Dockers consider new club for Clarke
Ruckman Zac Clarke could be moved to another WAFL club as WA’S two AFL sides crack down on the management of their players in the local competition.
As West Coast and Fremantle push for AFL reserves teams in the WAFL, State league clubs have been warned by the Eagles and Dockers about the way particular players have been managed in the lower grade.
Under a service agreement overseen by the WA Football Commission, WAFL clubs must strive to adhere to the wishes of West Coast and Fremantle when fielding AFL-listed players in their teams.
But Claremont have been contacted by the Eagles over the playing time of Tom Swift in a recent State league match. And Fremantle are not happy with East Perth and their handling of Clarke in recent matches.
The Dockers earmarked Clarke to be Aaron Sandilands’ main ruck back-up but the 21-year-old Victorian has played just eight matches in three seasons.
The Royals have an abundance of big men with Zac Beeck one of the competition’s leading followers. East Perth have also got solid returns from Josh Smith on the ball and also use Hamish Shepheard and Graham Polak in the centre square and in key positions in attack.
Clarke was a surprise withdrawal from the East Perth line-up that lost to Subiaco in the Good Friday clash at Medibank Stadium. He was officially listed as being “sore”.
A source within Royals management said the Dockers had requested a meeting with the East Perth football department but had indicated they were considering moving Clarke to another WAFL club to increase his opportunities on the field.
Some WAFL clubs have told thewest.com.au they believe the decision by the Eagles and Dockers to raise the player use issue is another attempt to highlight their campaign to field reserves teams in the league.
West Coast and Fremantle are expected to lodge an official submission for the reserves teams before the end of the 2011 season.