Richmond recruit Matthew Parker gets green light to return for South Fremantle in WAFL finals

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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Richmond’s Matthew Parker has been granted permission to return for the WAFL finals.
Camera IconRichmond’s Matthew Parker has been granted permission to return for the WAFL finals. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Richmond’s Mid-Season recruit Matthew Parker will turn out for South Fremantle in the upcoming finals series after the WAFL gave the return the green light on Tuesday.

Parker played seven league games for the Bulldogs in 2021 before he was snapped up by the Tigers with pick 10 back in June.

He then played six straight games for the Tigers to see out the 2021 AFL season, averaging 13 disposals a game and kicking three goals.

It was Parker’s second taste of AFL action, after spending two seasons at St Kilda before he was delisted at the end of 2020.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley was thrilled with Parker’s availability for the qualifying final against Claremont on Saturday.

Matthew Parker will return for South Fremantle’s finals series.
Camera IconMatthew Parker will return for South Fremantle’s finals series. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

“Matt is one of ours and was voted into the leadership group in 2021,” he said.

“He trained hard all summer, played with us until drafted and has remained invested in our team after his return to the AFL with the Richmond Football Club.

“Matt, our players and our coaches are all excited to have him back and involved for finals.”

In a statement, the WAFC confirmed Richmond Football Club approved Parker’s involvement in the WAFL finals.

“Under the WAFL Rules and Regulations, any WAFL player that is selected in the Mid-Season Rookie Draft has the right to return to their original club to participate in finals,” a WAFC spokesperson said.

“The West Australian Football Commission, Richmond Football Club, South Fremantle Football Club and the AFL have reached an agreement, which will allow Parker to play in the upcoming Optus WAFL Finals Series.”

Parker’s return comes just 24 hours after West Coast denied West Perth’s bid to have Connor West return for the WAFL elimination final against Swan Districts.

“Whilst it would have been a lift to have Connor available for selection it wasn’t to be, due to a couple of injury concerns,” Falcons general manager of football Steve Trewhella said.

“We will be going into Sunday’s game selecting fully fit players and unfortunately Connor isn’t available for us to consider. We wish Connor the best with his recovery and hopefully see him around the Club during the finals.”

The Eagles medical team blamed both an ankle injury and groin soreness for West’s omission from the Falcons’ finals campaign.

Finals Week 1

Qualifying finals

Fremantle Community Bank Oval Saturday

League South Fremantle v Claremont 2.40pm

Reserves Swan Districts v Perth 9.30am

Colts Claremont v East Perth 12 noon

Elimination finals

Provident Financial Oval Sunday

League West Perth v Swan Districts 2.40pm

Reserves Subiaco v West Perth 12 noon

Colts East Fremantle v West Perth 9.30am

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