Albany-raised footballer Tyron Smallwood eager for nine-round WAFL season

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Albany-raised footballer Tyron Smallwood playing for Claremont last season.
Camera IconAlbany-raised footballer Tyron Smallwood playing for Claremont last season. Credit: Nic Ellis

This year’s WAFL competition will begin on August 1 and comprise nine rounds, followed by a finals series with the grand final set down for October 18.

The announcement was made last Friday by the WA Football Commission as WAFL teams, including the Great Southern-zoned Claremont, prepare for the shortened season.

Reserves, colts and the WAFL women’s competition will all start at the same time, but may be played on different days. Final details around fixtures including finals format, player payments and the financial model will be finalised at a WAFC board meeting tonight.

Claremont returned to training last week and have a host of Great Southern footballers on their senior list.

Declan Mountford (North Albany), Bailey Bennett (Railways), Matt Palfrey (Railways), Tom Baldwin (Royals), Tyron Smallwood (Royals), Lewis Davis (Borden), Jye Clark (Railways), Jordan Reid (Mt Barker), Dylan Smallwood (Albany) and Corey Hitchcock (North Albany) are all on Claremont’s senior list.

Tyron Smallwood was delighted to be back with his teammates.

“It is very exciting news that we will be able to play a season this year, although shortened it is better than nothing,” Smallwood said.

“After being in pre-season mode since November it’s good to be back at the club and seeing everyone’s faces.

“The whole playing group is excited and confident for what the season holds for us.”

WAFC chief executive Gavin Taylor said news of a start date was exciting for football in WA.

“The WAFC appreciates the collaboration between the WAFL presidents and chief executives at each club to reach an agreement during what has been a very difficult period, with our industry facing significant financial challenges,” Taylor said.

“I acknowledge that there is still some work to do before we get a season under way but it is a very positive step and I’m excited we have been able to agree on a start date.”

Each team will play each other across nine rounds and the top four teams will compete in a finals series.

Quarters will consist of 16 minutes plus time-on and the season will be played for a premiership cup and individual awards, including the Sandover Medal.

Player payments will be reduced by more than 50% up to a maximum of $6250 per match and umpire payments will also be reduced.

The WAFL league, reserves and women’s competitions will commence on the first weekend in August, while colts fixtures will be finalised pending confirmation of an AFL National 18s Championship in 2020.

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