Yarraville-Seddon Eagles upset North Footscray in July, winning the Love the Game Cup.
The WRFL is excited to participate in the 2017 Love the Game Round, following AFL Victoria’s announcement encouraging fans to remember the passion, not the odds.
The round was aimed at educating clubs on creating safe and healthy environments for members to understand the risks involved with the increased normalisation of gambling in the community.
CELBRATING OUR MULITCULTURAL COMMUNITY
Club officials from across the west came together in July for a special Footy Culture Evening as part of Multicultural Round celebrations.
The Footy Culture night was held in conjunction with Centre for Multicultural Youth and was held to help raise awareness of the different cultures within our community.
Volunteers, coaches, players, officials and AFL Victoria staff gathered at the Visy Hub in Sunshine for the special event, which included talks by Western Bulldogs premiership hero Jason Johannisen, team mate Lin Jong and North Melbourne’s Majak Daw.
POINT COOK SENIORS SET TO JOIN WRFL IN 2018
It was announced that the Point Cook Football Club was set to join the WRFL’s senior ranks in 2018.
The club held a Special General Meeting late July, where a significant majority of the membership voted in favour of the move.
Already an affiliated club with the WRFL and with 20 junior teams, the move would see the club also enter Senior, Reserves and Under-19 teams in the WRFL next season.
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER
Newport Power youngster Kade Warrener won the Western Bulldogs-WRFL Heartland Award for 2017.
Kade won four general admission tickets to the Round 21 Western Bulldogs clash against GWS at Etihad Stadium on Friday. Kade will be a part of a special guard of honour as the players run on to the ground.
He will also come into VU Whitten Oval to meet Heartland Ambassador Marcus Bontempelli.
JUNIOR GRAND FINAL WINNERS
The WRFL crowned 16 new junior champions in 2017. Click the links below to see the list of all the Junior Premiers.
KEILOR’S PERFECT SEASON
Keilor capped off an incredible undefeated season, claiming the inaugural WRFL/EDFL Senior Women’s premiership in August.
JUNIOR STARS RECOGNISED
Some of the WRFL’s brightest young stars came together in August as the league crowned its newest set of junior best and fairest winners.
More than 600 people gathered at the Encore Events Centre in Hoppers Crossing for the WRFL’s annual junior presentation night.
Players and coaches were recognised with awards. The top five players in each division were presented with trophies, Interleague best players were recognised and premiership coaches and captains were also presented on stage. Click here to see the full list of winners.
STEWART WINS SEN MVP AWARD
Chris Stewart added another trophy to his growing cabinet in August, with the Deer Park champion voted as the Western Region Football League Most Valuable Player for 2017.
PARKSIDE CAP-OFF GLORIOUS YEAR
Twenty-one weeks of blood, sweat and tears all came down to a solitary match on September 9, where Parkside scored the ultimate success.
In a bruising encounter at Hogans Road Oval, the sublime skills and attacking nous of the Magpies was too much for their Tarneit opponents in the Division 3 Grand Final.
SUCCESS IS SWEET FOR NORTH FOOTSCRAY
North Footscray took home the Division 2 Senior premiership in an unquestionable result in September, affirming their place as best team in the competition.
Jason Butty was phenomenal on the day with seven majors, which saw him take home the best on ground medal for North Footscray.
Tyrone Montebruno was also dominant with four majors, while Sam Kater and Brayden Montebruno chipped in with a pair each.
Deer Park escaped an unexpected yet robust challenge from Sunshine in the Division 1 Grand Final, holding on for a three-point triumph and the club’s fifth-straight premiership.
The Lions led at every change by 12-points, but were made to work incredibly hard to earn the win by a Kangaroos outfit given little to no chance in the lead-up.
Sunshine kicked the first goal of each quarter, but was unable to withstand Deer Park’s minor, but significant bursts in time-on.
But kicking with the wind in the final term, the Kangaroos kicked two goals and kept the Lions to just three behinds.
Those three scores turned out to be just enough for Deer Park, as the Lions saluted their record-extending triumph, 9.12. (66) to 9.9. (63).
CELEBRATING THE BEST OF THE WEST
More than 300 people came together to celebrate the best of the west at the WRFL’s Senior Presentation Nightin late September.
Players, coaches, umpires, sponsors, league and club officials took centre stage at the Moonee Valley Racecourse as the WRFL presented a range of prestigious awards including the coveted Barry Priest medal.
Altona star Steve Kennedy was rewarded for his outstanding season, he won the Division 1 Best and Fairest.
DREAM COME TRUE
Former Spotswood star Bachar Houli was a part of Richmond’s historic AFL Premiership win in September.
The former WRFL junior won three junior best and fairest awards. The Under-12A award in 2000, the Under-13A award in 2001 and the Under-14A Best and Fairest in 2003.
He won several junior premierships and was named captain of the 2004 Under-16 Vic Metro team.
HUNTINGTON AND CONTI CALL WHITTEN OVAL HOME
The duo played in last year’s Under-18 WRFL/EDFL Girls premiership.
SENIOR WOMEN’S FOOTY COMING IN 2018
2018 is set to become an historic year for the Western Region Football League, with the league introducing a senior women’s competition for the first time.
After combining with the Essendon District Football League this year, the WRFL will have a standalone competition next season.
AFL DREAM NOW A REALITY FOR WRFL DUO
Spotswood’s Lachlan Fogarty and Caroline Springs young gun Tristan Xerri were picked by the Geelong and North Melbourne Football Club’s in the NAB AFL Draft.