Big loss for West Perth

Andrew Krakouer (pictured right) in action for Collingwood during his final AFL season.
Andrew Krakouer (pictured right) in action for Collingwood during his final AFL season.

Krakouer was set to be the Joondalup-based Falcons’ Aboriginal ambassador when he signed with much fanfare at the end of last year.

The club did not have an Aboriginal player on its list in 2013 and Krakouer was the man to fill that void.

But on Tuesday, West Perth announced the 137-game AFL player had taken a lucrative offer in the mining industry, which would leave him unable to meet football commitments.

It means the Falcons could remain the only WAFL club without indigenous representation on the field this year.

Club chief executive David Crute said they would look to replace Krakouer, but admitted it would be difficult given they were hoping to fill a dual player-ambassador role.

‘If we can find someone to fill that (ambassadorial) role, he might not be as good a player as Andrew, (but) I’d still look at it,’ he said.

‘It’s got to be the right fit and that’s where it’s disappointing overall as Andrew would have been the right fit both on and off field.’

He said they would still step up their promotion to the Aboriginal community this season despite losing the face of their program.

He described the difficulties West Perth faced in recruiting indigenous players compared with clubs like Swan Districts and Claremont, which had zones in the Pilbara and Kimberley respectively.

West Perth is limited to the Wheatbelt which, he said, had an Aboriginal population of less than five per cent.

‘They can put a lot of work and resources into indigenous players because they’ve got a lot of them playing at their club, whereas we don’t have any,’ he said.