Electronic Scoreboard To Enhance Hands Oval Experience

The South West Football League were recently given approval by the SWFL delegates to instal a video screen / electronic scoreboard at Hands Oval to replace the existing manual scoreboard which has stood in the North Eastern corner of Hands Oval since 1986.

To be built by Electronic Signage Australia, based out of Nunawading in Victoria, the Screen will by 7m wide by 4.8m high and will sit 3m off the ground.

The screen will have four modes, Gameplay mode, Sponsor Display, Player Display and Full Screen mode enabling it to take the live feed from broadcasters.

The Electronic Scoreboard will enhance the game day experience of spectators and will ensure that the Hands Oval Redevelopment reaches its AFL Level 4 rating.   Work on the scoreboard has commenced and will be installed in time for the SWFL Finals Series, and at the same time as the stadium opening.


Female Captains Suggest Bunbury The Team To Beat

After speaking to the Captains of the Tronox Women’s Competition, Bunbury has emerged as the team to beat in this years competition, with four of the Captains suggesting the Bulldogs would go back to back.

There was also plenty of support for the Harvey Bulls to become the a new Premiership team, in a competition dominated by South Bunbury, Bunbury and more recently Busselton.  Two Captains suggested the Bulls could go all of the way while four suggested they would make the Grand Final.  Meanwhile, there was just as much support for Busselton to play Bunbury again in the decider.

Harvey Brunswick Leschenault was suggested as the big improver, and although making finals last season, it was suggested they would trouble several of the top teams this year.

Trinity Brown was tipped by several captains to be the favourite to win the Nola Marino Medal, while Rachel Wright and Dunsborough’s Shelby Foster were also suggested.

Several captains suggested this season would see closer margins, a closing of the gap between the top teams and the teams outside of last years top three, and that Gather Round in Collie would be another great advertisement for Women’s football.

The Tronox Women’s competition starts this Saturday, with matches between last years Grand Finalist in Busselton who will play Carey Park, while Harvey Bulls will play Harvey Brunswick Leschenault.  Both matches commence at 3.10pm.


The 2024 Tronox Women’s Captains. Photo courtesy of Jon Gellweiler.

Even Season Predicted After Captains Have Their Say

The Dale Alcock Homes South West Premiership Season starts this Saturday, with the Captain’s suggesting it will be a close season, with as many as four clubs predicted to win the 2024 Grand Final.

After speaking to the Men’s Captains, defending premiers Busselton, along with South Bunbury, Bunbury and Donnybrook have all been tipped to win the flag. with South Bunbury figuring as the team most likely to make the grand final.

In what is being tipped as a very close season, several captains selected Dunsborough to make finals for the very first time, along with Margaret River to make a return to the final five.  For that to happen, two clubs from last years finals would have to miss out.

Captains were also asked who was most likely to win the Hayward Medal, with Busselton’s Mitch Tenardi, Eaton’s Greg Humphries and Harvey Brunswick Leschenault’s Ty Anderson amongst the favourites.

Club Captains were also asked what would be the big talking points of 2024, with Hands Oval Redevelopment, Concussion, weekly upsets in a tight competition and Dunsborough making finals tipped to be the main focal points.

Blaine Johnson (South Bunbury) and Jordan Strahan (Harvey Bulls) are the players tipped to kick the most goals.

The season starts this Saturday with a Grand Final re-match between Busselton and Carey Park at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, while Harvey Bulls will take on Harvey Brunswick Leschenault at Harvey Oval, with both matches scheduled to start at 4.40pm

2024 SWFL Captains – Photo courtesy of Jon Gellweiler

Can Busselton Go Back To Back?

Busselton as the reigning premiers are the team the other ten teams all want to beat in 2024, with the Magpies starting their title defence this Saturday with a Grand Final rematch against Carey Park.

Busselton won their first premiership in eight years and have a new Coach, with Matt Jamieson moving from Augusta Margaret River to Busselton after Daniel Delaney stood down after leading the club to the Premiership Flag.

Not many people saw the Jamieson move coming, but he will certainly provide plenty of experience to a group who have lost several players in the off season.  Thomas Vellios and Jaice Pardi have transferred to Dunsborough, Kester Decke (Deanmill), Brandy Armstrong and Austin Styles (Imperials) have all gone to the Lower South West League, while Jaxon East and Zac Pethybridge transferred to the Myrtleford Football Club, in the Ovens & Murray League and are two of the biggest losses to the competition, let alone Busselton.

Despite the losses of personnel, it opens the door for others to step up, and Busselton will again be hard to beat at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, where they will open their season against the Panthers.

After playing Carey Park, the Magpies will travel to Payne Park to take on Bunbury who also made finals in 2023.  After a bye in round three, it will be a road trip to take on the Lions at Brunswick before playing Eaton in round five at home.  The Magpies finish their season with three games close to home, with a match against Donnybrook at the Boyanup Oval, the Hawks at home, before finishing the home and away season with a twenty minute trip down the road to Dunsborough.   Busselton only play Collie Eagles and Harvey Bulls once in rounds ten and eleven respectively.

Busselton will again be hard to beat in the Women’s competition under new Coach Rob Witten.  Busselton lost in a heart-breaker to Bunbury in last years decider, but have kept a core nucleus of last years team.

The Reserves made the Grand Final, winning a thriller against South Bunbury in the decider with coach Ben Perry picking up a coaching role outside of the SWFL, with Conor O’Brien taking the reigns this season.

The Magpies Colts finished fifth, losing the Elimination Final to Harvey Brunswick Leschenault who ultimately went on to the Grand Final.  Highly experienced coach, Ray Gannaway remains in the role.

Can Panthers Go The Next Step?

Carey Park fell agonisingly short of a fairytale Grand Final victory at Payne Park last season, in one of the great grand finals when they fell just short against Busselton in a match decided by less than a goal.

Under new coach Frank Italiano, experts had the Panthers entrenched in bottom three on the ladder, something was proven to be wrong from the very first match of the season.  Having previously finished no higher than sixth in the previous six seasons and having come off finishing eighth in 2022, Carey Park were definitely the big improvers in 2023.

Then Panthers played great football all season, and for the most part have the bulk of their 2023 squad again for this season.  Harley Sparks who won all but one award last year, including a record victory in the Hayward Medal has transferred to West Coast (WAFL), while twin brother Cooper has also left the club, transferring to Harvey Bulls.  Cooper Sparks was adjudged the best player in the Grand Final.

Coach Italiano is confident of a strong showing again this season, and is happy with the progress of the team leading into the season opener against Busselton.

The Panthers start their 2024 campaign with a Grand Final rematch against Busselton in Busselton this Saturday, before a home game against the Harvey Bulls.  Carey Park then play away games until round six, playing consecutive home games against the Lions and Boomers.   They finish the season with matches against South Bunbury (home) and Donnybrook (away), while they only Augusta Margaret River and Dunsborough once in the twenty round season.

Former player and 2006 league premiership player Shane Miles continues as coach of the Reserves for a second season, while Josh Jones takes on the role of Colts Coach, with Glen Buck in charge of the Women’s team in 2024.