Kerr to notch 100 game milestone against Falcons

Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 7:00 PM by Katie de Haer

Rohan Kerr will celebrate his 100th WAFL match on Saturday, fittingly against West Perth, the team with which he won a premiership. 

East Perth supporters will recall Kerr’s five-goal haul for West Perth on a wet Grand Final day in 2013. Kerr spent four seasons with the Falcons between 2013-2016, but due to work commitments, he stepped away from the WAFL in 2017, playing in back-to-back premierships with Pinjarra in the Peel League.

After returning to the competition in 2019, this time playing for East Perth, Kerr was keen to restart his career and build toward his 100th game. 

I think I’ve gone on record saying I didn’t really want to leave West Perth or the WAFL in general but I had to think of my future more than anything,” Kerr said.

“A good job opportunity came up down south that I couldn’t really refuse. It was unfortunate to leave the WAFL, but I was always keeping a very close eye on the competition and it was something that I definitely wanted to do – to return. 

“I was lucky enough that (former East Perth and West Perth football manager) Ward Harris gave me a call at the end of 2018 to get me across to East Perth. I wanted to get back and play my 100th WAFL game and to be able to say I’m a 100 game player.

“To do that, it means a lot to me. I was glad to be given the opportunity again.”

It will come full circle on Saturday for Kerr, playing his milestone match at the Joondalup ground where he started his WAFL career, playing 79 league games and cementing his place in West Perth history as a 2013 premiership player.

“I’ve still got some close mates at West Perth and to be able to share that day with them and my current mates at East Perth, (it’ll be pretty special).  

“I’m expecting a lot of banter, a lot of talk and a fair bit from the crowd. Given the short season, every game is pretty crucial and we can’t afford to be dropping too many more.

“Every Derby is going to be big, no matter where the teams sit on the ladder. The games are always fierce. I think we saw that last year, both of our games were under 10 points. I think we won by a goal the first time and they won by a goal the second time. Despite where the teams are on the ladder, it’s always tough.

“If we can get as many East Perth supporters up there to silence the West Perth crowd – the players feed off that – you can definitely hear it. The players love that, they love the support. Hopefully they can all get up there in numbers and get us over the line.”

The wingman said the addition of off-season recruits Angus Schumacher, Nick Robertson and Aidan Lynch, freed him and Angus Scott up to be able to run and carry on the outside.

On Saturday, Kerr will join captain Patrick McGinity (108) and Nathan Blee (130) as the only players on East Perth’s 2020 playing list to have reached the 100 league game milestone.

“With Robbo and Angus Schumacher in there as well it probably allows Angus Scott to be freed up on the wing, along with myself. Shaquille McKenzie is not too far away (from playing) either, so we’re only going to be bolstered by it.

“I think everyone is kind of blowing the cobwebs off, learning how everyone plays, their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re feeding off of that.

“With Scott Jones in there, for him to give us first hand (use of the ball) most weeks, it’s definitely beneficial. The first two games that we’ve played, we’ve won clearance numbers pretty comprehensively. It definitely goes along way for our forwards, getting some scores on the board. Hopefully we can continue that momentum.”

The Falcons boast one of the strongest midfields in the competition, with over 550 league games of experience between captain and 2014 Sandover Medallist Aaron Black (191 matches), veteran Shane Nelson (158), Luke Meadows (92) and Trent Manzone (125).

Kerr said he was hoping he and former Falcon Aidan Lynch would be able to provide some extra insight to their Royals teammates and coaching staff ahead of the clash.

“West Perth have got a very good midfield and we’re very wary of that. We’ve got to be right on our game this week.

“Blacky is obviously a fantastic player, he’s a Sandover Medallist and two-time Breckler Medal winner and they’ve got Shane Nelson in there, a three-time Breckler Medal winner, along with Luke Meadows who has come back from the VFL.

“We know they’ve changed a lot of things and we’re not expecting them to be exactly the same as last year, but if we can take a little bit of knowledge from how they want to move the ball or some calls that they’ll make, hopefully we can get the upper hand.”