WAFL Grand Final 2022: Falcons President Neale Fong and Co-Captain Aaron Black focus on another flag

The leadership at West Perth are firmly focused on bringing another Premier League back to Joondalup next year after the historic flag win over Claremont at their old home, the Leederville Oval.

President Neale Fong said the club had appeared in nine major finals and won five premierships since moving from Leederville to Joondalup in 1994.

“It’s a grand final every three years and a Premiership every five,” Fong told PerthNow on Wednesday.

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“For a club that has relocated from its home base, this is an amazing achievement for Joondalup and what we have done in this region.”

Fong, who faces another season as president, pointed out that only two Premiership Falcons players were born before the WAFL’s oldest club moved to Joondalup.

“They (most players) only knew Joondalup,” he said.

“That’s our base, that’s where we are and where we want to be.

“We want to dominate the northern suburbs and get more people playing football.”

West Perth climbed above the seasonal goal of 3000 members to 3587 this year and has a long-term goal of 5000 members.

“We need to keep increasing it and getting more people involved in the club,” Fong said.

“Our fan base is quite large (as seen in the grand finale).

“But what was very interesting was how many young children there were – they are our future. They weren’t there because it was the Leederville Oval or the Grand Final, they were there because they were following West Perth. That makes me happy.”

Co-captain Aaron Black, 29, was keen to continue driving success in the senior group as the players “want to be part of something bigger”, such as a Premiership.

Black, who has played more of an “outside” role on the wing under two-time Premiership manager Darren Harris this season, has also been focused on another Premiership, partly to quell talk of retirement, which he said after the grand final had heard.

“A lot of people were talking about me retiring, so it was a bit disappointing,” he said.

The inspirational leader said it was “pretty cool” to have his name mentioned as Premiership captain and two-time Premiership player.

He and his team-mates returned to the club in Joondalup on Saturday night before heading out to The Saint in Innaloo and the club on Sunday.

On Monday, he sent PerthNow a photo of the Falcons partying at The Carine, pictured, before visiting a player’s home before returning to his partners and families.

He said his partner Ashlie Paull was “pretty excited” about the Falcons’ 20th flag.

“She’s a big football fan and supporter of mine,” he said. “And Ash was really pleased that Harro came over (to coach the club in 2022).”

Currently, Black and Fong are aiming for a flag in 2023.

“Absolutely,” Fong said. “We are here to grow the club, win premierships and onboard more local businesses to make it a success.”

https://www.perthnow.com.au/local-news/wafl-grand-final-2022-falcons-president-neale-fong-and-co-captain-aaron-black-focus-on-another-flag–c-8444022 WAFL Grand Final 2022: Falcons President Neale Fong and Co-Captain Aaron Black focus on another flag

Nate Jones

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