|Full name Gerard Joseph Neesham|
Name Gerard Neesham
|Height/Weight 175 cm / 76 kg|
|Date of birth (1954-12-11) 11 December 1954 (age 61)|
1975-77, 1985-86 1979-1984 1982 1987-1989 East Fremantle Swan Districts Sydney Swans Claremont
Organizations founded Clontarf Foundation
Original team(s) Fremantle CBC Amateurs
Gerard Neesham Interview - WAFL 1991 Season Preview
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.
- Gerard Neesham Interview WAFL 1991 Season Preview
- Playing career
- Coaching career
- Clontarf Foundation
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.
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.
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.
Neesham is a member of the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.
After leaving the AFL system he returned to teaching at Clontarf Aboriginal College and was asked to coach the school’s football team. He saw the opportunity to use football as encouragement for the students to remain at school and improve their lives. 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.