Host club deal to last 'forever'

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012 | 14.43

All West Coast players, such as midfielder Adam Selwood, will play for East Perth in the WAFL from 2014 when not required for AFL duty. Picture: Will Russell Source: PerthNow

WEST Coast and Fremantle say they hope their host club arrangements with East Perth and Peel will last forever despite the historic deal being for a minimum of five years.

Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett and Dockers counterpart Steve Rosich said they no longer held ambitions to field stand alone teams in the WAFL and that they believed the alignment model would be a success.

"I hope it's going to be in place forever and a day. I think that this looks like a sustainable model, a model that can help the other clubs,'' Nisbett said.

"I think the injection of funds into the competition initially will be the catalyst to help the other clubs and I think the next step is then to ensure that the other seven clubs who aren't partners get the opportunity to recruit well and hopefully we'll revitalise the competition again and make sure that we've got a really good, viable competition for ever and a day.''

WA's two AFL clubs submitted a proposal for stand alone teams in the WAFL, expanding the competition to 11 teams, last year but the request was knocked back by the WA Football Commission.

"It's taken a long time. Obviously we needed to make sure we got things right and we think the Football Commission have done a pretty good job in trying to get the two clubs in partnership with the two AFL clubs so that you've got a willing partner,'' Nisbett said.

"At one stage six months ago, or probably even three months ago, we didn't know whether this would come off and we're very pleased that it has.

East Perth consulted West Coast over the recent appointment of Brian Dawson as league coach. Dawson has a long history with the Eagles as a fitness coach and sports science consultant.

Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich said the Dockers were happy for new Peel coach Cam Shepherd to fulfill his two-year contract.

"One of the positive things is that the Peel Football Club are very positive about this arrangement, so from that perspective we're very happy to be with Peel,'' Rosich said.

"They're a young club, a club that we're very much looking forward to working with to develop both on and off the field.''

Rosich said finding the annual payment of $450,000 to fund the deal would be difficult.

"That's on top of the amount we're already paying to the West Australian Football Commission, so it will mean that the total amount we're paying to the Football Commission will exceed $5m quite easily in 2014,'' he said.

"That's a challenge for us, that's money that we have to find and this is a tight and tough business to run. So a challenge we are looking forward to, because it is strategically important.

"Have we paid over the odds? It's a negotiated amount, but it's a little bit more than we wanted to pay.''

Peel president John Ditchburn said the club considered the proposal carefully before comitting.

"It has been the desire of both AFL clubs to have all their players not selected in their respective AFL teams to play and train together,'' Ditchburn said.

"Further to this, a review by all WAFL clubs established that it was in the best interests of the WAFL competition that the AFL players not selected in their respective AFL sides, remain in the WAFL competition. Under the partnership model these outcomes can be achieved.

"We also believe it will assist our future growth and development both on and off the field, and, importantly, help attract and retain local players from the Peel region, which is a growth region in WA.''

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