West Coast Cowan Amateur Football Club is dedicated to growing the great game of Australian Rules Football in the City Beach Area of Western Australia whilst also contributing to the surrounding community. The club is one of the most highly decorated clubs in the WAAFL competition.

West Coast Cowan Club History

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West Coast Amateur Football Club (West Coast) commenced its involvement with the WAAFL in 1984.

Over the course of its 18 year history, West Coast experienced numerous highlights. The club enjoyed many successful seasons in the WAAFL’s A Grade competition, culminating in arguably the pinnacle of the clubs history its League team winning the 1994 A Grade Premiership, under the guidance of John Dimmer (who has since coached West Perth to WAFL flags in 1995 and 1999, and South Fremantle to the last three WAFL Grand Finals, including the 2005 Premiership).

In fact, the club has provided a launching pad for a number of high-profile football careers For example, Ken Judge took on his first senior coaching position at West Coast in 1990-1991, before going on to coach 89 AFL games with Hawthorn (1996-1999) and 44 AFL games at the West Coast Eagles (2000-2001). Similarly, a number of future stars of the WAFL competition first cut their teeth at West Coast; they include Shane Beros (Swan Districts veteran and winner of the 2003 Sandover Medal), Corey Johnson (160 game midfielder at West Perth, who won the 2002 Simpson Medal, for best-on-ground in the annual state game) and Kim Rigoll (West Perth Premiership player in 1999 (Captain) and 2003). More recently, 2004 Colts player Ryan Brabazon was selected by the Sydney Swans in the AFL Draft.

In 2001, West Coast merged with Cowan University Amateur Football Club, to form West Coast Cowan Amateur Football Club (West Coast Cowan). The success of this merger was confirmed later that year, when West Coast Cowan won the WAAFLs coveted Champion Club award in its inaugural season.

From its City Beach Oval base, West Coast Cowan has enjoyed a relatively successful past few years: the B Reserve team won the 2001 Premiership; the B Colts team were 2003 Premiers; and the West Coast Cowan C League team (which included a number of players from the 2003 Colts Premiers) won last year’s premiership and thereby earned the club promotion back into the B Grade competition in 2007.

All in all, since 1984 the club (including its pre-merger identities) has won a total of 16 Premierships; making West Coast Cowan the seventh most successful club in WAAFL history.



Despite its successes in the early-2000′s, a number of factors (such as player retirements) led to some disappointing on-field results which saw West Coast Cowan relegated to C Grade in 2004.

Possessed with one of the youngest player groups in the WAAFL, the club then faced a watershed period, with its long-term future largely dependent upon the events of the coming few seasons. Poor results and declining player numbers could have seen the club slide into the lower grades of the competition; or alternatively, a concerted effort to improve on- and off-field performance could help to lead West Coast Cowan back towards its glory days.

The 2005 season became one of stabilisation and consolidation, which saw the League team narrowly miss the finals series. Nonetheless, the year helped to instil a steadily-improving morale and team spirit at West Coast Cowan which set the scene for 2006.

Having duelled with Coolbinia-West Perth all year, West Coast Cowan’s League team finished the home and away season in second place. The team then defeated its heavily-favoured rivals in the second semi-final, only to meet them again in the Grand Final two weeks later. Yet again, West Coast Cowan was triumphant; winning 12.11 (83) to 11.10 (76). Whilst not making the finals, the Reserves and Colts teams also had successful seasons: when on-song, the Reserves were able to beat any team in their competition, including eventual premiers Ocean Ridge; and, although slow to start, the Colts team gelled mid-way through the season and thereafter won 7 of their last 9 games, comfortably defeating almost all-comers, only to miss the finals by the narrowest of margins.

Compounding these on-field achievements, 2006 was also the club’s most successful off-field year in recent history: with increased involvement from players and supporters alike; a number of successful functions being held (including our annual Quiz Night, as well as a Ladies Day organised by the newly-established Ladies Committee); and further plans put in place to ensure the continued revival and growth of West Coast Cowan in future years.




B Grade Colts won the flag with Dan Barnes Coach. Dan Barnes was also awarded the League Best and Fairest Award.

Duran ‘Spud’ Carter was the Captain of the Colts side, with his father Noel Carter being the Assistant Coach.



In 2001, West Coast merged with Cowan University Amateur Football Club, to form West Coast Cowan Amateur Football Club (West Coast Cowan). The success of this merger was confirmed later that year, when West Coast Cowan won the WAAFLs coveted Champion Club award in its inaugural season.

B Grade Reserves went through the season undefeated eventually winning the title under Coach Ben Bryant, and ex-player of the Cowan side. The League side lost the Grand Final to Wanneroo under Nathan Spilker.






Paul McMahon was President and Gavin Carter Coach. F Grade won the flag over CBC with John ‘Sandy’ Sanford as Coach and Gary Clune as Manager.


F Grade lost to North Fremantle in the Grand Final. Coach John Sandford.


A Grade Flag won!

Coach: John Dimmer



Mal Green was the Coach of the Cowan Colts who won the Premiership



A Colts lost elimination final against North Beach at Bassandean Oval


A Colts lost elimination final to Wembley at Claremont Oval


Coach Nev Green was killed weeks before the final.


B Grade Coach Bernie Dunn won flag for the first time in A Grade versus Leederville.

C Grade Coach Cluney won flag. Bernie Martin kicking 10 goals in the game.


B-Grade, F-Grade, I-Grade and B-Colts

After the disappointment of 1985, B-Grade looked upon1986 as a year of rectifying the previous years Grand Final loss. Coach McGinnity again had the nucleus of a very good side with an influx of colts premiership players filling the void left by a number of retirements from the previous year. Again the side was near the top for most of the season and found its way into the Grand Final against one of the oldest teams in the amateur league; North Fremantle. In a low scoring match, West Coat were unable to bring home the much sought after first senior premiership for the club. Again the players such as Mark Palmer, Kevin Osborne and a young tyro by the name of Richard Hudson dominated.

F-Grade proved a tremendous breeding ground for B-Grade throughout the season of 1986. Coached by Corry Berrimen, the side performed admirably and found its way into its first finals campaign. Traditionally strong sides University and Mt Lawley proved stumbling blocks for F-Grade finally knocking them out in the Preliminary Final. Good players that year included Ross Mead, Brendon Boyle and John Sandford.

The B-Colts had much to live up to in 1986. Having won the previous two colts premierships, the onus was on them to make it three in a row. under the guidance of Michael Lawson (Mooney), the colts found their way into the Grand Final against Maylands. In a tough and sometimes spiteful game the Coasters drew away from their rivals to the point where they had a clear advantage halfway through the last quarter. That was when an all in br
awl involving both players and supporters erupted forcing the umpires to call the game off. Another premiership had been won.


B-Grade, F-Grade, I-Grade, B-Colts, D-Colts

After a fine first year, the club went from strength to strength in 1985 with two colts premierships (B and D) and B-Grade appearing in the grand final.

The club really established itself as a force and a very professional unit this year. The B-Grade side was again coached by Kevin McGinnity with assistance from John Martin. They finished minor premiers and won a hard fought semi-final against Innaloo at Leederville Oval. The Grand Final was played at Perth Oval and expectations were high. The club were geared for a Premiership. However, Innaloo jumped West Coast from the outset and dominated in a disappointing one-sided game. Better players on the day for West Coast included Andy Wyatt, Andrew Lane and Mal Secourable.

The big news was the Colts. The B Colts, after the success of 84 were successful in retaining their premiership crown. They were led by Tony Wear and had good players all year including Joe Agnello, Dan Pearce, Tim Manea, Anthony Byrne, Rob White, Mark O’Hart, Shane Greaves and Steve Nielsen. Coached by Rod Stark, the B-Colts provided the senior side with a number of quality players throughout the year, none more so than mark Palmer who was runner-up in both the B-Colts and B-Grade Fairest and Best Awards.

Undoubtedly the hero of 1985 though was Robert ‘Barney’ Barnett who performed a feat that many only dream of. In the D-Colts Grand Final against Redcliffe the siren sounded with West Coast 5 points down. However Barney had the ball after taking a mark 50 metres out. He went back and sent a torpedo straight through the middle, into the waiting arms of Grant Buntton who was standing behind the goals. Coach Michael Lawson and the boys were ecstatic and when news spread that both colts teams had won, Perth was a dangerous place ? what a night! F-Grade and I-Grade enjoyed reasonable seasons but the colts made this a truly memorable season for the Coast.


Back Row:
Middle Row: Nick Rule (6), Andrew Howes (13), Matt Walker (16), Andrew Timmings (24)
Front Row:
Coach: Brearley Hollingsworth

70 comments on “West Coast Cowan Club History

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