Parker brings bite to Sharks

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Dual Plaisted medallist Daniel Parker has accepted an offer from East Fremantle to play in the WAFL competition for the rest of 2017, leaving his relatively new club Mt Barker after just seven games.

Parker played reserves for East Fremantle on Monday, June 5, kicking three goals and being among his side’s best players against traditional derby rivals South Fremantle before he returned to East Fremantle Oval again at the weekend to kick a goal from eight possessions and three marks against Perth.

After playing in last year’s league premiership side for North Albany, Parker shocked many by switching to grand final rivals the Bulls during the off-season and he has kicked 24 goals in seven games in their colours.

Under Bulls coach Shane Thompson, who has links with the Sharks, Parker has played more up the ground rather than at full-forward and has also spent time in the ruck as part of his development.

His two matches for the Sharks have impressed the coaching staff, who have made contact with the powerful forward about moving to Perth to play for them for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old said his decision had come quickly but it was one he was committed to making.

“I got up there to train and played a game, and I got a real feel for it,” Parker said.

“I was fortunate enough they rang me again after the first game and by then I had kind of decided I wanted to go up and give it a shot.

“It all happened very quickly, but I have a lot of hunger to play WAFL.

“I’m 23 now — there are not many opportunities after this, I might as well take the chance.”

Part of the reason for Parker’s bold decision to move to the WAFL mid-season has been his ability to lose 14kg in a fitness campaign.

“My aim was at the end of last year to get myself in good shape,” he said.

“I had thought to myself ‘I can’t be bothered playing footy’ and I was going to give it away, but I ended up losing 14kg.

“I’m 107kg now and I couldn’t have done it without Mark Greene — it helped me get my hunger back.”

The 2013 and 2016 GSFL leading goal kicker will have a one-on-one with Sharks league coach Rob Wiley this week but said he had gone with the blessing of the Bulls.

“The Bulls were great about it and Thommo has helped out with his contacts,” he said. “I’m very committed to this. My aim is to get a league game if I can this year but the main thing is to do a full pre-season and push to play league next year.”

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