WAFL International Round a huge success
Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 05:05 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Harley Vague
The West Perth Football Club was much like other historic football clubs that find themselves at the mercy of changing demographics and now classified as "inner city".
In 1994 West Perth bit the bullet and moved from their traditional Italian community based Leederville to the populous new city of Joondalup. It was a major upheaval, with clashes between the members wishing to remain “West Perth” and the club’s desire to appeal to the new and wider community of Joondalup.
In 2012 the club successfully promoted the idea of a WAFL International Round with the West Perth F.C. donning Union Jack style jumpers and appealing to the large English immigrant community. The club also undertook an energetic campaign of attending all 65 schools in the area and engaging the media. 6044 people attended, the second largest WAFL H&A of the season against poorly supported Subiaco F.C.
The West Australian newspaper reported that the AFL "was astounded at the response to a club venture" and that the AFL "told the Falcons that it hopes to learn some lessons from the initiative to help drive its own marketing strategy."
WA Football Commission competitions director Grant Dorrington described the event as a sensational result for West Perth and the WAFL.
In a follow up, it was reported that the club recently won the City of Joondalup Australia Day award for community promotion and involvement. Club president Brett Raponi said the Labor Party had recognised the role that football and the Falcons played in the northern suburbs. Now the club is welcoming a Labor promise to spend up to $9 million at Arena Joondalup. The money would be used to build a two-storey facility that would house change rooms, an administrative area and function rooms for West Perth and other clubs in the district, bringing it up to AFL standard.