Club savours taste of glory

Stirling Adriatic Centre bar manager Ivan Matulich kisses the premiership cup.
Stirling Adriatic Centre bar manager Ivan Matulich kisses the premiership cup.

The Joondalup club, often referred to as the Garlic Munchers because of its Italian and European player heritage at its former Leederville Oval home, hung cloves of garlic from the player race at Subiaco Oval on grand final day against East Perth.

‘Big Ivan (Matulich), from Stirling Adriatic Centre, sent them to the ground with one of our trainers Bart Devita and the instructions,’ West Perth president Brett Raponi said.

‘The garlic came from my garden; I thought if it was hung it might bring a bit of the divine and it worked,’ Mr Matulich said.

Mr Matulich has been a supporter of the Falcons and of ‘the best game in the world’ since coming to WA by ship from Croatia with his bride Etti in July 1971.

‘We came in on a Thursday night and on the Saturday I was taken to the footy at Leederville Oval,’ he said.

‘I saw the umpires come out with white flags under their arms and little white coats, there was a roar after the siren, the players started bumping each other and I thought ‘this is a circus’.

‘The first kick for goal I was thinking ‘doesn’t he (the goal umpire) catch it?’, as I thought he was a goalkeeper. That was then, the rest is history and it’s a beautiful game.’

– West Perth has 200 premiership guernseys to sell for $95. Contact the club on 9300 3611.