WJFC 50 years of history timeline
The Willetton Junior Football Club was founded in 1971 when many young boys wanting to play in the area were having trouble getting into teams at Riverton Junior Football Club. The inaugural year saw the club field two teams in Under 9’s and Under 11’s in the East Fremantle District with Mr Ian Adkins as the club’s first President.
Within two years we became known as the Willetton Sports Club – Junior Football Division. The Willetton Sports Club was established to create an enviable sporting environment in the southern suburbs, encompassing football (junior and amateur leagues), cricket, hockey, netball, basketball, soccer, tennis, chess and lawn bowls all centred around the Burrendah playing fields. The Sports Club was responsible for the financial management of all the clubs with sub-committees in each sport reporting to the WSC.
Both the Junior and Amateur football teams adopted the Navy Blue strip with the WSC logo on the front of the jumpers.
With the area growing so too did the Football Club, going from seven teams in 1979 to fourteen teams in 1982 in the Under 9’s to Under 17’s competitions. These numbers remained constant throughout the 1980’s, however began dropping off in the early 1990’s with the population aging in the area as well as the formation of the Rostrata Junior Football Club on the east side of Vahland Avenue.
By 2002 the club had dropped to five teams, however still won a Premiership flag in the Under 14’s with a combined Willetton/Rostrata team. Committee numbers were at a bare minimum and the finances were in a bad way. Rostrata Junior Football Club presented an offer of a merge and after lengthy and heated discussions between the two clubs, the Willetton Committee chose to remain true to their roots and stay put, with several committee members putting in their own money to prop up the club.
In 2004 the club started to turn around its fortunes and numbers started to increase. By 2009 we were back up to nine teams and fielded an Under 17’s side, which was the first in eight years. The Club also earned the title of East Fremantle District Club of the Year. The perseverance and hard work of the Committee, coaches and players had paid off.
From 2009 to 2011 the club continued to grow in strength, however the same couldn’t be said for the Willetton Sports Club Inc, who collapsed after 38 years of advocating for and partially financing many Willetton sports facilities we still use today. The Canning Council took over the building and closed the doors of the Willetton Sports Club. It all occurred over the off-season and if not for the hard work of Toni Brown, along with Glenn and Helen Hunter over their summer period, quashing the rumours and getting the message out and that Willetton JFC was ‘Alive and Kicking’, it too may have spelt the end for the club. But it seems we at Willetton JFC are made of tougher stuff and weathered the storm with our playing numbers increasing, the committee representation doubling and the bank balance looking healthy.
The 2014 season would still have to be recognised as one of the Clubs most successful on field, winning three flags in one day – Year 7’s Plate Final, Year 8’s Blue Division and Year 9’s White Division. A feat which is envied by many clubs.
One of the Clubs and East Fremantle Districts most successful teams completed a ‘4-peat’ in 2017 to win four Premierships in a row – 2014 (Year 8), 2015 (Year 9), 2016 (Year 10) and 2017 (Year 11)
2016 saw the club take a leap of faith and enter an all female team into the competition, which has become a success story and looks to remain a strength in the game. A role model to a lot of the girls playing was our own, Ruby Schleicher – drafted in the augural AFLW competition to Collingwood. Our second all female team entered the Year 7-8 competition in 2018 and our third team in 2020. The club now has Year7-8, Year 9-10 and Year 11-12 all-female teams who continue our strong Club tradition and have won two premierships in 4 years.
The pinnacle of success for any team or player is to play in a Grand Final. Many of us were cheering on Jason Johannisen playing for the Western Bulldogs in the 2016 AFL Grand Final, and all felt a little bit of ownership when he won the Norm Smith medal for best on ground.
The Willetton Junior Football Club has become a club that provides a high quality environment for children of all ages, gender and skill levels. We pride ourselves on being the Family Club and offering the best opportunity for all our players and community.
- For Willetton Junior Football Club to be the pinnacle of sporting excellence for the district.
- We aim to promote and develop sporting skills recognising that sport contributes to the health of our community and provides positive avenues for children to grow, contribute and develop, creating responsible members of the community and role models for future generations.
- To provide a safe and friendly environment for junior footballers to learn the fundamentals of playing football as a member of a team.
- To develop individual skills so that teams may be competitive.
- To provide an environment where junior players enjoy playing football.
- Respect – fairness, tolerance and discipline
- Participation – individual, family, community
- Teamwork – cooperation, inclusion, enjoyment
- Growth – opportunity and improvement
- Discipline – in ourselves
- Pride – in our performance
- Fair Play and Sportsmanship
Our Coaches and Management:
We shall provide equal opportunity to children of mixed ability and to develop their football skills within their own levels of capability, in an enjoyable and fun environment
We shall conduct training sessions honestly and professionally and all times uphold high moral standards by our conduct and by the examples we set
We shall coach only those skills recognised and accepted by the football governing authorities and in accordance with the Laws of the Game, and uphold their professional standards in a safe and responsible manner
We shall honour all engagements, unselfishly commit time, effort and resolve for the betterment and continuous development of our players and the game