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New Faces Enjoying First Subiaco Pre-Season

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 7:45 AM

A fresh environment, a desire to be involved in a high performing culture and the ability to challenge oneself are the universal topics that comes through when you speak to Subiaco’s batch of 2018 recruits.


Each year every footy club welcomes new faces through the door and Subiaco in 2018 have seen over a dozen new players come from very different football experiences.

Whether those football experiences were at the highest level in the AFL, at other WAFL clubs or excelling at country and amateur football, the universal message is that the 2018 batch of recruits are all keen to make their mark on the proud Subiaco Football Club.


For one of Subiaco’s highest profile 2018 recruits in Zac Clarke, just getting back on the park is the driving motivation behind a gruelling pre-season.


Having not played since the 2016 WAFL Grand Final, Clarke is getting excited by the knowledge that his first game in 18 months is only a month away.


“The body is still feeling real good, there are a couple of challenges will still need to get through, but really excited to get out on the field with the boys,” Clarke said.


As for his first pre-season as a Lion, Clarke has been impressed with the quality and standard of training in the group.


“It’s been what I expected having played against these guys, were tough opponents, play hard and train hard,” Clarke said.


At the other end of the experience spectrum is Travis Clegget who is experiencing his first WAFL pre-season and indeed first WAFL club experience.


Clegget comes to Subiaco on the back of an outstanding 2017 season with SWFL side the Collie Eagles, a season in which Clegget won the Hayward Medal as the competition’s best player.


“I had a few injuries before last year and last year my body just felt right all year and I could play some good football,” Clegget said.


As for coming to Subiaco, Clegget has been impressed by the culture of the group and how the senior players have welcome new members to the club.


“The boys certainly make you feel part of the group and have been very good in getting around all the new boys, I have enjoyed the early time at the club,” Clegget said.


For Drew Rohde who had a year away from WAFL football in 2017 playing with Jurien Bay, it was that first part of pre-season that was probably the most difficult.


“It probably took a little bit just to get the body and mind back into the expectation of WAFL football, but have really enjoyed the last part leading up to games starting,” Rohde said.


Another player that had a year off in 2017 but is looking forward to a fresh start in 2018 is Kaidyn Fullgrabe.


Fullgrabe joins brother Koby on the Lions list in 2018 and playing with his brother was a big reason behind making the move to Subiaco.


“I had obviously gotten close to a league game at West Perth in 2016, but I enjoyed the year off last year and when there was the chance to play with my brother in a team for the first time, it was something I wanted to embrace,” Fullgrabe said.


As for his first Subiaco pre-season, what has stood out to Fullgrabe has been the level of testing and the attention to detail of the Subiaco coaches.


“This is the first experience I have had where the whole pre-season schedule is really structured from your running to your weights and the medical team are really closely monitoring, it certainly highlights the professionalism of the club,” Fullgrabe said.


One hoping that the attention to detail from the medical team will reap rewards is Jack Fletcher who after a couple of injury interrupted years has embraced the professionalism of Subiaco.


“I’ve had a couple of bad years with the injuries, but very quickly I have gotten comfortable here with Subiaco to the point when you come to training it feels like you are coming home,” Fletcher said.


According to Fletcher that positive environment around the club stems from the playing group.


“Sort of at every level, your leaders, your league players and your young guys, everyone in the group is invested in you and really push you to succeed, putting that self drive into you,” Fletcher said.


For Casey Brown an early injury setback in pre-season has not dampened what has been an enjoyable second experience in the WAFL system.


Brown has played with North Fremantle most recently and was selected in the WAAFL State side the past two years as testament to his good form.


“Nick Menegola and Ben Sokol are good mates of mine so when they knew I was looking at getting back into WAFL, they were keen to have me join them at Subiaco,” Brown said.


The Menegola recruitment drive also saw the Elhers brothers, Matt and David make the transition from Claremont to Subiaco over the off-season.


“I had probably not enjoyed my footy at Claremont over the past couple of years and had a few mates like Nick Menegola and Greg Clark at Subi who suggested to give it a go, the coaching group here were great to deal with and so invested in you that it was an easy decision to make,” David Elhers said.


As for Matt who also made the move to Subiaco this year, it has been the drive towards high performance that has vindicated the decision.


“I have really found that Subiaco, the players and coaches, have high expectations on each individual,” Matt Elhers said.


Another recruit who has noticed that high expectation environment is Josh Porteous noting just how difficult the pre-season has been.


“I expected the pre-season to be tough, but it has been something else, really demanding yet really rewarding at the same time,” Porteous said.


As for getting through a difficult pre-season, Porteous points to the support of the playing group.


“The players all have their own little inputs to help get you through and the coaches are very thorough with their planning and detail into sessions,” Porteous said.


For Trent Bradshaw the leaders within Subiaco has been the biggest difference that he has noticed from his previous football experiences.


“I really liked the pod concept and just the way that all of the senior players make sure you are comfortable and welcome in the environment means a lot for new people coming in,” Bradshaw said.


Jake Atkinson had heard about the culture of Subiaco before coming to the club, but admits to still being impressed by just how important that word is within the playing group.


“Scott Worthington was instrumental in getting me down to Subiaco and he really spoke about the culture and how good it would be for my footy, it is hard to explain but you get a great sense in the group of what is important and why the success comes,” Atkinson said.


For Ben Newton coming to the club as a former AFL player with 12 months away from the game, the start of pre-season proved its own challenges.


“I expected pre-season to be tough given the lack of conditioning over the past year, but as the pre-season has progressed I have felt more confident in the body,” Newton said.


For someone who has been around a lot of football clubs, Newton quickly points to the environment that Subiaco has created as to whether the club’s sustained success comes from.


“There really are no cliques here, everyone is invested in everyone and the playing group are so welcoming of new players coming in,” Newton said.


Be sure to check out all of Subiaco’s new faces when Subiaco has their first pre-season hit out at Leederville Oval on Saturday March 10th. Subiaco’s Round One match is a blockbuster clash with East Perth on Good Friday, March 30th