Fremantle members give chance to vote on potential new club song
Fremantle members will be given the chance to vote on potential new club songs later this season as the Dockers wave the axe over their controversial theme song.
The club song is the next element of Fremantle’s branding to come under scrutiny, after the club decided to dump the anchor and the red and green colours from the team’s guernsey and change the club logo.
The song could still survive in a re-worked fashion, with original writer Ken Walther working on a new, more up-beat version to be presented to fans.
Details of the club’s member poll will be released in July, with Freo fanatics to be offered a choice between maintaining the current song, adopting the re-worked version or changing to a totally new song.
Fremantle has commissioned recording artists to produce a short-list of alternatives and members will be able to listen to the different options on the club’s website before casting their vote.
The Dockers song, written for the club’s inception into the AFL in 1995, is based on the traditional Russian shipboard working song The Song of the Volga Boatmen.
It has been criticised at various stages of the Dockers’ history for sounding depressing.
Fremantle president Steve Harris said the song sounded more upbeat when it was sung by the players.
“When you listen to the players sing it after we’ve won, that’s not the way they sing it. They sing it in a very upbeat, fast manner,” he said.
“I think what’s important is we have a strong song that’s easily recognised and has got a bit of vibrancy to it.”
The club will lay out its intentions for a consultative approach over the song decision in this month’s edition of member magazine Docker.
It comes after pockets of furious members claimed the club sprung the jumper change on them without consultation.
Fremantle’s first premiership game in its new anchor-less strip is the Round 1 clash with Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The Dockers will wear white with three thin purple Vs, with the home strip purple with three thin white Vs.
Harris said the club would never consider bringing back the home guernsey it wore for its first 16 seasons in the AFL, even if the Dockers made a grand final.
“I think you’d have to go down to the Good Sammy’s and buy the old ones. The old ones don’t exist any more,” he said. “We’ve made the change for the long term. We’ve got no plans to change, no plans to go back.”
Harris said the feedback the club had received on the new guernsey was “overwhelmingly positive”.
“Anything you change, at any point in life, anywhere in the world, you’re going to have some proportion of people who aren’t happy,” he said.
“We take decisions not on what’s going to make people happy, but what’s good for the club in the longer term.
“There are some people in some chatrooms who don’t like it, but you’ve got to take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of people who watch us on TV, the hundreds of thousands of supporters that we have, and the 40,000 members we have.
“It’s not about a small group of individuals.”