Ahead of Fremantle’s round four fixture against the GWS Giants, Fremantle were lucky enough to be able to host a number of Fremantle Dockers Partner Clubs for their annual curtain raiser match.
The Dalyellup Dockers, Ellenbrook Dockers, Fremantle City Dockers & Secret Harbour Dockers all had the opportunity to run out onto Optus Stadium to experience what it is like to play on one of the AFL’s biggest stages.
While there’s no doubting the participants will remember the day fondly, it was just one of the experiences that Fremantle are fortunate enough to provide to their Partner Clubs in return for their unwavering support.
Coach of the Year 4 Dalyellup Dockers Ben Mullany spoke about how incredible the experience was for himself and his team.
“It was amazing, it was awesome to take in and be out there where the guys actually play,” Mullany said.
“Just to see the kids running around, they had an absolute ball, it was a really great opportunity for them and one they’ll cherish and remember forever.”
Describing the Dalyellup Dockers as a family orientated club, Mullany said the partnership gave his young players something to strive towards.
“Everything we do is so community and family based, the older boys even come down to help the younger teams before their training session kicks off.
“The older boys have actually won back-to-back premierships now, so they’re going for a three-peat!”
The Dalyellup Dockers are just one club that contributes to more than 2,000 young footy players running out in Fremantle colours every weekend.
Community Engagement Operations Manager Graham Mills spoke about the impact that COVID has had on the partnership in recent years and how important it was to re-connect in the space.
“Unfortunately, over the past few seasons COVID has impacted the Club’s ability to be as active as we would like in this space, but it is certainly a partnership that both the Club and our partners are keen to reengage again,” Mills said.
“We want the partnership to be seen more than a name association, we want the members of our partner clubs to be an extension of the Fremantle Dockers, acknowledging the time and effort that goes into running a community club.
“The importance that community football has in not only keeping our game healthy but also the benefits that are formed throughout the community is something we as an AFL Club want to support to ensure sustainability and continued growth within these clubs.
“Fremantle can provide support by rewarding volunteers through match day tickets, the donation of signed memorabilia to assist with fundraising to be reinvested into their football club/programs or providing support to community coaches who overall are pivotal in player retention and player development.”