WAFL watch: Grand Final
Sunday’s WAFL grand final provided valuable experience for four Fremantle players, with Michael Walters, Clayton Hinkley, Clancee Pearce and Byron Schammer all benefiting from a berth in the big game.
Swan Districts edged Claremont by just one point in a riveting grand final, with Sandover medallist Andrew Krakouer winning the Simpson Medal for his 40-possession, four-goal game.
Clancee Perce played an important role for Swans, kicking in and running hard on the rebound from half-back, while teammate Clayton Hinkley caught the eye with his run and carry on the wing.
Highly rated youngster Michael Walters was also on the winning side, and senior development coach Simon Lloyd said the midfielder gained plenty out of the experience.
“That was one big thing we spoke to Mark Harvey about beforehand, that it was really important for Michael to play in that game,” Lloyd said.
“To play in that type of high-pressure game and come through and win, that’ll hold him in good stead for, hopefully, AFL finals to come.”
Schammer was the unlucky Fremantle player on the losing side, but the 25-year-old capped an impressive WAFL season with another solid performance.
Lloyd shared his grand final notes with fremantlefc.com.au.
Michael played a mixture of onball and half-forward roles, once again proving that when he has the ball he is a very damaging player. He only had 10 disposals, but something always happens when he has the ball and he had a real impact on the game with his precise kicking and one goal.
Clayton played half-forward and on the wing, finishing with 17 possessions and looking particularly impressive when he ran with the footy. It’s one area we’re continually working on with Clayton and we want him to really use his speed. He was able to find space and attract the footy and now he’s a premiership player.
Clancee played half-back and got a lot of football, particularly in the first half. However, there was often a weight of Claremont players in front of him, so his kicking didn’t appear as polished as it usually would. Still, he kicked well in the second half and some of his really long kick-ins opened up play for Swans on the wing.
Byron played on the wing in the first half and onball in the third and fourth quarters. He won contested possessions, spread hard from stoppages and kicked a good goal. His skills were good and he contributed well for Claremont, but it was one of those toss-of-the-coin games. Byron had a really consistent year for Claremont.