20 top football products to come out of Esperance

For the past century, Esperance has been producing some first-class footballers.

Here are the top 20 players who moved on to the WAFL and the AFL. 

20. Brad Scheer

A junior with Gibson, where his father David was a club champion, Scheer was lured to the Gold Coast Academy before turning 14. The move to Queensland saw him drafted by Gold Coast in 2016 and, though he may not yet have earned his place on this list, he made his debut last weekend and can be expected to move up very quickly if the mail coming out of the Suns is anything to go by.

19. George Moir

Swan Districts 1941-46. 51 WAFL games.

Born in Esperance in 1921, Moir started his career with Swans in 1941 before the WAFL competition was interrupted by the war years (only under-age players were allowed to play from 1942-1944). He resumed with the black ducks in 1945.

18. Abe Davey 

Subiaco 2009-2014. 57 WAFL games.

From Condingup, Davey joined Subiaco’s colts side in 2007, and became colts captain in 2008, before graduating to league ranks.

17. Daniel Shadbolt

Perth 2000-2003. 72 WAFL games.

Shadbolt was born in Esperance and made his name with the Demons after moving to Perth.

16. Julian Jacobs

Julian Jacobs.

Julian Jacobs.

Subiaco 2009. Perth 2011-2016. 75 WAFL games.

Jacobs played for Ports FC and was considered an AFL draft prospect, but eventually carved out a career in the WAFL with Subiaco and Perth.

15. Rhett Kerr 

Subiaco 2009-2014. 82 WAFL games.

Starting as a junior with Gibson, Kerr moved to Perth and attended Aquinas College, aged 15, before joining the Lions.

14. Sean Henson

East Fremantle 2012-current. 96+ WAFL games.

Born in Esperance, Henson is still plying his trade with the Sharks in the WAFL and had played 96 WAFL games to the end of 2016.

13. Glen Symonds

Glen Symonds.

Glen Symonds.

East Fremantle 1988-1991. Claremont 1992-1994. 52 WAFL games.

Originally from Esperance Football Club, Symonds was a premiership player with Claremont in 1993 after starting his WAFL career with the Sharks.

12. Kingsley Hutcherson

South Fremantle 1996-2003. 109 WAFL games.

Born in Perth, Hutcherson played for Esperance Football Club before becoming a premiership player with South Fremantle in 1997.

11. Kingsley Walker

Swan Districts 1998-2002. Peel Thunder 2003-2005. 137 WAFL games.

North Adelaide 2006-2008. 16 SANFL games.

Walker originally played with Newtown-Condingup after moving to Esperance from South Australia in 1994. He spent 11 seasons in the WAFL and the SANFL before coaching Harvey-Brunswick in the SWFL. On his return to Esperance in 2012, he joined Gibson.

10. Clancy Wheeler

A Newtown-Condingup product, Wheeler was an outstanding footballer and cricketer before leaving for Perth to try his hand in the WAFL with Subiaco. He made his league debut in 2011 and, to the end of 2016, had played 122 WAFL games, including premierships in 2014 and 2015. He also represented his state in 2013 and 2015.

9. Rowley Daw

Rowley Daw.

Rowley Daw.

Daw was born in Esperance in 1948 and made his name with South Fremantle in the WAFL during a seven-year stint from 1966-1972. Included among his 76 WAFL games was the 1970 grand final, which saw the Bulldogs beat Perth for the premiership.

8. Donald Sinclair

The first Esperance-born player to make his way into WA's top football competition, Sinclair joined West Perth for the 1916 season after being educated at Guildford Grammar School. In 1920, he was chosen to be Western Australia's Rhodes Scholar and he left for Oxford, returning to Perth in time to re-join the Cardinals for 1924. During his eight seasons at Leederville Oval, Sinclair was renowned for being one of the fastest players in the competition and he finished his career, as club captain, at the end of 1927 with 94 league games to his tally. He was also the state's rugby captain and was a prominent cricket and tennis player. Sinclair, who practised law after returning from England, died in 1936 after a long illness.

7. Craig Noble

Noble won Hepburn Medals with Esperance in both 1959 and 1960 before resuming with Swan Districts in 1961. His talent allowed him to break into perhaps the strongest Swan Districts team of all time and play in the club's premierships of 1961, 1962 and 1963. In total, he played 57 games for Swans from 1959-1964.

6. Mark Hepburn

Mark Hepburn.

Mark Hepburn.

Hepburn was born in Esperance in 1968 and joined Claremont in the WAFL as an 18-year-old in 1986, playing just 15 games with the Tigers before VFL club North Melbourne came knocking. Recruited as a forward, he played 56 games in four seasons with the Roos and, by the end of his time, was the club's leading ruckman. His request for a trade back to Perth to join the Eagles proved misguided as he played just 13 games in two seasons with West Coast (along with 13 for South Fremantle in the WAFL) before leaving the AFL. A one-season stint with Sydney in 1994 saw him add another seven AFL games to his total.

5. Don Langsford

Don Langsford.

Don Langsford.

A champion defender at Swan Districts and an inaugural West Coast Eagles squad member, Langsford played 237 WAFL games with Swans between 1977 and 1990 and is one of a select group of footballers who have collected four WAFL premiership medallions. He was originally an Esperance Residential College student and played junior football for Gibson before moving to Perth and Scotch College. After joining Swans, he played through one of the club's most successful eras and won several personal accolades, including the 1983 Westside Football Player of the Year Award and a position in Swans' Team of the Century. The premierships came in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1990.

4. Murray Rance 

Another Esperance Residential College student, Rance excelled for Gibson under the coaching of former Swan Districts player Tony Nesbit. Eventually, he followed in Nesbit's footsteps, joining Swans and playing in three consecutive WAFL premierships from 1982. A key position player, he represented WA at state level during this time, and was then recruited by Footscray in 1986. After 40 games in two seasons with the Bulldogs, Rance moved back to WA to play 57 games in three seasons with West Coast under former Swans coach John Todd. He was captain in 1989. Rance finished his career with Swans in 1992 after 140 WAFL games.

3. Stephen O'Reilly

A star with Fremantle in the club's early days, and Geelong beforehand, O'Reilly was born in Esperance in 1972 and played his junior football with Ports before playing for Esperance in the senior competition. He made his WAFL debut for Swan Districts in their premiership year of 1990, playing 41 games for the black ducks before moving to the Cats. He managed 36 games at Kardinya Park in 1993 and 1994 and was a member of Geelong's losing grand final team in '94. During five years at Fremantle, he played 98 games and won a fairest & best award, finishing his career with 12 games at Carlton in 2000 for a total AFL tally of 146 games.

2. Craig Treleven

Craig Treleven.

Craig Treleven.

Esperance's only Sandover Medal winner takes second spot. "Jock" Treleven was born in Esperance in 1970 and, at 17, he went to Perth to give WAFL football a go with Swan Districts. Homesick, he returned home and played for Esperance and then Ports, before heading to East Fremantle. There, he won premierships in 1992 and 1994, before claiming the 1995 Sandover and joining Hawthorn. Treleven played 78 games for the Hawks, returning to East Fremantle as captain for 2002-2003 to take his tally of games with the Sharks to 120.

1. Quinten Lynch

Quinten Lynch. Photo: Getty Images.

Quinten Lynch. Photo: Getty Images.

Famous for discarding a glove when kicking for goal in the AFL, Lynch was originally from Grass Patch and attended Esperance Residential College. He played for Gibson before moving to the WAFL to play with West Perth in 2001. The key position player racked up 47 games with the Falcons, including a premiership in 2003. He was added to West Coast's list in the 2002 rookie draft and played 209 games with the Eagles between 2002 and 2012, including an AFL premiership in 2006. Two seasons and 18 games at Collingwood rounded out his career, though he is still involved in football with Trinity Aquinas in Perth.