West Perth Joins Forces with AFL Clubs

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 9:29 AM

In a significant step for the West Perth Football Club, Head of WAFLW Development Luke Richardson recently embarked on a club-sanctioned fellowship with AFL clubs Gold Coast and North Melbourne.  

This unique opportunity allowed Richardson to gain invaluable insights into the intricacies of AFL and AFLW operations, including list management, coach and player education, player development, talent acquisition, and retention. 

The knowledge he acquired during his two-week experience has already had a profound impact on shaping the future of the club's WAFLW program.  

Richardson’s fellowship with the Suns and the Kangaroos was an initiative to help bridge the gap between the elite level of the AFL, AFLW and the WAFLW competitions. 

The program allowed him to immerse himself in the inner workings of these professional clubs, gaining an in-depth understanding of the strategies, processes, and operations that have made them successful in both the men's and women's competitions.  

During his two-week stint with the AFL clubs, Richardson delved into a multitude of aspects crucial to the success of any football program. 

He observed the intricacies of list management, analyzing how clubs built and maintained competitive playing rosters and how values and character play a big role in who remains within the club environments. 

Richardson also explored the methods of coach and player education, which are essential for player development and tactical proficiency. 

In addition, talent acquisition and retention strategies were examined closely, providing valuable insights into recruiting and keeping the best talents.  

Upon his return , Richardson wasted no time applying the knowledge and insights he gained to positively impact the West Perth Football Club's WAFLW program. 

“By leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the east, our program is poised to build a brighter and more competitive future for women's football. 

Richardson also praised the hospitality of the Suns and the Kangaroos. 

“I can’t thank both clubs enough for welcoming me into their ‘inner sanctum’ and am very appreciative of our club and our board for supporting me in my personal development,” he said. 

The club is now better equipped to shape a more competitive, dynamic, and successful women's football program that aligns with the standards set by the AFL/W clubs.  

The West Perth Football Club's investment in Richardson’s professional development is not only a testament to their commitment to women's football but also a step toward strengthening the ties between the AFL/W and WAFLW. 

As the WAFLW competition continues to grow and evolve, the lessons and insights brought back by Richardson are poised to play a pivotal role in elevating the standard of women's football for the Falcons.