EFFC Media Statement- John Townsend Article

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 8:59 AM

To the EFFC Members and Supporters,

You may or may not be aware that John Townsend wrote an article about the East Fremantle Football Club that was published in yesterday’s edition of thewest.com.au (read here)

This letter to you is to strongly refute the majority of the information in that article.

First and foremost, John Townsend has repeatedly written articles about the EFFC and the WAFL in a public domain with little regard for the truth and the ramifications as a result of some of his articles.

John Townsend is often ill informed and uses incorrect information when commenting on the EFFC. The simple fact that he didn’t even speak to anyone at the EFFC to justify and clarify his comments is concern enough in itself.

Yes, we admit we have issues with our current league team form and ladder placing and yes we are not happy and will work desperately hard to fix the situation, but John Townsend has clearly taken liberty to embellish the situation at our great club.

John Townsend attended the recent game v East Perth and he was clearly distracted by the weather as he certainly did not do his homework on a number of points raised below. We have taken the liberty to address each point and hopefully give a more accurate understanding of each:

  • The EFFC lacks vision and drive- The Club currently sits on 2 x Redevelopment Committees for a masterplan to redevelop East Fremantle Oval and Fremantle Oval. Both plans will be complete by September this year. The Club has been working closely with both Councils for 2 or 3 years and hope to announce a preferred option for the Club by the end of the year. The Club has a 5-year Strategic Plan for the future which is overseen by a very energetic Board. We have 10 voluntary Directors who put their hand up to provide expertise to help the Club.
  • Financial crisis……….life support-  The EFFC is non for profit organisation that has no debt, and makes a small surplus each year, with all funds raised, put into the development of players in our district. The Club has never asked for financial assistance from the WAFC.
  • No longer produces riches of the past decades- Our Colts last year won the WAFL Premiership by 10 goals and our 16’s & 18’s Programs this year are performing quite well. Seven players were selected in the State 16’s and 6 in the State 18’s. Since the AFL Draft started in 1987 we have produced 105 players for the AFL. Not sure how many more riches we can give you !!
  • The ground…. is now a dump- The Club has switched turf & ground contractors in October last year to improve the playing surface. EFFC Players & other WAFL Players have commented on the remarkable improvement in the ground surface this year. The Club has also spent $125,000 over the summer months upgrading the following to keep it to a good WAFL standard : Scoreboard, Lighting Towers, Roof Repairs, Lights & Carpets in Changerooms & Coaches Rooms, plus we have just received a grant from the Town of East Fremantle to upgrade our Showers & Toilets to make them more female friendly for our women’s players.
  • Derby crowd third lowest in history - The ANZAC Derby on Sunday 22nd April had thunderstorms and 20 mls of rain on the morning of the event. The game was also televised on Channel 7. Hence why the crowd was very low.
  • Radio abandoning the ground…….life support……..no future- ABC Radio did attend our ground for the Derby, but the commentary team didn’t like where they had been allocated to call, so they left. ABC Radio were sent a diagram the previous day allocating where they would be seated.


The EFFC actually survives and thrives on our 100’s of volunteers. We are extremely proud of the voluntary, sponsored and donated work that that goes on at EFFC. We are a proud club with history, culture and brand that is renowned Australia wide and a FUTURE and we won’t let some thewest.com journalist belittle such a proud and traditional club…………………...


Mark Stewart
East Fremantle Football Club