AFTER three years away, the boys at Claremont Football Club cannot wait to be back playing on home turf.
Despite having relocated only a couple of hundred metres away at the Claremont Showground for the past few seasons, new Claremont coach Darren Harris said his team was eager to play at the new and improved Claremont Oval.
“We had our first training session there a few weeks ago and there was such a great level of energy and excitement,” Harris said.
“It was a real indicator to me just how much the ground means to the boys and it was great to see.
“Playing at home doesn’t just mean winning but it gives (the team) a good boost, which helps.”
The first game at Claremont Oval is scheduled for late May to allow the adjacent grandstand and club to be completed.
“It’s all coming together really well,” the former West Coast and Geelong assistant coach said.
“The clubrooms look great; there’ll be a player’s lounge, gym, medical suites and a cafe. The staff won’t know themselves. It’s not only great for the club, but for the community as well.”
Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said the new ground would not only be a great asset to the WA Football League but the area as well.
“Architecturally it looks terrific. The grandstand will seat a lot more people and a lot more comfortably too,” he said.
“Hopefully it’ll give (Claremont) a good crack at the flag.”
Harris, who coached West Perth before taking up AFL assistant coaching roles at the West Coast Eagles and Geelong, said he was pleased with his new team’s 62-point win over East Fremantle in round 1.
“We lost both our pre-season games, and East Freo kicked the first four, so it was good to come away with a win,” he said.
“Our defence was really good and our pressure as well, and we were really happy with the spread of contributors.
“We had this weekend off and now focus on playing against Perth, who has won the last four out of six games against us.
“It’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.”