THERE is the pain of the past two years that nobody at Subiaco wants to feel again and the chance to create history, but for Chris Phelan he is just hoping to celebrate a third WAFL premiership before deciding on what his future holds.
Phelan has had yet another outstanding season with the Lions coming off a knee injury that at one point did threaten his career in 2017. But he did make it back for that second straight Grand Final loss against Peel last year and now has gone on to have a tremendous 2018.
That has seen the 167-game veteran, dual premiership winner and two-time fairest and best average another 28.1 disposals as part of a dominant Subiaco midfield alongside captain and good mate Kyal Horsley, Leigh Kitchin and Josh Deluca with ruckman Zac Clarke feeding them sublimely.
WEST Perth defender Jordan Mills is the ultimate story of perseverance racking up 100 reserves games before cementing his league spot and now after helping build Optus Stadium, he can't wait to play there in Sunday's WAFL Grand Final.
If ever there was a story of perseverance and dedication required for inspiration then surely it's Mills who provides a tremendous example with the 27-year-old playing 100 reserves games with West Perth but never once did he ever feel sorry for himself or consider walking away.
Instead, the bulking defender gave his all every single training session and every single reserves appearance hoping a spot would open up.
NO matter what pain there is to draw on or history attempting to be made, all gun Subiaco midfielder Leigh Kitchin is worrying about is trying to win Sunday's WAFL Grand Final to cap a remarkable first four years with the Lions.
Kitchin joined Subiaco from VFL club Frankston with the Lions needing to replace 2014 Simpson Medallist Jason Bristow in its midfield, and he has well and truly stepped up to the plate with a remarkable first four years in the WAFL.
The prolific ball winner and tough and tenacious inside midfielder is already a premiership player at Subiaco from 2015, has played state football in each of his four WAFL seasons, won a fairest and best award and runner-up on another occasion and is currently vice-captain at the Lions.
HAVING already handed South Fremantle a third straight preliminary final loss and seeing his former basketball team lose a third consecutive decider, Blake Wilhelm is hoping West Perth can now inflict a third successive Grand Final defeat on Subiaco this Sunday.
Wilhelm has turned himself into a star performer now having settled into a role at half-back for West Perth to the point where he was named to the WAFL Team of the Year in 2018 with 69 games under his belt, but he came so close to dedicating himself to basketball.
He spent his latter teenage years playing basketball at the Wanneroo (now Joondalup) Wolves and he still has a strong connection to that club through former teammates and his housemate is Wolfpack State Basketball League guard Reece Maxwell.
SUBIACO has done a remarkable job to have all three teams into the Grand Finals at Optus Stadium but after the heartache of the past two years, coach Jarrad Schofield knows the Lions can't get caught up in history or expectations.
Remarkably Subiaco is preparing to play in a fifth successive WAFL Grand Final with Schofield as coach this Sunday against West Perth at Optus Stadium.
On the back of finishing his playing career winning three WAFL premierships with Subiaco in 2006, 07 and 08 having completed his AFL career at West Coast, Port Adelaide and Fremantle that spanned 206 matches and included the 2004 flag, Schofield has ushered in a remarkable era as a coach.
WEST Perth coach Bill Monaghan isn’t worried if Sunday is his last game in charge at the Falcons, all he's focused on is helping his players give themselves the best chance at beating Subiaco in the WAFL Grand Final and he couldn’t be prouder of their efforts getting there.
Monaghan has been coaching at West Perth since taking over from Todd Curley in 2009 and as he prepares to lead the Falcons into a third Grand Final in his tenure attempting to win a second premiership, he does so knowing there's a chance it's his last game at the helm.
He is already the longest-serving coach in the rich history of the West Perth Football Club and has coached more wins than anybody ever at the club, but the last thing he's focusing on entering Sunday's Grand Final against Subiaco at Optus Stadium is himself.
FOR a fourth time in his career, Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley went ever so close winning a Sandover Medal in 2018 but his sole focus remains on Sunday's Grand Final and on making sure the Lions execute to their potential in all areas after two years of heartbreak.
It's difficult to dispute Horsley's status as the premier player in the competition and while one accolade that continues to elude him is the Sandover after yet another top three finish on Monday night, it's not something he's too worried about.
Instead, the Lions skipper is firmly focused on Sunday's WAFL Grand Final against West Perth at Optus Stadium with him leading Subiaco into a fifth straight decider and attempting to make up for the tough losses the past two years against Peel Thunder.
The 2018 McDonald’s WAFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium will feature a mix of experienced and emerging umpires.
Field umpires Matt Adams and Justin Power will be joined by debutant Ben Laycock on the big stage for the League Grand Final.
All three umpires have had an excellent season, particularly Matt Adams, who was named winner of the Montgomery Medal as 2018 Umpire of the Year at the Sandover Medal Count on Monday night.
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HAVING accepted he's likely to spend the rest of his career at full-forward, Andrew Strijk sees no reason West Perth can't continue to defy the odds and turn the heat on Subiaco in Sunday's Grand Final and win a premiership as hefty underdogs.
Strijk's one premiership of his career came in 2013 when West Perth entered the Grand Final against an East Perth team who were warm favourites.
But the Falcons were simply a more committed, determined and well-drilled outfit that afternoon to win the Grand Final and they delivered a similar performance last Sunday to end a nine-game losing run against South Fremantle to win the preliminary final by 26 points.
The WA Football League coaches and captains competing in this Sunday's 2018 McDonald's WAFL Grand Final fronted the media today, Wednesday September 19, at Optus Stadium.
Check out what Subiaco coach Jarrad Schofield and club captain Kyal Horsley, and West Perth's Bill Monaghan and skipper Aaron Black had to say in the video below.
WITH two Sandover Medals and two Simpson Medals in his three WAFL seasons with Claremont, Jye Bolton would love for another AFL opportunity but should that not eventuate it's team success now at the Tigers that will be his focus in 2019.
Three years ago, Bolton received some advice from people he trusted that the WA style of football might suit him perfectly and if he wanted to get another chance in the AFL system after spending time at Collingwood, that might be his best bet.
It's fair to say the three years couldn’t have turned out better for the now 26-year-old with him backing up winning the Sandover and Simpson Medals in 2016 by doing the same in 2018 in what without question has been a superior season.
WA Football volunteer Mark Brookes has been recognised for his significant contribution and leadership in the growth and development of football in the South Fremantle District over the past 15 years as the 2018 recipient of The Sunday Times WA Football Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mr Brookes was presented with the award at the West Australian Football League’s Sandover Medal Count at Optus Stadium on Monday, September 17. He was one of 17 regional and district finalists chosen from more than 1,200 nominees and has received a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final, thanks to the AFL.
THE WAFL has a dual Sandover Medal winner for the first time in 14 years with gun Claremont midfielder Jye Bolton winning for a second time in three years during a glittering Monday evening at Optus Stadium.
Bolton finished the 2018 Sandover Medal vote count on 52 votes to win ahead of Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley with the two gun on-ballers going neck and neck most of the night.
Bolton started on fire polling in each of Claremont's opening nine matches, including best on ground showings in Rounds 5 and 10. That saw him rack up 32 votes by Round 10 but Horsley was keeping pace.
WHILE Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley and West Perth star Shane Nelson head into the Sandover Medal count for 2018 as warm favourites, a host of players are in contention to take out WA football's most prestigious individual honour.
The 2018 Sandover Medal count will be held at Optus Stadium on Monday night for the first time and will be broadcast live by 91.3 SportFM.
It should be a thrilling count with long-time standout WAFL players like Horsley, Nelson, Chris Phelan and Clint Jones trying to breakthrough for a Sandover Medal while the likes of Claremont pair Jye Bolton and Kane Mitchell, West Perth's Aaron Black and South Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe could become two-time winners.
Purchase your tickets to the 2018 McDonald’s WAFL Grand Final today!
The 2018 League season-decider will be played at Optus Stadium at 2:40pm on Sunday, 23 September featuring the first ever public kick-to-kick on the ground for fans.
The day will also include the Colts and Reserves Grand Final and heaps of activities for the fans to enjoy and celebrate WA Football.