Support WAFL footy: Hodyl
Swan Districts President Peter Hodyl has implored WA footy fans to get to the opening round of WAFL football, as the 2020 season finally gets underway this Saturday.
All WAFL grounds can have up to 50% crowd capacity for the opening round with phase four of restrictions remaining in place, Swans home ground Bassendean Oval still capable of holding 7,000 fans for their match with West Perth.
Hodyl, a premiership player with the club in 1990 was confident that fans would turn out in their droves.
"We hope every WAFL ground and every game this weekend gets their full capacity, whatever they are allowed to get," Hodyl told WAFL World on Monday.
"Big crowds are always great, and I think the football public has been jumping out of their skin to watch some real football.
"Given all of the circumstances, I'd expect big crowds at all grounds."
Hodyl made headlines last week for comments directed at Port clubs East and South Fremantle, criticising the two rival clubs for gloating about having a big crowd for their derby in round one.
He labelled the commentary 'disrespectful' to his club, claiming Swans have drawn bigger crowds for their home games regardless of ladder position.
He doubled down on the comments ahead of the round one meeting with the Falcons.
"I think the Fremantle boys are getting a bit thin skinned now days I think. We might have to fly Mal Brown over here for a couple of weeks to toughen them up," Hodyl said.
"The poor old Fremantle boys can only have 6,000 people this week, we can have 7,000. That will be a nice little starter for us."
Hodyl, who is now in to his seventh season as President of the club he played 80 games for from 1982 to 1991, hoped that the wait for football would bring new WAFL fans through the turnstiles.
"I think people are just really keen to get to the footy. WAFL fans are WAFL fans, then there's a whole bunch of people out there that don't know much about the WAFL." he said.
"Without being able to go and see any games, there's a great opportunity (to watch WAFL).
"Most of the WAFL clubs now, it's not just about the game of football. It's a real event. The whole family can come down, the kids get in for free.
"They get a hotdog, they get a drink. They can play till their hearts content all day. We have to make it a real family event and a real enjoyable game of football as well. There's something for everyone down at Steel Blue Oval in Bassendean." Veterans Matt Riggio and Tony Notte will co-captain Swans in 2020, while Hodyl was excited by young prospect Denver Grainger-Barrass, who is set to be drafted later this year.
Colts will start off Saturday's proceedings at 9:30AM, followed by the Reserves at 11:15AM and League at 2:30 PM.
IMAGE: The West Australian.