East Perth stalwart Wulff receives praise from unusual quarters


Wulff proved an inspiration to teammates and fans alike as seen in his attempt to stop West Perth’s Kody Manning in a derby last year. Picture: Dan White
Wulff proved an inspiration to teammates and fans alike as seen in his attempt to stop West Perth’s Kody Manning in a derby last year. Picture: Dan White

PRAISE for East Perth WAFL legend Craig Wulff came from an unlikely quarter in the lead-up to his retirement on Sunday.

West Perth president Brett Raponi told a Falcons function the Royals games record holder was his favourite opposition player.

“I have a deep respect for Craig Wulff,” Raponi said of the captain of West Perth’s archrival.

“For those of you who know me, it’s unique for me to have respect for an East Perth player.

“He reminds me very much of (former West Perth captain) Jason Salecic.

“He is the heart and soul of a football club… he plays it in a hard, fair fashion and I actually enjoy watching him.”

Wulff was disappointed to bow out in a 49-point elimination final loss to Peel on Sunday.

He told ABC Radio, before being chaired off with fellow Royals retiree Paul Johnson, his career highlights included representing WA.

“Obviously the State games were fantastic and beating Victoria (in 2013) which hadn’t been done for a very long time,” he said.

“And captaining WA, captaining East Perth week in, week out.

“I played in a couple of prelims and a couple of grand finals that didn’t go our way but they were obviously memorable.”

He said it “would be fantastic” to stay involved at the club in some capacity next year.

Wulff finished on 283 games, passing previous club games record holder Derek Chadwick’s 269.

Johnson played 140 games for the Royals, won a Simpson Medal and had stints at Melbourne, Hawthorn and West Coast Eagles.