Gerard Neesham

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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 chief executive of the Clontarf Foundation.

Football career

Playing career

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 3 times.

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 him having a brief stint in the VFL with the Sydney Swans, where he played 9 games for 1 goal in 1982.

He played in 2 premierships for Swan Districts, including the last two of the Swans hattrick of premierships in 1983-1984, and made it 3 in a row when he won a flag with East Freo in 1985.

Coaching career

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 he had 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.<ref...
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