SWFL women’s 2022: Turmoil continues at South Bunbury as it forfeits weekend match

Luke McPherson & Justin FrisSouth Western Times
The South Bunbury Football Club is in troubled waters after an exodus from its women’s team.
Camera IconThe South Bunbury Football Club is in troubled waters after an exodus from its women’s team. Credit: South Bunbury Football Club / So/So

The South Bunbury women’s football team has been forced to forfeit its fixture this weekend after a recent mass exodus of female players from the club, which has been in the grips of turmoil for more than a month.

The Tigers were due to play Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault this Saturday but pulled out of the match on Thursday night due to not being able to field a team.

The news comes after the South Western Times reported at least nine players had left the club to join other South West Football League teams.

HBL president Tristan Maslin said he was told by SWFL general manager Jason Crowe around 7.30pm on Thursday the Tigers had forfeited.

Maxwell Jetta.
Camera IconFormer Tigers women’s coach Maxwell Jetta. Credit: Luke McPherson/RegionalHUB

The mass exodus follows a racial vilification incident in a league match on May 14 between South Bunbury and Carey Park which resulted in three-time Tigers women’s premiership coach Maxwell Jetta resigning.

At least nine players have since left the club, including co-vice captain and multiple-time premiership player Kate Fielding, who has been vocal about her exit on social media and on local sports program Scord South West.

Fielding, who was awarded best on ground in last year’s SWFL grand final and has been an integral part of the Tigers’ recent premiership dynasty, was handed a four-game ban because of off-field conduct, which is believed to have sparked several other transfers.

South Bunbury ruck Kate Fielding is making an early impact in her new role up forward.
Camera IconKate Fielding has left the South Bunbury club. Credit: Jon Gellweiler/JLG Photographics/RegionalHUB

She has crossed over to Carey Park, along with fellow key position player Tonya Matthews.

Busselton’s bid for a maiden premiership under Rennie Meadmore has been given a boost, with Maddy Obal, Karyn Beeson and Gemma Wharton all set to don the black-and-white.

With East Fremantle duo Beth Beckett and Mia Dronow potential inclusions following their WAFLW commitments with the Sharks, Busselton are looming as a genuine premiership threat.

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault have also gained Kristy Jetta, Tia Holt and Sophie Turner.

Under WACFL protocols, players have until June 30 to transfer to a rival club or competition.

South Bunbury remain on top of the SWFL women’s ladder, with the forfeit their only loss of the season.

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