Albany’s Most Influential — the footy guru

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Royals stalwart Darrell Panizza with the his 2011 premiership flag.
Camera IconRoyals stalwart Darrell Panizza with the his 2011 premiership flag. Credit: Laurie Benson

Darrell Panizza is one of the stars of the WA Football League — a triple premiership player with Claremont, a premiership coach and the holder of the club’s games record.

He was a triple best and fairest winner with the Tigers and he featured in WA’s sensational State of Origin triumph over Victoria in 1983.

His incredible record earned him induction into the WA Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

But if he is held in high regard in State football circles, he is a living legend in the Great Southern football community.

In 1999, Panizza returned to his childhood club, Royals, and led the club through an unprecedented period of success in the Great Southern Football League.

Royals won six consecutive premierships from 2001 to 2006.

He stepped down from the role in 2014 after accumulating eight flags in 16 years at the helm.

A dashing wingman and creative rebound defender in his heyday, Panizza has also coached the WA Country colts and seniors.

He continues to serve as a director of the Claremont Football Club.

Locally, Panizza has left a major imprint in not just football, but the sporting landscape in general.

He was a founding member of the Great Southern Storm football program, has been the chairman of the Great Southern Sports Talent Association, is a life member of the GSFL and is now back involved with junior football.

A beloved clubman who has a burning passion for developing good players — and good people — he is the most influential figure in the Albany sporting landscape.

Click here for the full Albany’s Most Influential list.

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