West Perth president Brett Raponi claimed the ‘home of football’ status after the Falcons’ WA Day clash with rivals East Perth attracted 6201 spectators, the biggest crowd in the WA Football League this season.
It follows the biggest WAFL home crowds of 6044 and 6195 for the club’s international-round games in 2012 and 2013.
‘We’re aiming for 6500 for our international day game against Subiaco on July 12,’ Mr Raponi said.
Though disappointed with the 16-point loss to the Royals on Monday, the club was pleased with its ‘great day’.
It featured the return of the Victorian coach who oversaw West Perth’s last game at Leederville Oval in 1993 and first at the Arena the following year, in which the Falcons beat East Perth by 21 points.
Jeff Gieschen, who went on to coach Richmond and manage AFL umpiring for 14 years, told a record 240-person president’s lunch the club had foresight in moving to Joondalup.
‘I remember when we first got here (to Arena Joondalup),’ he said.
‘There was no lighting. We couldn’t use the changeroom; we were getting changed up on the banks. Steve Woodhouse (general manager) had organised a generator to put up some temporary lighting.
‘I loved Leederville’