Gerard Neesham

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Gerard Neesham
Personal information
Full name Gerard Joseph Neesham
Date of birth (1954-12-11) 11 December 1954 (age 63)
Original team(s) Fremantle CBC Amateurs
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1975–77, 1985–86 East Fremantle 79 (51)
1979–1984 Swan Districts 97 (93)
1982 Sydney Swans 09 0(1)
1987–1989 Claremont 42 (14)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1987–1994 Claremont 171 (123–45–3)
1995–1998 Fremantle 088 (32–56–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1989.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Gerard Neesham (born 11 December 1954) is a former Australian rules footballer in the WAFL and VFL as well as coach in the WAFL and AFL. Today he is the chief executive of the Clontarf Foundation.

Football career[edit]

Playing career[edit]

In the WAFL, Neesham played for East Fremantle in 79 games, Swan Districts in 97 games, and Claremont in 42 games. He also represented Western Australia three times.[1]

He won the best and fairest at Swan Districts in 1979 and 1980 which led to him being noticed around the country as a quality player. This led to Neesham having a brief and unsuccessful stint in the VFL with the Sydney Swans, where he played nine games for one goal in 1982.

He played in the last two of Swan Districts’ hat-trick of premierships in 1983 and 1984, and made it three in a row when he won a flag with East Fremantle in 1985.

Coaching career[edit]

Neesham coached 259 games in total, 171 of which were for the Claremont Football Club in the WAFL. He won premierships in 1987 and 1989 as player-coach, and again in 1991 and 1993 as coach.

In 1995 he was appointed inaugural coach of the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League. While Neesham introduced an attacking and exciting style of game that exhibited flair, he had limited success as a coach, winning only 32 of his 88 games. Fellow AFL coach David Parkin described Neesham’s gameplan, that encouraged possession and was influenced by Neesham’s water polo background, as before his time.[2]

Neesham is a member of the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.[3]

Clontarf Foundation[edit]

After leaving the AFL system he returned to teaching at Clontarf Aboriginal College and was asked to coach the school’s football team.[4] He saw the opportunity to use football as encouragement for the students to remain at school and improve their lives.[5] In 2000 he set up the Clontarf Foundation, which encourages school and football participation amongst indigenous youth in Western Australia. He is the chief executive officer and now runs 47 Academies across Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with a total enrollment of approximately 2800 students.[6]


  1. ^ WAFL 200 Game Club
  2. ^ Ben Collins (1 September 2006) Faster, harder, smarter
  3. ^ WA Football Hall of Fame Inductees
  4. ^ Flanagan, Martin (15 September 2006) Unleash the Neesh; The Age
  5. ^ Beal, Jonathan (9 July 2004) Governor celebrates WA’s indigenous footballers; Stateline
  6. ^ Alcoa helps kick goals for Clontarf Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]