WAFL: another year flying with the Falcons for Basil Zempilas


Basil Zempilas is the Falcons’ number one fan.
Picture: Martin Kennealey           d449907
Basil Zempilas is the Falcons’ number one fan. Picture: Martin Kennealey         d449907

Or as was the case for WAFL club West Perth recently – if you want something done, ask Basil Zempilas.

The Perth media everywhere-man accepted the Falcons’ offer to remain as No. 1 Ticket Holder for another year despite a schedule that is set to swell significantly in the coming months.

Zempilas will be in the thick of media duties for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as West Perth heads into the final rounds of the season.

Add to that his regular sports news, radio and AFL gigs and it would have been understandable for him to drop his Falcons’ responsibilities.

But ‘Baz’ is back.

“I’ve had a series of really busy years and this is probably the busiest of the lot of them, with the Olympics and the national Olympic swimming trials before then,” he said.

“So it’s a huge year, but delighted to be No.1 Ticker Holder with West Perth again and I get the feeling we might be on the verge of doing something pretty special.”

Zempilas is also looking forward to a year free of the TV saga between West Perth and WAFL broadcaster Channel 7 that lingered over the entirety of the 2015 regular season.

West Perth’s Channel 9 sponsorship prevented the club being shown on Channel 7 until a compromise was reached during the finals.

The 44-year-old openly admitted it left him in an awkward position as Seven’s most prominent sports presenter and West Perth’s honorary spruiker.

“I must say it was awkward,” he said.

“I never felt as though I should hand the No. 1 Ticket Holder’s position back and to the club’s credit, they kept that issue and my role as separate as they possibly could.

“But it did feel as though there was a little while there when I wasn’t sure it was a good thing to be popping up to West Perth home games.”

Zempilas laughed when he recalled fans bestowing a Channel 9 cap on him when he made an appearance at last year’s first final at Arena Joondalup.

He expected most people understood the situation was out of his control.

“It had a good resolution all around and this year will be a much easier year,” he said.

“The main thing was we wanted West Perth games to be on Channel 7 and that happened in the end last year and it’s going to happen again this year.”

He looked back on his playing career at the club, where he is one of only a few who played at both the Falcons’ former home Leederville Oval and Arena Joondalup, with fondness but quipped he was a lot better at the media side of football.

Falcons president Brett Raponi was delighted to welcome Zempilas back.

“Basil is a former player and a high-profile media personality who has never forgotten the club that gave him his start,” he said.

“The club is fortunate to be able to call upon such luminaries as Dennis Cometti previously and now Basil to boost the image and profile of the Falcons across the state and indeed the country.

“Basil’s challenge now is to beat the five years it took Dennis (while he was No. 1 Ticket Holder) for us to win a flag.”