WAFL 2022: East Fremantle's Brynn Teakle honoured to head home for historic Northampton clash

Ben SmithThe West Australian
Brynn Teakle is heading home to Northampton as the WAFL heads to the mid-west town for the first time ever.
Camera IconBrynn Teakle is heading home to Northampton as the WAFL heads to the mid-west town for the first time ever. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

A year on from the harrowing experience of Cyclone Seroja tearing through Northampton, East Fremantle’s Brynn Teakle says he is honoured to be helping aid his hometown’s recovery efforts.

Teakle and his Sharks teammates travel north this weekend, with Northampton to host its first WAFL clash when East Fremantle meet East Perth on Saturday.

The two sides will be playing for the Seroja Cup, the highlight of a festival of football engineered by former AFL players and Northampton products Andrew Lockyer and Paul Hasleby to raise money for the community.

The East Fremantle and Northampton connection runs deep, with all nine of the AFL players to hail from the mid-west town - including Josh Kennedy, Patrick Cripps and Paul Hasleby - having donned the blue and white during their careers.

While Teakle was not in Northampton when Seroja swept through the town, his family’s farm bore the brunt of the cyclone and the ruckman said witnessing the devastation on his next trip home was confronting.

“We lost about three sheds, and my pop’s house’s roof flew off. That took a while to repair; they had tarp on the roof for about three months or something, it was ridiculous how long it took to get a roof back over their head,” Teakle said.

Sport. WAFL. Perth Demons v East Fremantle at Lathlain Oval. Demon Zachary Hill and Shark Brynn Teakle. Picture Jackson Flindell The Sunday Times
Camera IconBrynn Teakle is expecting big family support when he plays a WAFL game in his hometown for the first time ever. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

“Dad was in a bathtub with his partner and the kids; they were in a bathtub with a mattress on top of them, hiding.”

“Seeing dad and pop’s reaction to the damage on the farm was pretty upsetting, but we got through it.”

While the town is still feeling the effects of the cyclone, Teakle said he was proud his club were able to bring their WAFL game north to help with the recovery efforts.

“It’s an honour, it’ll be pretty exciting to play in front of the home crowd, in front of family and friends, it should be a good day and good night for the community and raise some funds for the cyclone damage,” he said.

“There’s plenty of Teakles up in Northampton, I’m sure they will be there in their Sharks and Northampton colours.”

AFL Rams founder Andrew Lockyer, centre, with East Perth midfielder Angus Schumacher and East Fremantle captain Matthew Jupp. East Fremantle Sharks Football Club and East Perth Royals Football Club will play each other in Northampton on April 30. The two teams will be playing for the TMS Seroja Cup.
Camera IconAFL Rams founder Andrew Lockyer, centre, with East Perth midfielder Angus Schumacher and East Fremantle captain Matthew Jupp. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

It will be a family affair all weekend, with Teakle expecting a significant swell of support from relatives, while his cousins Julia and Tiani will also take to Northampton Oval to play in the Sharks’ WAFLW game against Claremont.

“They’re absolutely killing it at the moment; Julia kicked six goals, they’re both absolute superstars. I love watching them,” Teakle said.

“Julia absolutely killed it in the Great Northern Football League and then she got an opportunity at East Freo, was straight in the team and even Tiani coming up through the ranks as well, it’s good to get quality footballs in from the country and around Australia straight into the system.”

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