Fremantle Football Club: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Fremantle Football Club

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fremantle Football Club
2006 AFL Fremantle.jpg
Full name Fremantle Football Club
Nickname(s) The Dockers, Freo
Season 2009
Top goalkicker Matthew Pavlich
Best & Fairest Aaron Sandilands
Club Details
Founded 1994
Colours Home:      Green,      Purple,      Red and      White

Away:      Purple and      White

Competition Australian Football League
Chairman Steve Harris
Coach Mark Harvey
Captain(s) Matthew Pavlich
Ground(s) Subiaco Oval (1995 - Current) (Capacity: 43,500)
WACA Ground (1995 - 2000)
Fremantle Oval (Training & Administration only)
Other information
Official website
Fremantle Dockers Jumper.svg

Fremantle Football Club, unofficially nicknamed The Dockers and known informally as "Freo", is one of 16 teams in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based in the port city of Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River in Western Australia. In 1995 it became the second team from Western Australia to be admitted to the national Australian rules football competition, honouring the rich footballing tradition and history associated with Fremantle. Despite enduring some tough times in the AFL, particularly early on in the club's history, fans have continued to show loyalty and passion for the club and Fremantle is one of the most well supported clubs in the AFL.[1]

Matthew Pavlich has been club captain since the beginning of the 2007 season.[2] High profile players since the club inception include the league's tallest player Aaron Sandilands, former captain Peter Bell, former number one draft pick Clive Waterhouse, Fremantle's favourite son and now radio presenter Shaun McManus, the winner of the 2008 AFL Rising Star award Rhys Palmer, Luke McPharlin and Jeff Farmer. The club is coached by Mark Harvey following the resignation of Chris Connolly midway through the 2007 season.[3][4]



The AFL announced on December 14 1993 that a new team would enter the league in 1995 and be based in Fremantle. The names "Fremantle Football Club", "Fremantle Dockers" and club colours were announced on July 12 1994. Their first training session was held on October 31 1994 at Fremantle Oval.

A commemorative plaque from Victoria Pavilion, Fremantle Oval.

The decision to base the new club in Fremantle was primarily due to the long association of Australian rules football in Fremantle. The first match to be played in Fremantle occurred in the 1880s [5] and the city quickly became a stronghold of the code, with Fremantle based teams winning 24 of the first 34 WAFL premierships [6]. For over 100 years it has been represented by two strong clubs in the West Australian Football League: East Fremantle and South Fremantle. However it was not represented in a national club competition until 1995, eight years after the initial expansion of the then Victorian Football League in 1987 with the creation of rival Western Australian football team, the West Coast Eagles.

In February 1996, Levi Strauss & Co., which produces the Dockers brand of clothing, challenged the club's right to use the name "Fremantle Dockers", specifically on clothing.[7] As a result, the club and AFL discontinued the official use of the "Dockers" nickname in 1997. However, the team is still known unofficially as "The Dockers", both inside and outside the club, including in their official team song Freo Way to Go and the official club magazine "Docker".[8]

The team endured some tough years near the bottom of the premiership ladder, until they finished fifth after the home-and-away rounds in 2003 and made the finals for the first time. The elimination final against eighth placed Essendon at Subiaco Oval was then the club's biggest ever game, but ended in disappointment for the home team, with the finals experience of Essendon proving too strong for the young team. They then missed making the finals in the following two seasons, finishing both years with 11 wins, 11 loses and only 1 game outside the top 8.

After an average first half to the 2006 season, Fremantle finished the year with a club record 9 straight wins to earn themselves 3rd position at the end of the Home & Away season, a club record 15 wins in a year and a double chance for their September finals campaign. In the qualifying final against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, the Dockers led for the first three quarters before being overrun by the Crows. The following week (September 15) saw the club win its first and only finals game in the semi-final against Melbourne at Subiaco Oval. The club subsequently earned a trip to Sydney to play in its first ever preliminary-final the following Friday night (September 22) at Telstra Stadium against the Sydney Swans, where they lost by 35 points.

Fremantle is currently the only team in the league that has not won a premiership (or played in a Grand Final), following Port Adelaide's win in 2004.

The club is also the only team never to have played in a drawn match, despite a controversial Round 5 match against St Kilda at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, Tasmania in 2006. The Saints trailed by a point when the final siren sounded, but the field umpires failed to hear the siren which many commentators had noted as being "dangerously quiet" during the game. St Kilda's Steven Baker then scored a behind, levelling the scores, before the siren was sounded a second time. Baker was awarded a free-kick for an infringement after he kicked the point and was allowed to take the kick again - which he also scored a behind from. Immediate protests from Fremantle players and officials failed to have any effect, causing controversy throughout Australian rules circles. However, the AFL overturned the result the following Wednesday — the first time this had occurred since 1900 — and awarded the win and four premiership points to Fremantle.

In Round 15 2009, Fremantle achieved the lowest score in its history and of the noughties, scoring only 1 goal and 7 points (13 total) to the Adelaide Crows 19.16 (130). It was held to just one point in the first half and the only goal scored came in the third quarter. Earlier that year, in Round 4 they scored their lowest ever score in Melbourne, 4.4.(28), against eventual runners-up St Kilda.


The Western Derby

Fremantle's biggest rivalry is with the other Western Australian team, the West Coast Eagles, who they play twice each year in the home and away season, in fiercely contested "Western Derby" matches (Derby is pronounced /ˈdɝːbiː/ in Western Australia). West Coast were victorious in the first nine games, before Fremantle won in round 16, 1999. Since 2000, however, it has become more even, with Fremantle winning 6 of the 14 games and in 2006 the Dockers won both derbies in a season for the first time, they also knocked West Coast off late in the 2007 season in one of the toughest derbies ever. These games are reminiscent of the Fremantle Derby games between East and South Fremantle in the WAFL. A Fremantle Derby Grand Final in 1979 holds the WAFL and Subiaco Oval attendance record of 52,781. In recent years, the Fremantle Dockers have held a long streak in western derby victories, winning the last four matches between the two sides. [9]

The Club

The raising of an anchor is the culmination of the pre-game ceremony at Subiaco Oval

Fremantle Football Club has its training and administration facilities at Fremantle Oval.

The club encourages fans to attend Monday night training sessions, when players remain on the field after training to meet their supporters and sign autographs.

The team's home games are played at Subiaco Oval. Between 1995 and 2000 they also played home games at the WACA Ground.

Current squad

See also Fremantle Football Club drafting and trading history for the complete list of Fremantle's draft selections, delistings and trades
 view  talk  edit 
01 Hayden Ballantyne
02 Anthony Morabito
03 Byron Schammer
04 Paul Hasleby
05 Garrick Ibbotson
06 Greg Broughton
08 Nic Suban
09 Adam McPhee
10 Rhys Palmer
11 Des Headland
12 Brock O'Brien
13 Nathan Fyfe
14 Antoni Grover
15 Ryan Crowley
16 David Mundy
17 Joel Houghton
18 Luke McPharlin
19 Clayton Hinkley
20 Chris Tarrant
22 Scott Thornton
23 Chris Mayne
24 Dylan Roberton
25 Steven Dodd
26 Kepler Bradley
27 Justin Bollenhagen
28 Ryan Murphy
29 Matthew Pavlich (captain)
30 Zac Clarke
31 Aaron Sandilands
32 Stephen Hill
33 Ben Bucovas
34 Chris Hall
35 Tim Ruffles
37 Michael Johnson
38 Michael Walters
41 Paul Duffield
43 Roger Hayden
44 Jesse Crighton
21 Michael Barlow
36 Alex Silvagni
39 Casey Sibosado
40 Matt de Boer
45 Hamish Shepheard
46 Clancee Pearce
47 Jay van Berlo


Seasons Captain[10] Coach[10]
1995-1996 Ben Allan Gerard Neesham
1997-1998 Peter Mann Gerard Neesham
1999 Chris Bond Damian Drum
2000-2001 Shaun McManus & Adrian Fletcher (co-captains) Damian Drum, Ben Allan from Rd 10, 2001
2002-2006 Peter Bell Chris Connolly
2007-2009 Matthew Pavlich Mark Harvey, from Rd 16, 2007

Club awards

The Doig Medal is the Fremantle Football Club's annual fairest and best award. Currently, after each of the 22 home and away matches, the Fremantle coaching staff rate each player from 0-7 (with 7 being the best). At the end of the year the votes are tallied and the Doig Medal Night is held to announce the winner. Variations on the voting system have been used in past years. The awards ceremony has been held at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal (1995), Challenge Stadium (1998-1999), Fremantle Oval (2000-2001), the Grand Ballroom at Burswood Entertainment Complex (2002-2005, 2008-2009) and the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre (2006-2007).

The Beacon Award is presented to the club’s best new talent. To be eligible, a player must be under the age of 21 years on or before 31 December of the previous year and have played less than 10 games at the start of the season (matching the AFL Rising Star criteria).

Season Doig Medal Winners Beacon Award Winners Best Clubman Leading Goalkicker
1995 Peter Mann Scott Chisholm Peter Mann (33)
1996 Stephen O'Reilly Gavin Mitchell Kingsley Hunter (33)
1997 Dale Kickett Mark Gale Kingsley Hunter (32)
1998 Jason Norrish Brad Dodd Chris Bond & Jason Norrish Clive Waterhouse (30)
1999 Adrian Fletcher Clem Michael Ashley Prescott Tony Modra (71)
2000 Troy Cook Paul Hasleby Dale Kickett & John Rankin Clive Waterhouse (53)
2001 Peter Bell Dion Woods Leigh Brown Justin Longmuir & Matthew Pavlich (28)
2002 Matthew Pavlich Paul Medhurst Shaun McManus Trent Croad (42)
2003 Peter Bell Graham Polak Troy Longmuir Paul Medhurst (50)
2004 Peter Bell Andrew Browne Matthew Carr Paul Medhurst (41)
2005 Matthew Pavlich David Mundy Troy Cook Matthew Pavlich (61)
2006 Matthew Pavlich Marcus Drum Luke Webster Matthew Pavlich (71)
2007 Matthew Pavlich Robert Warnock Heath Black Matthew Pavlich (72)
2008 Matthew Pavlich Rhys Palmer Luke Webster Matthew Pavlich (67)
2009 Aaron Sandilands Stephen Hill Michael Johnson Matthew Pavlich (28)

Club guernsey

Fremantle's Home and Clash guernsey's

The Fremantle Football Club uses the anchor symbol as the basis for all of their guernseys or jumpers (unlike other sporting codes it is rarely called a jersey, shirt or kit). The home jumper is purple, with a white anchor on the front separating the chest area into two panels, which are coloured red and green to represent the traditional maritime port and starboard colours. The current alternative or clash guernsey is all white with a purple anchor. [11]

One game each year is designated as the Purple Haze game, where an all-purple jumper with a white anchor is worn. This game is used to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.

Since 2003, the AFL has marketed one round each year as the Heritage Round. Until 2006 Fremantle wore a white guernsey with 3 red chevrons, to emulate the jumper worn by the original Fremantle Football Club in 1885. However in 2007, the selected round had Fremantle playing Sydney, who also wear red and white. An alternative blue and white striped design was used, based on the jumper worn by the East Fremantle Football Club in their 1979 WAFL Grand Final win over the South Fremantle Football Club. This Fremantle Derby still holds the record for the highest attendance at a football game of any code in Western Australia, with 52,781 attending at Subiaco Oval[1].

In September 2008, newly appointed CEO Steve Rosich confirmed that the Fremantle Football Club would undergo a through review of all areas, including the club's team name, song, guernsey and logo in a bid to boost its marketability. [12] However he later confirmed that the purple colour will be maintained as it had become synonymous with Fremantle.[13]

Club records

Fremantle players enter Subiaco Oval, by running through a celebratory banner before a game in 2004.
  • Premierships: None
  • Highest ladder position (after Rd 22): 3rd, 2006
  • Wooden spoons: One (2001)
  • Finals series reached: Two (2003, 2006)
  • Biggest winning margin: 112 points, against Collingwood, May 8, 2005, at Subiaco Oval, 28.12 (180) to 10.8 (68)
  • Biggest losing margin: 117 points, against West Coast on April 15, 2000, at Subiaco Oval, 28.10 (178) to 9.7 (61); against Adelaide on July 11, 2009, at AAMI Stadium, 19.16 (130) to 1.7 (13)
  • Longest winning streak: 9 games (Round 14, 2006 - Round 22, 2006)
  • Longest losing streak: 18 games (Round 22, 2000 - Round 17, 2001)
  • Highest Score: 28.12 (180), against Collingwood, May 8, 2005, at Subiaco Oval
  • Lowest score: 1.7 (13), against Adelaide, July 11, 2009, at AAMI Stadium

Individual awards and records

Attendance records

Club song

The official song of the club is Freo way to Go. It was written in the mid 1990s by Ken Walther and unlike many of the other Australian rules team songs, it is played to a contemporary rock tune but is based on a traditional Igor Stravinsky arrangement of a Russian folk song, Song of the Volga Boatmen. [14]

The song is regarded with a great deal of derision from many opposition supporters[15][16] and equally fierce loyalty from many fans.

Membership base

Membership slogan on a banner before the 2006 NAB Cup Quarter Final
Supporters cheer on the Dockers

Despite a relative lack of on-field success, Fremantle has surprised many with record membership figures. The club in 2005 had the fastest growing membership in the AFL competition with home crowds growing at a similar rate. The club's recent membership slogans have emphasised the passion of Fremantle fans for their team.

Season Members Change from previous season Finishing position Average home match crowds[17]
1995 18,456 13th 23,361
1996 19,622 1166 (+6.32%) 13th 22,473
1997 19,949 327 (+1.67%) 12th 21,982
1998 22,186 2237 (+11.21%) 15th 23,104
1999 24,896 2710 (+12.21%) 15th 23,972
2000 24,925 29 (+0.12%) 12th 22,357
2001 23,898 1027 (-4.12%) 16th 21,258
2002 23,775 123 (-0.51%) 13th 26,359
2003 25,347 1572 (+6.61%) 5th 30,681
2004 32,259 6912 (+27.27%) 9th 36,258
2005 34,124 1865 (+5.78%) 10th 35,224
2006 35,666 1542 (+4.52%) 3rd 36,569
2007 43,343[18][19] 7677 (+21.52%) 11th 37,474
2008 43,366[20] 23 (+0.05%) 14th 35,877
2009 39,206[21] 4160 (-9.6%) 14thth 33,144

Fremantle Football Hall of Legends

The Fremantle Football Hall of Legends was inaugurated by Fremantle Football Club in 1995, in recognition of the new AFL team’s links with its home city’s football heritage. The inductees are nominated by the two clubs from the Fremantle area in the WAFL: East Fremantle and South Fremantle. In time, players who represented Fremantle in the AFL will join their predecessors in this prestigious Hall.

Ceremonial positions

Number 1 Ticket Holders

It is traditional for each club to recognise a prominent supporter as the #1 Ticketholder. Fremantle originally chose to award this to the sitting member for the Federal Seat of Fremantle. This was roundly criticised as the member may or may not be a Fremantle football supporter and unnecessarily linked politics with sport.[22] The policy was soon changed to select a well-known Fremantle identity for a two year period.

Year Number 1 Ticket Holder
1995 – 1996 Carmen Lawrence
1997 – 2002 Jack Sheedy & Steve Marsh
2003 – 2005 Rove McManus
2006 – 2007 Luc Longley
2008 Jesse Dart (#1 Junior Ticket Holder)[23]
2009 Nick O'Hern[24]

Other high profile fans include former premier Alan Carpenter[25], author Tim Winton[26] and journalists and television presenters Dixie Marshall, Simon Reeve[27] and the late Matt Price.


Since 2003, the Fremantle Football Club has been honoured to have the Governor of Western Australia as its patron.



  • 1995 – 1999: Grinder - A cartoon-like docker man, in a similar style to Popeye, with a permanent snarl, oversized jaw and muscular arms.
  • 2000 – 2001: The Doc - a straggly blonde-haired mascot, similar in appearance to Fremantle players Clive Waterhouse or Shaun McManus.
  • 2002 – present: Johnny "The Doc" Docker - a blonde haired surfer with a surfboard under one arm is the Docker's official mascot in the Mascot Manor promotion for kids.


  1. ^ Dockers set membership record; Sportal; 1 July 2008
  2. ^ Pavlich takes over as Club Captain
  3. ^ Harvey takes over AFL reins at Freo
  4. ^ Connolly quits as Fremantle coach
  5. ^ History of Fremantle Football
  6. ^ List of WAFL league premiers
  7. ^ Interim Decision; Trademark History
  8. ^ Way to Go Lyrics; Docker Magazine Reference
  9. ^ Australian rules football attendance records
  10. ^ a b List of Captains and Coaches
  11. ^ For all past guernsey designs, see Mero's Footy Jumpers website.
  12. ^ Hagdorn, Kim; Fremantle Dockers' anchor logo, song, colours under review; PerthNow; 6 September 2008
  13. ^ Clarke, Tim; Freo won't heave ho; Realfooty; 10 September 2008
  14. ^ Freo Way to Go Club Song
  15. ^ Katz, Danny;No rhyme or reason to what you fancy; The Age; May 6, 2004;Retrieved on June 14, 2007
  16. ^ Burrows, Toby Review: Way to Go: Sadness, Euphoria and the Fremantle Dockers, by Matt Price; July 2004; Retrieved on June 14, 2007
  17. ^ "Fremantle Attendances". AFL Tables. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  18. ^ "Freo to put the pedal to the metal". The West Australian. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  19. ^ "Record Year for AFL memberships". Faixfax Digital. 2007-07-12. 
  20. ^ "Dockers set record membership". Sportal. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  21. ^ "Membership target surpassed". Fremantle Football Club. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  22. ^ Gervase A. Haimes (August 2006); Culture and Identity at FFC in PhD Thesis Organizational Culture and Identity: A Case Study from the Australian Football League, Victoria University
  23. ^ Washbourne, Michael (17 March 2008); Fremantle Dockers ready for first game of the season; PerthNow; Retrieved on 22 March 2009
  24. ^ Chadwick, Justin (20 March 2009); O'Hern comes out swinging for Dockers; Sydney Morning Herald; Retrieved on 22 March 2009
  25. ^ Alan Carpenter - Premier-in-waiting
  26. ^ Western voices
  27. ^ Simon Reeve blog - A long-suffering Dockers supporter

See also

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address