FOND FEELINGS FOR SUBIACO
WHEN the WA Football Commission revealed it wanted fans to share their fondest memories of Subiaco Oval to mark the final season of AFL at the centuryold venue, it put me on a slow trawl through the memory bank. Was my first game there watching the Dockers play St Kilda? Maybe it was the first Western Derby as a kid. Nope, it can’t have been that. Fremantle lost by 20 goals. Was it something a little different - maybe an international rules match between Ireland and Australia?
Dale Thomas did pull off the best goal-saving tackle I’ve seen in a 2008 test match there. The Chris Mainwaring Legends match in 2008 was pretty special too. Or could it have been when I heard a West Coast supporter tell another fan “We didn’t deserve that free kick” during a Friday night clash with Richmond last year?
I was at the game as a neutral, for some reason feeling like I was going to be found out as an imposter.
But I struck up a conversation with a fan about the Derby a week earlier.
“I was disappointed to see Sandilands go down,” the fan told me, recounting how Nic Naitanui had used the Fremantle ruckman as a step ladder, breaking a few ribs in the process. “Hey, these West Coast fans are alright,” I thought to myself. With more than 100 years of football at Subiaco Oval, there is plenty of history to track back over. That is not even mentioning all the other events it has held. While the new Perth Stadium is sure to be a hit, helping put Perth in the frame to host highprofile stars, teams and events, it will be sad to see the gates close. For all its quirks, I’ve always loved Subiaco Oval.
It’s given me plenty to remember. Bryce Luff, Reporter