East Perth and Eagles continue alliance:
Western Australian Football League (WAFL) club East Perth has extended its alliance with the West Coast Eagles for a further three years.
The alliance – which has been running since 2014 – automatically rolled over to extend to 2020, after East Perth chose not to initiate a severance act in its contract with West Coast, which stated that the club had to inform the Eagles by February 28 of any intention to dissolve the agreement.
Speaking to The West Australian, East Perth Chief Executive Dean Turner said the Royals were happy with the current arrangement and were prepared to be the sole club to take on Eagles players who do not make the best 22.
“Our deal with West Coast will simply roll over and we will be together for the next three seasons at the very least,” Turner said.
“I think both parties are pretty happy with how things are going.”
Although East Perth have consolidated their position as an AFL-aligned club in the WAFL, the Royals have been dealt a blow in regards to their recruitment of non-AFL listed players who can be brought in outside of their League and Reserves squad cap.
The Western Australian Football Commission (WAFC) rejected an application from the Royals to recruit an extra senior player for the 2018 season, citing grand final runs from both the Royals’ colts and reserves sides in 2016 as signs of club depth, which has been tested since the start of the alignment.
Turner said East Perth were waiting for an explanation from the WAFC after being denied an extra recruit.
“We do have an issue with the way the WAFC has handled the spirit of the agreement,” Turner said. “We are waiting for clarification on our ability to recruit players because we believe they have not honoured the spirit of the agreement.”
Morabito pulls the pin:
Former number four draft pick and Fremantle midfielder Anthony Morabito has called time on his footballing career after requiring more surgery on his troublesome knees.
Morabito, who had only been signed by WAFL side Claremont last season after being delisted by Fremantle, has bid farewell to AFL and WAFL football after 26 games with the Dockers, 47 games with Peel Thunder and four games with the Tigers.
After famously suffering three consecutive ACL tears in three years, Morabito retires as one of football’s genuine hard luck stories.
Morabito’s first 23 games of his AFL career came in 2010, his debut year at the Dockers, in which he won an AFL Rising Star nomination and became more of a permanent fixture of a finals-bound Fremantle side. After his successive knee injuries, Morabito had to wait 1369 days to play his 24th game in Round 16, 2014, and could only add two more games to his career total.
Despite only playing four games for Claremont last season, Morabito’s retirement will hurt the Tigers midfield depth, which has already lost Matt Guelfi to Essendon and Bailey Banfield to Fremantle.