West Perth fans, including president Brett Raponi, celebrate a goal against East Perth. Picture: Justin Bianchini
FOOTBALL passion went too far at the WA Day derby and the Falcons will now make a concerted effort to keep their noses clean, West Perth chief executive Gerry O’Dea has declared.
The fallout from the heated June 4 clash continued into last week, but O’Dea said the club was moving on.
He said regret was not a word he would use when reflecting on the game.
“I don’t see any point in saying regret,” he said.
“It was just a game where emotions were heated and the passion certainly came out.”
He suggested the derby be played at a neutral venue in the future.
“It does seem to be these derbies that bring out the emotion in people,” he said.
The Falcons answered their detractors in the best way possible over the weekend with a convincing 8.16 (64) to 16.10 (104) win against a Perth side that had thrashed Subiaco by 70 points the week before.
Speaking openly with the Times about the Falcons’ fortnight of scrutiny, O’Dea said the club was fully focussed on cracking the finals and would be “keeping their noses clean”.
“We want to give the other clubs a real shake and show them we’re serious about playing finals footy.”
He said the club’s internal processes were under review in the aftermath of the derby controversy.
“My job as CEO is to make sure that we’re continually looking at everything we do and if it is best practice. Are we being as professional as we need to be?” O’Dea said.
“If not then we’ll make the adjustments to make sure the club is right on top of things.”
Last week, the WA Football Commission ordered the club to forfeit a $5000 bond due to bad behaviour from Falcons staff during the derby clash. West Perth were to appeal the decision.
On Tuesday night, senior player Kody Manning received a three-match ban for making racist remarks mid-game to East Perth’s Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls.
O’Dea said the club had thrown its support behind Manning.
“The young West Perth player involved has got rights as well… this guy’s shown contrition and in the heat of the moment made a snap decision. He’s going to have to live with those consequences,” he said.
“Everyone makes mistakes and you’re entitled to put it behind you.”
The club last week issued a statement saying there was no room for racial vilification in the sporting arena.