Select grade below

CFC COACHES

HISTORY OF CLAREMONT FOOTBALL CLUB COACHES

  1. NORMAN MCINTOSH (1926-1927):

Nicknamed “Snowy”, McIntosh was recruited to Claremont-Cottesloe as their first coach in 1926 at the age of 26.

Originally from South Fremantle where he played 130 games over 10 seasons, he was a member of their 1916 and 1917 Premiership sides plus 5 State games. McIntosh was Richmond’s first WA recruit when he transferred to them in 1920 and played the next five seasons to 1924, playing 78 games and 4 State games.

He returned to WA in 1926 and coached Claremont-Cottesloe in 1926 and 1927.  As the “baby” of the competition, Claremont-Cottesloe didn’t have much success with the club finishing at the bottom of the ladder both seasons. They won only one game in each of those first two seasons.

In 1929, he returned to South Fremantle as their league coach, taking the side into the Grand Final to be beaten by East Fremantle, and again in 1933 when they finished in fifth place, level in fourth but out on percentage. 

Later McIntosh was to coach the Swanbourne Amateurs Side.

He played a total of 26 games and kicked 4 goals.

His coaching record was 2 wins with 34 losses = a success rate of 5.55%

 

  1. HENRY JAMES FREDERICK GEPP (1927-part 1934)

Commonly called Harry, but given the nickname of “Nugget”, he played with East Perth from 1917 to 1927 for a total of 162 games and kicked 131 goals for this club and was a playing member of the club when they won the WAFL record of five successive Premierships under Phil Matson. He was named in East Perth’s “Team of the Century” selected in 2009.

He was 27 years of age when he joined Claremont-Cottesloe as their second senior coach in 1928. Gepp was a non-playing coach during the first two years and didn’t play a game until the final round in 1930. He finished his career at Claremont-Cottesloe with a total of 16 games and 25 goals.

The 1928 season was the Club’s most successful season so far, when after 13 rounds, the club had won 5 games and lost 8 to be on the verge of the top four.  However, they lost the last 5 rounds and finished at the bottom of the ladder again.

1929 showed further improvement winning 8 games and losing 10, to finished second last: and again in 1931, winning 6, drawing 2 and losing 10.

However, their form deteriorated to the extent they finished on the bottom for the next three seasons winning only a total 12 of their 54 games. 

He was appointed coach for the 1934 season, but he resigned after 5 games into the season. Claremont-Cottesloe lost the first three games fairly comfortably, but when they were overwhelmed by Subiaco who had not won a game, by 103 points, and then the following week to East Fremantle by 87 points, Gepp felt that he should resign and let someone else who may have better luck, have a go.

During his period of coach at Claremont-Cottesloe, he was appointed to coach the WA State side on 9 occasions.

His coaching record was 30 wins 2 draws and 67 losses from 95 games – a success ratio of 31.5%.

 

  1. RICHARD PATRICK GERALD RODRIGUEZ (part 1934):

         With the resignation of Gepp, “Pat” as he was known, was appointed as caretaker coach for the remainder of the 1934 season.

         Pat had previously played with West Perth – 4 games in 1926 – and Subiaco 104 games (including their 1924 Premiership side), before becoming associated with Claremont-Cottesloe in 1932 as a Committeeman, before moving on to the position of Vice-President.  He served the club for many years on the Committee and as the club’s delegate to the WAFL. He was elected as Vice-President of the WAFL from 1933 to 1941 and then again from 1949 to 1950.  He was then subsequently elected as President of the ANFL in 1956 and served as President of both organisations until his death in 1964.

         He coached only for the remainder of the 1934 season, a total of 16 games of which he won 2; a success rate of 11.11%.

 

  1. CHARLES BERRY PARSONS (part 1935):

Charles Parsons was appointed coach of Claremont in 1935.  He has previously played with Sturt (1931-1934) for a total of 65 games and 7 goals; and before that as a member of the Carlton (VFL) (1929-1930) side for 33 games.

Having come from interstate, it was necessary for him to fulfil the residential qualifications that existed in those days, when an interstate player had to reside in this State for a set period before being eligible to play. So, for the first seven rounds of the season, Parson was a non-playing coach.  But some success was certainly achieved in that period, and the club was hopeful of turning its fortunes around. Claremont won 4 of their first seven games. Parsons was then eligible to play and played in the next three games.

However, the economy of the State was not good, with a severe depression making it very hard for men to obtain suitable employment. In this case, Parsons was offered a position of managing a tea-room in York which he accepted, and immediately resigned as coach.

His replacement for the remainder of the season was Clarence John (Jack) Hooper, who had joined the club at the start of the season.

His coaching record showed 5 wins from his ten games for a success ratio of 50%.

  1. CLARENCE JOHN HOOPER (part 1935):

         C J Hooper, known as “Jackie” was recruited to Claremont at the start of the 1935 season as a player from Port Adelaide.

         Jack Hooper played a total of 51 games and kicked 41 goals in the period 1931-1934 with Port and included 4 games and 8 goals for South Australia in interstate games.

         He took over the coaching role at Claremont in round 11 and lost all remaining 8 games for the season, finishing up second last on the ladder.

         However, as a player, Hooper was one of Claremont’s best.  He ended his career with Claremont in 1946, after 162 games and 218 goals, winning the club’s Fairest and Best Award in 1935; and a member of the winning premiership sides of 1938-40.

         Coaching success rate was nil.

 

  1. RICHARD THOMAS LAWN (1936-1937):

Richard (Dickie) Lawn was a player with East Perth from 1931 to 1935 (captain in 1935) before being appointed as coach of Claremont in 1936 and 1937. He played 7 State games including 4 as captain/coach.

Unfortunately, East Perth refused to clear Lawn in 1936 despite some six applications, and he was non-playing coach in his first season. In this season, the club won 12 of the 20 games to finish in second place.   They worked their way into their first grand final losing out to his old club, East Perth.

Claremont submitted fresh applications for a clearance early in 1937 and Lawn was finally cleared to play with his new club. This season was another good one for the club as they won 15 games drew 1 and lost just 5 of the qualifying games to finish on top.  However, once again they ended the season as runners-up, going down to East Fremantle in the Grand Final.

When Claremont did not re-appoint him as coach again in 1938, he was extremely disappointed and applied for transfer back to East Perth. This time, it was Claremont’s turn to play hard-ball, and they refused his application for a clearance. Finally, Lawn gave up playing WAFL and went to the Goldfields.

Lawn played 19 games for Claremont and kicked 22 goals.  His coaching record is one of the best for Claremont. He coached for 45 games – winning 29, drawing 1 and losing 15 for a success rate of 64.4%.

 

  1. JOHN JAMES LEONARD (1938-1940; 1946):

Johnny Leonard was born in Newcastle England and came to Western Australia as a young lad with his family. He commenced with the WAFL when he pulled on a jumper for the Subiaco Club in 1922, when he was 19 years of age. From then until 1930, he played 146 games for the club.  He won the Sandover Medal in 1926 and then awarded his second medal retrospectively for the 1929 medal after finishing second on a countback.

 

He was a member of the 1924 Subiaco Premiership side and was their Fairest and Best winner from 1926 to 1930.

Because of the Great Depression, he moved to Victoria in 1931 and coached Maryborough in the Ballarat League before taking on the role of captain and coach of the South Melbourne VFL Club in 1932.  He played another 12 games in the VFL.

In 1933 he returned to Perth and took over the coaching position at West Perth and won successive premierships in 1934 and 1935; and coached this club again in 1937.

He was then appointed as coach of Claremont in 1938 when he led the club to three successive premierships – 1938-1940.  In 1941, he took the side into third place, but the side was defeated in the first semi-final by South Fremantle.

After World War II, and recommencement of the senior competition, George Moloney, who had coached the underage side for the previous three years had already advised the club that he was not available to continue as coach in 1946 so an approach was made to Johnny Leonard to take on the role and he was appointed as coach again in 1946.  Unfortunately, his business interests kept him away from the club for most of the season, and most the coaching was undertaken by Jack Reeves who had been appointed as his assistant.

During his coaching for the first 4 years, he coached for 70 games for 50 wins 1 draw and 19 losses for a success ratio of 71.4%. However, his final year as coach was unsuccessful, winning only 3 of the 19 games played – giving him a final success rate of 89 games, 53 wins 1 draw and 35 losses and 59.5%

 

  1. EDWARD JOHN REEVES (1942):

 

Better known as Jack, Reeves came to Claremont as a player from the Goldfields and played 96 games and kicked 95 goals from 1936-1946. He played in 5 grand final games (including the one draw in 1938) for three premierships.  He also played 3 State games.

 

He was a strong ruckman, and he was limited towards the end of his career with failing eyesight.

 

1942 was the first year of the “underage” competition and Reeves was appointed as coach.

 

The side did well in the early part of the season, but then a run of losses from  rounds 11 to 14, saw then in danger of missing out on the final.  They won the last three games of the season to scrape into the finals in fourth place.  They won both the first semi-final and preliminary final, only to lose out to West Perth in the Grand Final.

 

Jack’s record of 10 wins and 10 losses gives him a success ratio of 50%. 

 

  1. GEORGE MICHAEL MOLONEY (1943-1945; 1948-1951):

Nicknamed “Specka”, George was a legend at Claremont.  He started his career as a player with Claremont in 1927 when he played the last two rounds of the season, at the age of 18 from junior ranks. From then until 1930, he played in 54 games and kicked 199 goals.  He also played 7 State games and kicked 26 goals in that period. 

He was recruited to Victoria by Geelong where he played the next five seasons for 88 games and 303 goals.  He made a remarkable start to his Victorian career kicking 19 goals in his first two games.  He also created a record by being the leading goalkicker in Victoria in 1932 with 109 goals and then winning the same award in WA in 1940 when he kicked 129 goals.

He won Geelong’s Fairest and Best Award in 1932 and Claremont’s in 1936 and 1938 as well as the Sandover Medal in 1936. He played an additional 4 State games kicking 2 goals, but these later games were played as a centreman, another position in which he excelled. 

         He was appointed vice-captain of Claremont in 1937 under Lawn, and captain from 1938 through to 1941 when the senior competition went into recess; and won the club’s leading goalkicking award in 1928-1930, 1939-1941. He was also a member of each of Claremont’s Grand Final sides from 1937 through to 1940.

         Unfortunately, his personal success did not rub off on his coaching experience. He is one of the few coaches with Claremont who was in charge for more than 100 games.  He coached 135 games with only 44 wins and one draw and 90 losses – a success rate of 32.6%.

 

  1. WILFRED JAMES PATRICK BROPHY (1947):

“Wilf” or “Bill” Brophy was a player for Subiaco from 1922-1933 and then 1939-1940, playing a total of 168 games; including 5 State games. He also coached Subiaco for the entire period of the underage competition from 1942 to 1944. He won Subiaco’s Fairest and Award in 1925 and was their captain in 1931 and 1932.

His coaching record at Subiaco showed they finished fifth, first (but beaten in both finals) and fifth.

After Claremont finished last in 1945 and 1946, Brophy took the club into sixth place with 6 wins from their 19 games – a success rate of 31.6%.

 

  1. GORDON LOUIS CHARLES MAFFINA (1952-1953; 1957-1958):

Gordon “Sonny” Maffina was recruited to Claremont from Boulder City as a player in 1948. He played a total of 90 games until he suffered a badly injured knee and he “retired” as a player and coach at the end of the 1953 season. He transferred as a player and coach to the Metropolitans Club in the Sunday League, until he was re-appointed coach in 1957.  He took his total of games for Claremont to 114 before he retired as a player.

He played a total of 8 State games, winning the Simpson Medal for WA’s Best player at the 1950 Brisbane Carnival. He won the 1949 Sandover Medal in his second season, as a centreman.

Although he retired as a player and a coach with the senior side, Sonny never severed his connections with the club assisting or coaching the minor teams, Fourths, Colt and Reserves for many years, as was assistant to Jim Conway, when they won the 1964 Grand Final.

His coaching success rate after 83 games with 25 wins and 58 losses = 30.1%.  His best season was in 1952 when he took the club into the final four with just 0.08% advantage over East Fremantle only to lose the preliminary final; and his worse season was his last in 1958 when the club only won 2 of its 21 games to finish last.

 

  1. HENRY JOSEPH CARBON (1954):

Henry, or Harry as he was better known or even “Hobart Harry” after the 1947 Hobart Carnival was a South Fremantle player before being appointed as Coach for the 1954 season.

Harry played 141 games and kicked 250 goals in a career which spanned 1945-1952 with South Fremantle. He played in three of their premiership teams during this period and was captain on the side in 1952.

He also represented the state 9 times – the most famous was his game against Victoria in the 1947 Carnival.  His unsettling tactics worked so well, that he had most of the opponents clambering to get stuck into him.  His only comment was “take your time fellas, you will all get a chance”.

He was another strong physical player that Claremont recruited perhaps in the hope of instilling some “fight” into the players.  However, it didn’t help Claremont as they remained outside the top four, finishing in sixth position with 8 wins for the season.  Although it must be said that Claremont suffered the disadvantage of not being able to train on their home ground due to a problem with the grass coverage.  They played at Claremont but were required to train on the Showground.  It was interesting to watch the players getting changed at the oval and then walking down the road to the Showground to train, and then back again for showers.

In this season, Claremont won 8 of their 20 games, giving Harry a success ratio of 40%.

 

  1. JOHN HYDE (1955-1956):

Claremont turned to Geelong for their new coach, appointing John Hyde for the 1955 and 1956 season.

John played 108 games with Geelong over the period 1948-1954 winning their Fairest and Best Award in 1950 and playing in their 1951 and 1952 premiership teams.

In his two years at Claremont he played 37 games and kicked 41 goals, winning the club’s Fairest and Best Award in 1955.

In this time, the team finished in seventh and sixth place, and his success rate after 39 games was 13 wins and 26 losses = 33.3%.

 

  1. RAYMOND JOHN RICHARDS (1959-1960):

Ray “Lizard” Richards came to Claremont in 1959 after a stellar career with South Fremantle, playing 148 games with them during their heyday, including their premiership sides of 1952 and 1954. He was a regular State player during those years, totalling 13 games.

Richards had the reputation of being one of the toughest players in league football at the time, and this was no doubt one of the reasons he was appointed coach at Claremont.  Someone to instil a bit of “devil” into the side.

He played 19 games in his first season, missing just two games, but he too suffered a serious knee injury which hampered his effectiveness; and he was only able to play 9 games in 1960. While he didn’t coach in 1961, he returned to play in 1961 but was very limited and was only able to play 6 games before retiring off to Geraldton.

However, his two years as coach didn’t not have the success he and the club were seeking. They finished the 1959 season in seventh place with 6 wins and improved slightly to sixth place and 8 wins in 1960. But of the 42 games as coach, Claremont won 14 for a success rate of 33.3%.

 

  1. PETER PIANTO (1961-1963):

Peter came to Claremont with a distinguished reputation as a rover with Geelong (VFL) side where he played 121 games as a rover.  He played in their 1951 and 1952 Premiership teams and won the club’s Fairest and Best Award in 1953. He also represented Victoria in 9 interstate games as well as being named in the VFL/AFL Italian Side of the Century in 2007 and Geelong’s Team of the Century.

He retired from Geelong in 1958 and took on coaching a local country team Colac in 1958 through to 1960 before accepting Claremont’s position in 1961.  

Perhaps his coaching methods were a little advanced for WA where he achieved little success; but on returning to Victoria he was appointed coach of Geelong in 1966 through to 1970 where he won 70 and drew 1 of the 105 games he coached, including taking Geelong into the Grand Final for runners-up in 1967.  Unfortunately, at Claremont, he won only 15 of the 63 games as coach for a success rate of just 23.8%.

 

  1. JAMES FRANCIS CONWAY (1964-1968):

Jim Conway was an East Fremantle footballer who played 180 games and kicked 343 goals during the period 1943 to 1956; a club he was appointed as captain in 1943, 1948, 1951 and 1956. He was their coach in 1951 and played 15 Interstate games kicking 21 goals.

He won that club’s Fairest and Best Award as well as the Sandover Medal in 1950; and won the Club’s leading goalkicking award in 1951; and a member of the undefeated 1946 Premiership side. He was named in East Fremantle’s Team of the Century in 1997.

After retiring as a player in 1957, Conway took over coaching the NSW side Coolamon, until 1963 when he returned to coach Claremont.  He had remarkable success in his first year taking Claremont to their first premiership since 1940, beating his old club East Fremantle by 4 points in the Grand Final.

Because of his methods of coaching and speaking to the players, Conway became known as “the Professor”.

He took Claremont to the 1965 finals in second place, but a number of injuries to senior players saw them lose both finals by small margins, and miss the grand final. The club failed to make the finals in his remaining three years of coaching, finishing fifth, fifth and sixth.

         Conway was another of the coaches who coached Claremont for over 100 games.  His total of 111 games for 53 wins 1 draw and 57 losses gave him a success ratio of 47.7%.

 

  1. DENISTON CLIVE MARSHALL (1969-1971):

Deniston or Denis as he was known, was a local junior from Mosman Park who was a very talented footballer who could play in almost any position on the field.

He commenced his career with Claremont at the age of 18 years in 1958 on the half back flank and played 110 games with Claremont to the end of the 1963 season, when he accepted an offer by Geelong to transfer to the VFL. By this time, he had also represented the State in 11 games. He was vice-captain of the side in 1960, 1962 and 1963 and had won the club’s Fairest and Best Award in 1959, 1961 and 1963.

His transfer to Geelong was not smooth sailing. The VFL had in operation the “Coulter Law” which restricted players receiving salaries and signing on fees. It took 11 weeks for the hearing to be completed during which time, he was not allowed to play. 

Once he got onto the football field and played, he more than proved his worth. He went on to play 84 games with Geelong and represented Victoria at the 1967 Interstate carnival and achieved selection in the All-Australia side named after that carnival. He won Geelong’s Fairest and Best Award in 1966.  In total he represented Victoria on 8 occasions.

In 1969 he returned to WA and was appointed coach for three years – 1969-1971. He ended his playing career in 1972 and didn’t play again following an injury falling from the roof of a building. He played a further 65 games, taking his total for Claremont to 175 games and he won another Fairest and Best Award in 1970 to take his total of these awards to four – one of only three players who have achieved this at Claremont to this point in time.

Denis has remained close to the club, being on the Committee for many years, and instrumental in the Club being able to set the club up financially with the re-organisation of the local south-east region around the ground, and the building of new and modern facilities for members and the players.

During his coaching regime, the club reached the finals on one occasion, in 1971 finishing fourth but losing the first semi-final.  He coached for 64 games for 28 wins, 1 draw (his first official game as coach) and 35 losses for a 43.8% success rate.

 

  1. VERDUN JOHN HOWELL (1972-1974):

Verdun Howell originated from Tasmania and played with City-South (Launceston) before moving to Victoria and playing with St Kilda.  He played 159 games with St Kilda from 1958-1968 and was a member of St Kilda’s only Premiership team. He represented Victoria on nine occasions and won the Brownlow Medal in 1959 in a tie with Bob Skilton of South Melbourne.

He took Claremont to a grand final in his first year with a very good season winning 18 of their 21 games but lost to East Perth in the first semi-final, beat Perth in the preliminary but then went down again to East Perth in the Grand Final on a wet and windy day.

Then in a complete change in fortunes, they finished at the bottom of the ladder in 1973 and then second last in 1974.

Overall his success rate after 66 games for 30 wins and 36 losses for a ratio of 45.5%.

 

  1. MALCOLM GEORGE BROWN (1975-1976): Malcolm or “Mal” or “Brownie” as he was always referred to, was a very controversial figure in Australian Football whether as a footballer, administrator, coach or simply a member of the public.

Mal commenced his playing career with East Perth in 1965 and went on to play 166 games with them until 1973. He won that club’s Fairest and Best Award three times and the Sandover Medal in 1969. In 1974 he transferred to Richmond where he played 14 games and was involved in one of the biggest melees in the history of the VFL, at half time, in a game between Richmond and Essendon at Windy Hill.

 

He then returned to WA where he took over as coach of Claremont for two years. On being asked what number he wanted on his jumper he said, apparently jokingly, 100 and he was the first and only player to have a three-figure number on his guernsey. He played 12 games with Claremont but once again was in the middle of a number of controversies.  On one occasion, Claremont were playing West Perth and despite both reserves being on the field, he sent one of the players who had been replaced, back on.  West Perth appealed and that appeal was upheld with Claremont losing their score and Brown being penalised.

 

On being removed as coach with Claremont, Brown transferred to South Fremantle where he played 10 games in 1977; and was appointed as their coach in 1978 till 1984, then again in 1992.  He was also appointed as coach of the Perth club for three seasons from 1985 to 1987.

He represented the State on 16 occasions and was appointed coach of the State side 8 times.

Claremont finished eighth in his first season and sixth in his second and last season.

Overall his record at Claremont for 42 games shows he won on 11 occasions with 31 losses = 26.2%.

 

  1. GRAHAM FRANK MOSS (1977-1986):

Graham, or Mossie as he was usually called, started his football career in the Claremont district, being a member of Claremont Fourth’s Premiership team in 1966. He made his league debut in the 1969 season and made his first appearance for WA in 1979.

He played 87 games for Claremont to 1972, before accepting an offer from Essendon to play in the VFL. He played there from 1973 to 1976 for a total of 84 games during which time he won their Fairest and Best Award each year and the coveted Brownlow Medal in his last year there (1976) and represented Victoria in interstate games on 5 occasions.

He was offered the position of coach at Claremont and returned as captain/coach in 1977.  He remained as captain coach to 1983; and then continued as coach until 1986.  He played 253 games to 1983, but then came back and played one more game in 1986 to bring his total to 254. After winning four successive Fairest and Best Awards with Essendon, Moss then won the Claremont club Fairest and Best Award in his first four years back with Claremont -1977-1980 inclusive. With Denis Marshall, they are two of the only three Claremont players who have won the Club’s medal four times to this point in time. He was a State representative for WA on 20 occasions.

Claremont finished seventh in his first year, but a complete review of the playing strength of the club was undertaken, and the team gradually moved up the ladder from fifth in 1978, to three top positions, a second placing and two thirds over the next years. Claremont were premiers in 1981, runners-up in 1982 and 1983, third in 1985 and fourth in 1986.

Graham was coach for 223 WAFL games for 135 wins 2 draws and 86 losses for a success rate of 60.5%. If the games Claremont played in the Escort Cup competition are included in the total, there were 236 games for 141 wins 2 draws and 93 losses for a ratio of 59.7%.

Essendon compiled a list of their top 25 players ever to play with their club, and Graham was listed at 17.

Graham has continued his association with Claremont since retiring as a player and coach by maintaining membership in the Past Players and Officials Association and served some time as the club’s Chief Executive Officer during the time of the building renovations.

 

  1. GERARD JOSEPH NEESHAM (1987-part  1994)

Gerard is a footballer who has travelled around quite a bit and played with several clubs. He commenced his career with East Fremantle, where the Neesham family has strong ties. From 1975-1977 and then again from 1985-1986 he played a total of 79 games with East Fremantle. He played 97 games with Swan Districts from 1979 to 1981 and then 1983 and 1984, winning their Fairest and Best Award in 1979 and 1980.  He was drafted by Sydney Swans (AFL) in 1982 where he played just the one season for 9 games.

He was a physical player who never shirked any physical contact and missed a number of games through suspension.

He was appointed as coach of Claremont for 1987 and continued in this position until 1994 when the Fremantle Dockers (AFL) club was established and he was appointed as their inaugural coach. He was also captain in 1987 and played 42 games before retiring as a player in 1989 and continued as a non-playing coach until he moved to the Dockers in 1994.

He only missed the finals once in his time at Claremont. That was in 1992 when they finished seventh. Other than that, Claremont finished on top of the ladder 6 times and third once in his seven full years at the helm.

He has the remarkable record of playing or coaching in nine successive grand finals. In 1983 and 1984, Premiers with Swan Districts, 1985 Premiers with East Fremantle, 1986 runners-up with East Fremantle, 1987 Premier with Claremont, 1988 runners-up Claremont, 1989 Premiers Claremont, 1990 runners up Claremont, 1991 Premiers Claremont.

In 1994 he was released from his contract with Claremont mid-season to take on as the inaugural coach of the Fremantle Dockers.

Neesham’s style of play it was said was influenced by his love of his other sport, water polo, where possession of the ball was the important point and you had to keep control of the ball and draw your opposition players to you to create the ‘spare man’.

Neesham was another coach who was in charge for more than 100 games with Claremont. He was coach for 171 games. Claremont won 112 of those with 3 draws and 57 losses for a ratio of 65.5%.

While still involved with WAFL football, Neesham developed the Clontarf Aboriginal College some years ago where young aboriginal people could be looked after and catered for.  The intention of this College is to encourage the indigenous boys and girls to get a good education with the lure of sport to entice them to attend the schooling.  Since those early days, the College concept has grown considerably, from one college in Perth to a situation where there are now a number of such colleges around Australia. Neesham is the CEO of this enterprise.

 

  1. MARK RILEY (Part 1994, 2001-2002)

Mark played his early football in the Perth area, and had a number of games with the Perth Reserves side, before a knee problem forced him to retire. Mark’s nickname was “Bomber”.

He was a school teacher by trade and took on coaching at several country towns at the start of his coaching career.  He spent time at Hyden, Narrogin and Kellerberrin, but it was when he was coaching Kellerberrin in the Avon League that sparked his entry into coaching in the WAFL and AFL. Neesham, as well as being a non-playing coach with Claremont was playing with Kellerberrin at the time and encouraged Riley to take on coaching in the WAFL.

Mark was appointed coach of Claremont’s Colt side in 1993 taking the side to premiership honours in his first year.  He played one game with Claremont reserves in this year, but his knee problems didn’t allow him to complete his one and only game at the club, and he retired from playing.

He was re-appointed as coach of Claremont’s Colts in 1994 but promoted to the League coach after Neesham was released to the Fremantle Dockers.  Claremont won 6 of the remaining 11 qualifying games played under him as senior coach finishing on top of the premiership ladder. Claremont convincingly won the second semi-final beating East Fremantle but went down to the same club in the grand final by 21 points.

Mark then moved to Fremantle Dockers as an assistant coach with Neesham, before returning to coach Claremont in the 2001 and 2002 season. Claremont finished Minor Premiers in 2001 winning 15 of their 18 games before losing both final round matches. Mark was to be awarded the JJ Leonard as Coach of the Year this season.  Unfortunately, the club was not quite as successful in 2002, winning only 7 of their 18 games and finishing seventh.  

Since then, he has gone on to be an assistant coach in a number of AFL clubs in Victoria and Queensland.  In 2009 he was awarded the AFL Coaches Association, Assistant Coach of the Year award.

In 2007 he was appointed caretaker coach of the Melbourne (AFL) club on the resignation of Neale Daniher and won 3 of his nine games before the end of the season. He was not awarded the coaching position for the next season and he retired from AFL coaching in 2011 and took on as coach of a Victorian Amateur side from 2011 to 2015 when he retired from coaching altogether and re-united with Neesham when he joined the Clontarf Foundation.

He coached for 49 games with Claremont, winning 28 and losing 21 for a success rate of 57.1%.

 

  1. DARREL PETER PANIZZA (1995-1998)

 

Apart from a short period between 1987 to 1989, Darrell played all his senior football at Claremont.  He came to Claremont in the 1978 season and was a member of the Colts Premiership side that year. From 1979 season when he played some league games, until the 1986 season, he played a total of 160 league games until moving to Woodville (SANFL) and playing 74 games with that club.  He returned to Claremont in 1990 and went on to play a total of 274 league games and currently holds the record of the most number of league games played for Claremont.

 

He was Claremont’s Fairest and Best on three occasions – 1986, 1992 and 1993.

 

Darrell was appointed as coach of the Reserves side in 1994, before his elevation to senior coach in 1995.

  

In his first year as senior coach, Claremont won 11 of their 21 games to finish in fifth place,

just one game and percentage out of the finals. The following year was successful with the club achieving its tenth Premiership. They won 14 games equal to the top three teams but second on percentage. East Perth won the second semi-final by a goal; then Claremont won the preliminary final over East Fremantle and then turned the tables on East Perth by winning the grand final by 2 points.

 

For the remaining two years of his appointment, Claremont did not make the finals. They fell away badly in 1997 winning only 5 of their 20 games this year to finish second last. They improved in 1998 winning 11 of their 20 games but missed out on the “four” once again.

 

In his 85 games as senior coach, Darrell won 43 and lost 42, giving him a success rate of 50.9%.

 

 

  1. DONALD LACHLAN PYKE (1999-2000)

Don made his debut at Claremont in the league side in 1987 and from then until the end of the 1988 season, he played a total of 35 games. He was drafted to the West Coast Eagles in 1989, and by the time he retired as a player in 1996, his total for Claremont had grown to 63 games.

He was appointed as senior coach for the 1999 and 2000 season, after which he returned to the West Coast Eagles in an assistant coaching role.

In 1999, Claremont missed the four, winning 11  of their 20 games to finish equal fourth but out of the finals by 21% in fifth place; while the side performed better in 2000, winning 12 of their 18 games to finish in third place. Unfortunately, they were defeated by East Fremantle in the first semi-final.

 

Following his term at Claremont, Don spent some time with both West Coast Eagles and Adelaide in an assistant coaching role before being appointed as senior coach at Adelaide from 2016-2019, taking the side to the AFL Grand Final in 2017.

 

Don coached Claremont for a total of 38 games, winning 23 and losing 15 for a success rate of 60.5%.

 

 

  1. GUY LINDSAY MCKENNA (2003).

Guy, or “Bluey” as he was more commonly known, commenced his career as a league player with Claremont at the age of 16 in 1985 and played a total of 47 games before being drafted to the West Coast Eagles in 1988.  He played another three games with Claremont taking his total to 50 by the end of 1992.

He was appointed coach in 2003 when they won 12 of their 18 games to finish in fourth place. Unfortunately, they were comfortably defeated by East Perth in the first semi-final.

He was coach for just the one year, as he moved onto the AFL as an assistant coach with West Coast Eagles and Collingwood before his appointed as senior coach at the Gold Coast Suns.

With 12 wins from his 19 games his success rate was 63.2%.

 

26.  ASHLEY THOMAS PRESCOTT (2004-2007)

Ashley Prescott came to Claremont via Richmond and Fremantle (AFL) clubs.

He was appointed as coach of Claremont’s Colts team in 2002 and 2003 before being appointed as coach of the league side for the next four years. He also played 18 games with the League side in 2002.

He had remarkable success with the league side, unfortunately without winning a premiership. The team finished second in 2004 winning 13 of the 20 qualifying games to finish in second place.  They lost to Subiaco in the second semi-final, then defeated Swan Districts in the preliminary final, but then lost to Subiaco in the Grand Final. 

In 2005, Claremont won 14 of the 20 games to finish in third place.  They beat Swan Districts in the first semi-final and Subiaco in the preliminary but fell down against South Fremantle in the Grand Final.

2006 they again finished in third place with 15 wins of their 20 games. They defeated West Perth in the first semi-final but couldn’t get past South Fremantle in the preliminary final. 

2007 was the club’s best year in this period being Minor Premiers winning 17 of their 20 games.  They defeated Subiaco in the second semi-final to reach their third grand final in four years, only to go down to the same team in the grand final.

In his four years as coach, Claremont won 65 of their 89 games for a success rate of 73.0%.

Ashley returned to Claremont as coach in 2021 after a number of years coaching in the AFL in a variety of States. 

 

  1. ROGER ALAN KERR (2008-PART 2009)

Roger Kerr played league football with East Fremantle for a total of 85 games, including their 1985 Premiership; and one season with Port Adelaide (SANFL) in 1988 when he was the club’s Football Manager and a member of their Premiership side that season.

After retiring as a player, Roger coached South Fremantle Colts for three seasons and two premierships before being appointed as Assistant Coach under Prescott for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He was appointed senior coach upon the Prescott’s resignation.

Roger was known as more of a development coach, and in his first game as coach of Claremont he included almost a record number of players making their debut.

However, his term as coach was not very successful.  After playing off in the grand final the previous year, Claremont only managed to win 6 of the 20 games in 2008, and after just five games for five losses, into 2008, Roger was released from his contract. After 25 games, Claremont won only 6 and lost 19 for a success rate for Roger of just 24%.

 

  1. SIMON MCPHEE (PART 2009-2011)

Simon played his early football at the Wembley Amateur Football Club, and later represented East Perth in the Reserve grade.

He went into coaching initially at Wembley and then at Colts level with Subiaco. He moved to Claremont as the colt’s coach commencing in 2007 when he took the side to a premiership.  He was again appointed as coach but was not quite so successful, finishing third and losing first semi-final.

He was again appointed at coach for the Colts but was promoted to senior coach for the remainder of the 2009 season following the dismissal of Roger Kerr.  

 

Claremont won 7 of the remaining 15 games left in the 2009 season and showed sufficient promise to be appointed as coach for the next two seasons. Season 2010 and 2011 were remarkable as the side finished on top as minor premiers both years. They won 17 games and drew 1 of their 20 games in 2010 but lost the grand final to Swan Districts, when Swans kicked a goal in the dying seconds of the game, to win by one point.

They were again minor premiers in 2011 winning 15 of their 20 games but were successful this time in winning the grand final against Subiaco.

 

His successes were noted in higher levels, and by the end of the 2011 season, he had accepted a contract to be a development coach with St Kilda (AFL) and coaching Sandringham (VFL) from 2012.

 

Simon is currently the Head of St Kilda’s Head of their Player and Development Academy.

 

Simon’s record as coach at Claremont are exceptional. In 2010 and 2012 he coached for 44 games for 35 wins one draw and 8 losses – a success rate of 80.7%. When the 15 games he had control off after taking over from Kerr are added in, it still provides a respectable figure. 59 games for 42 wins and a draw, his success rate is still 72%.

 

 

  1. MARC WEBB (2012-2013)

 

Marc was a Victorian, who first played senior football with Port Melbourne (VFL) club. He travelled to Perth and played for one season with Perth and then transferred to Subiaco where he played 176 games over the next eight seasons.

 

He retired from playing at the end of the 2010 season and was appointed assistant coach at Subiaco in 2011.  

 

In 2012 he was appointed Claremont’s senior coach where he has some success.  In 2012 the side was minor premiers, winning 15 of their 20 games for the season and claimed back to back premierships for the club when they won the grand final by defeating East Fremantle.

 

They won the minor premiership again in 2013 with an even better record, of 17 wins from their 20 games.  However, the season came to a halt as they lost both final round games to miss out on the grand final.

 

At the end of the 2013 season, he accepted a position of assistant coach with the Fremantle Dockers, and today he is the Head of their Development Academy.

 

He has a good coaching record with his experience at Claremont. 34 wins from his 44 games indicates a success rate of 77.3%.

 

30.    MICHAEL SCOTT BROADBRIDGE (2014-2016)

 

         Michael played league football for 4 seasons, with 55 games with East Fremantle before transferring to Swan Districts for the next 4 seasons and 85 games.

 

         However, he has a good reputation in his coaching capacity.  In 1999 he broke through for WA to win the Under 18 National championships. Following that success, he was headhunted to be an assistant coach at Collingwood for 5 seasons, including successive premierships.  A period of assistant coach for three years at Fremantle and then a season at West Coast Eagles in the same capacity. 

 

         He was appointed senior coach at Claremont and held this position for three seasons – 2014 through to 2016. Unfortunately for him, his period of coaching coincided with the commencement of the work involved in the transformation of the football ground and facilities.  Claremont Oval was closed down as the buildings were demolished and the erection of all the new apartment and stores around the ground got under way.  Claremont Showground became Claremont’s home for the next few years until work around the ground was completed. The players trained and played at the Showground and the club’s operating office was located within the showground. Facilities within the showground were not the best particularly the change rooms and the side suffered a little through the lack of a “proper home”.

 

         Claremont failed to make the finals at any time during Michael’s coaching period.  They finish fifth (twice) and seventh winning 28 of the 60 games in these years for a success rate of 46.7%.

 

         At the end of his three years, Michael indicated that family pressures and his work with the Institute of Sport was not leaving him with sufficient time to devote to coach at Claremont as did not seek to have his contract extended.

 

 

  1. DARREN HARRIS (2017-2020 )

 

Darren commenced his senior football in northern Victoria and transferred to play with West Perth for 5 seasons – 1992-1996.  He then returned to northern Victoria as captain coach in his old stamping grounds in Wodonga and then into the TAC Cup with NSW/ACT side Rams.

 

He then returned to WA and took up as coach of West Perth for four seasons, 2002-2005 before appointment as assistant coach at the West Coast Eagles in 2006. His next role was as Development Manager with Carlton (AFL) before taking the position of coaching Carlton affiliate Northern Bullants (VFL).  After a short period with this club, he left coaching and took a position with Leadership Consulting (WA) to 2016.

 

In 2017, he accepted the position of senior coach with Claremont and has held this position until the 2020 season. Part way through his first season, Claremont returned to Claremont oval and it was hoped that this would be a turning point in their favour.

 

However, the first season 2017, was not entirely satisfactory as they only won 8 of their 20 games to finish in seventh place. The following season saw them win just one game more but made the finals for the first time in four years. Claremont won the elimination final but lost out to West Perth in the first semi-final.

 

2019 was a better year but still no premiership.  Claremont won 12 of their 18 games to finish in third place and qualify for the finals.  They lost to South Fremantle in the qualifying final and overcame West Coast Eagles in the first semi-final but again couldn’t overcome South Fremantle in the preliminary final. 

 

In season 2020, the nation was severely struck by the corona virus, and many sporting competitions were either postponed entirely or reduced.  In the case of the WAFL, they played a shorten season of 8 games, and Claremont won 6 and finished in second place. Claremont convincingly defeated South Fremantle in the second semi final but then lost the grand final to South Fremantle by 3 points. 

 

In his coaching career at Claremont , Darren has had 38 wins in his 73 games with a success rate just over 50% - 52.05%.