Quairading is not far from Perth – about 165km east – but it’s not a place you drive through on the way to somewhere… unless that somewhere is Bruce Rock. There was plenty of action on our recent visit, cars everywhere outside the civic centre. We’d come via one of the best drives in WA – Kellerberrin to Quairading past Mount Stirling was stunning even on a stark summer’s day. I’m going to do it again in cooler greener times.
The town started to take shape in about 1908 and by 1911 the Quairading District Football Association was up and running with Quairading, Dangin and South Caroling taking part. In the mid-1930s Quairading moved to the East Avon Football Association and in 1959 became an inaugural member of the Avon Football Association.
A number of Quairading players have made a name in the city including dual West Coast premiership player Drew Banfield, Nick Stone, who played 33 games for West Coast, and Damon White (55 games Port Adelaide. The Collard brothers were the best Quairading package. Brad played 202 games for South Fremantle, Cliff 172 and Derek played 63 for South Fremantle and 14 for East Perth. Their father Cliff was a star for Beverley and played seven games for East Perth in 1961.
There have been some interesting events in Quairading footy. They’ve twice played in a drawn grand final – 1935 against Kellerberrin and 1997 (Cunderdin) – and came back the next week to claim the premiership. The Bulldogs were led by the brilliant and always controversial Danny Malone when they won the flag in 1974 and went back-to-back in 1990-91.
I put up a score showing a nice lead for the locals over Federals from Northam. The number plates were bloody hot but I tidied up and things are ready for the new season.