Purple Patch: Wes Walley finds early form

SUBIACO bottom-ager Wesley Walley produced a scintillating first quarter in his side’s Round 7 win over South Fremantle, booting four goals to kickstart the 75-point mauling. The bottom-ager booted the opening three majors of the match within four minutes, before adding a fourth late in the term.

The Lions’ five unanswered goals at the first break turned into nine at half time, before running out 16.10 (106) to 4.7 (31) victors at Leederville Oval. State Under 18 squad member, Walley was central to the early assault, and we recap his purple patch with a breakdown of each goal.

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TIME PERIOD: Quarter 1, 9:00-23:00
Q1 STATS: 4 disposals (all kicks), 2 marks, 4 goals
ELAPSED SCORE: Subiaco 5.0 (30) to South Fremantle 0.1 (1)

GOAL #1: 9′ | Subiaco 1.2 (8) vs. South Fremantle 0.1 (1)

Walley made an immediate impact after rotating onto the ground at around the eight-minute mark. Subiaco moved the ball quickly from end-to-end and he used his speed to lose recent state squad inductee Tom Bell with a lead across forward 50, marking uncontested about 40 metres from goal.

He made the set shot look easy, flowing through a relatively straightforward routine and striking the ball well. It never looked in doubt as it sailed through the big sticks, handing Subiaco an early buffer after conceding the first score of the game. Walley’s was the opening major, and there was more to come.

GOAL #2: 12′ | Subiaco 2.2 (14) vs. South Fremantle 0.1 (1)

After a relatively orthodox first goal, Walley’s second was dug out of his deep bag of tricks. On the end of another quick transition, he chased the bouncing ball over the back with Aidan Harvey in pursuit and only just managed to get his studs to it.

In a flukey moment of skill, Walley’s toe-poke jagged back perfectly from just inside the boundary line to dribble through the goals, with his deftest of touches truly making the ball talk. Only he will know whether he meant it or not, but put it past him at your own peril.

GOAL #3: 13′ | Subiaco 3.2 (20) vs. South Fremantle 0.1 (1)

Fresh off his miracle finish, Walley struck while the iron was hot with another goal essentially straight out of the next centre break. Amid a scramble in the square, the ball was punted forward for the bottom-ager to fly third-up against two South Fremantle defenders.

His athleticism was on show with the leap, as he plucked the ball out of the sky with a clean grab. The 40-metre set shot was from a better position than his first, and he took advantage of the placement straight in front to slot home a third consecutive goal in just four minutes.

GOAL #4: 23′ | Subiaco 5.2 (32) vs. South Fremantle 0.2 (2)

There was a momentary lull in the action for Walley, albeit only 10 minutes long, before he added his fourth goal late in the opening term. It was another in open play, with the ball sent deep inside 50 where he could worry his opponent in a one-on-one duel.

The forward’s closing speed and perceived pressure saw Seamus Galvin fumble, before Walley pounced to shove him off the ball, snatch possession and run into the open goalsquare. With an emphatic snap finish, he completed a quartet of majors and one of the great WAFL Colts quarters.


Q2-4 STATS: 7 disposals (5 kicks, 2 handballs), 2 marks, 3 behinds

Walley, perhaps content with his and Subiaco’s performance, was virtually unsighted in the second quarter but still managed to get involved thereafter. Koopa Walsh became the Lions’ focal point in attack, which left him to wreak havoc at ground level.

Walley assisted Malakai Champion’s third quarter goal with an agile step and handball, but took another chance off him by missing as he took the advantage for a free kick his teammate won.

In the fourth quarter, he had another set shot chance but missed the long-range snap, and then put another wide after catching a Bulldogs defender holding-the-ball.

The bottom-ager’s movement and power proved difficult to contain as he came alive when the ball entered his area, though he couldn’t capitalise after quarter time with three behinds.


Against an opposition side which sits last on the ladder, perhaps not a whole lot. Although, Walley has shown signs of achieving such a breakout game in his six WAFL Colts outings to date, and took full toll to outline exactly why he features in the state Under 18 squad.

The speedy and spring-heeled forward clearly has a lot of upside and is a natural around goal, but can look to build on his promising form with more consistency both throughout four quarters, and from week to week.

Establishing a greater running base and impacting the game outside of forward 50 will help boost his numbers, with the 180cm talent having a whole extra year to continue developing his game. Being in a relatively strong Colts side will help, along with the upcoming representative experience.

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