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Fremantle

The Fremantle Football Club, nicknamed the Dockers, is an Australian rules football team that plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based in the port city of Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River in Western Australia. In 1995 it became the second team from Western Australia to be admitted to the national Australian rules football competition, honouring the rich footballing tradition and history associated with Fremantle.

The first Australian rules match played in Western Australia occurred in Fremantle in 1881. The harbour city quickly became a stronghold of the code, with Fremantle-based teams winning 24 of the first 34 WAFL premierships. For over 100 years it has been represented by two strong clubs in the West Australian Football League: East Fremantle and South Fremantle.

Negotiations between East Fremantle and South Fremantle to enter into the VFL as a merged club began in 1987. However, due to an exclusive rights clause granted to the West Coast Eagles this would be impossible until the end of the 1992 season. Further applications were made by the clubs to join but their model was out of favour with the West Australian Football Commission.

The AFL announced on 14 December 1993 that a new team, to be based in Fremantle, would enter the league in 1995. The names “Fremantle Football Club”, “Fremantle Dockers” and the club colours of purple, red, green and white were announced on 12 July 1994. The decision to base the new club in Fremantle was primarily due to the long association of Australian rules football in Fremantle. However it was not represented in a national club competition until 1995, eight years after the first expansion of the then Victorian Football League into Western Australia in 1987 with the creation of the West Coast Eagles. Their first training session was held on 31 October 1994 at Fremantle Oval.

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