East Fremantle Oval, Western Australia

The siren has gone and the scoreboard attendants take a moment to rejoice in a rare 2018 victory for the Sharks.

For many years the two Fremantle teams were co-tenants at Fremantle Oval. East Fremantle, then known as Old East, moved permanently to their new home in 1953.

It’s late in a derby at East Fremantle Oval, the home of the Sharks, in 2004. South Fremantle, the bitter enemy, are about to go forward, scores are level. And the winning raffle ticket number is clearly displayed. Do you ever wonder how often the raffle prize is actually picked up?

There was, however, an earlier move. Old East made East Fremantle their home in 1906. But, as Dolph Hendrich pointed out in The Jubilee Book of the East Fremantle Football Club (1947) the move was not a success. “… for the ground was rather exposed to the winter gales, on the small side, and rather primitive in the matter of comfort for the players. The public found the locality rather out of the way… and the following year saw the Club back again at the scene of many former triumphs – the Fremantle Oval.”

East Fremantle Oval is no longer small but the wind sure does blow strong.

Fans of the Sharks are always keen to remind you they’ve won more WAFL premierships than any other club, they’ve produced a trio of Brownlow Medal winners (Simon Black, Shane Woewodin, Ben Cousins) and have more players on AFL lists than anyone. It’s all true but you’re not obliged to listen to them. East Fremantle won a premiership in every decade until the 1990s. Recent years have not been so successful.

Closely at this photo provided by East Fremantle fan Dave Warner and you’ll make out the scoreboard on a miserable day in the early 1990s and a hardy lone fan sitting in the open
The Dockers first took the field in 1995 at East Fremantle Oval in a scratch match against the Bombers.

From midway through the 1945 season to early in 1947 East Fremantle won 35 games in a row. The team’s undefeated season under coach Jerry Dolan in 1946 was finally matched by Subiaco in 2018.

Job done and the numbers come down.

Among all the great players George Doig stands tallest, though for a full forward he was quite short. Doig was the first player to score 100 goals in a WAFL season. He kicked 106 in his first season for East Fremantle in 1933 and more than 100 in each of his first seven seasons. In all he scored 1,111 goals.

You can see the EF scoreboard from miles away.
Scores even again in a derby. This one in 2009.

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