Curtin Uni Wesley
The start of 2016 saw many former AFL players sign on as coaches in the A Grade competition. This season four out of ten clubs have decided to switch up the top job.
Wembley and Whitford join the premier division after a successful 2016 season in the B Grade competition. Wembley were last in A Grade back in 2010 after they were elevated at the end of 2009. They spent just one season in A Grade before being relegated the next season.
It hasn’t been long since Whitford were last in A Grade as they were relegated after the 2014 season and spent just the two seasons in B Grade finishing sixth in 2015 and runners up in 2016.
Wembley have appointed Tim Noakes as coach for season 2017. Noakes was part of Wembley’s B Grade Premiership side in 2016 while also winning the WAAFL B Grade Leading Goal Kicker award.
Wembley have picked up former WAFL player Brendan Lee who played 100+ games for East Perth and was winner of the 2011 and 2013 best and fairest.
After breaking their A Grade premiership drought, Trinity Aquinas will go into season 2017 feeling as though a weight has lifted off their shoulders. With their first premiership secured the team from Bill Grayden Reserve will be focused on proving that last year’s success was not just luck. They have also boosted their chances of back to back premierships by securing Perth captain Dene White who retired from the WAFL due to work commitments. White played 128 games for Perth, captaining the side for two years and winning the club’s best and fairest in 2014.
For Scarborough, last year was all about proving they were real contenders in the A Grade competition and they did just that by making it all the way to the Grand Final. Now the question is can they go one better in 2017?
With Aidan Parker signing on again as coach the team has experience behind them with many former WAFL players in the side.
Kalamunda have had a difficult couple of years in A Grade having finished just one place outside of relegation for the past two seasons. Their premiership hopes have dealt another blow with last year’s coach, AFL premiership player Steven Armstrong, taking on an assistant coaching role with WAFL club Swan Districts. They do however add two former WAFL players to their list with Brett Robinson and Justin Simpson joining the Cougars in 2017. Robinson played 100+ games for WAFL sides Swan Districts and Subiaco including playing in two Grand Finals. Simpson played 165 games for Swan Districts and was runner up in the 2014 best and fairest. Simpson will also be coaching the team this year.
A one point loss in the Preliminary final to Scarborough meant that for the first time in five years University missed the season decider. They will also be without WAAFL State U23’s Captain and former Claremont player Matthew Goyder as he transfers to AFL Sydney. Andrew Browne will remain as coach for a second season.
Curtin Uni Wesley slipped to seventh position in 2016 missing the finals for the first time since entering A Grade in 2013. They have had a successful few years winning the 2013 premiership and making the grand final in both 2014 and 2015. They have appointed a new coach with Trent Cooper taking over from Kris Miller. Trent has an impressive record as an amateur player winning the B Grade WAAFL best and fairest in 2002, 2003 and 2005 as well as the E Reserves WAAFL best and fairest in 2009. He was selected for the 2003 WAAFL State Open Team and made the 2002-2004 Triennial Series All Australian Team.
West Coast have not made finals in A Grade since being elevated in 2014. They have reappointed 2016 coach former West Coast Eagles player Andrew McDougall.
North Beach made the Semi Finals last season after failing to make the finals in both 2014 and 2015. They have reappointed David Hynes as coach who has led the side since 2013.
Fremantle CBC managed to make their way into the final five last season but it was a quick exit after going down by 51 points to Scarborough. Fremantle CBC have reappointed former East Fremantle player Ben Taggart as coach.
Last A Grade Premiership