A small man with a big heart.Pound for pound, Wayne Roser would rank among the toughest players to wear the blue and white.Not the most skilful to have worn the East Fremantle jumper, but few have given more for the club. Who can forget his courageous efforts in the 1998 Grand Final against West Perth when he was injured and hobbled to the bench during the first quarter only to return to the action for the second half when East Fremantle, who had been reduced to seventeen fit men won the 1998 Premiership. Roser was the hardest trainer on the track. After one on one body exercises, team mates were often left bruised and sore, but it got them ready for what to expect from Saturday’s game. He often tried to play above himself, and there’s a story around East Fremantle that one day coach Earl Spalding picked up the phone and screamed: “Go and tell Roser he’s no Barry Cable!”   Wayne Roser played a hundred and seventy two games for the Sharks after arriving at Moss Street from Margaret River in 1995 at the age of twenty two. A  member of the Augusta-Margaret River Hawks inaugural premiership side in the SWNFL in 1994, he expressed his desire to give WAFL football a try, and a team mate who was an ex-East Fremantle player referred him to the Sharks. Selected for the first game of the 1995 season, a Derby, he played in a forward pocket, had a run on the ball, and did enough to hold his place, ending the year with seventeen league games under his belt. East Fremantle were beaten by Subiaco in the preliminary final of that year, and suffered a repeat the following season when going down to Claremont. The Sharks torment continued in 1997, when, after leading by five goals inside the final term, they lost to arch enemies South Fremantle by six points. But the tide turned in 1998, when the blue and whites stormed through the finals, defeating West Perth by fifty three points in the second semi final, and forty three in the big one. As already described, Roser was forced back onto the ground after being sidelined with injury early in the game, after East were left with seventeen fit players.  In the same year, Wayne played for Western Australia against South Australia in Adelaide, lining up on a wing. Vice captain of East Fremantle between 2001 and 2003, he was a regular high finisher in Lynn Medal voting, and finally won it in 2003.  Roser’s hard running, physical style of play had to take it’s toll on his body, and, after playing in the reserves in early 2005, he realized his time was up. It was fitting that his league career was bookended by Derbies, because he was a player the South fans respected but were not fond of, due to his penchant for performing well against them. A year back with the Hawks at Margaret River was followed by a season as playing coach of Williams in 2007, before the boots were removed for good.      He nominated West Pert’s Brendon Logan and former South Fremantle, Fremantle, and North Melbourne player Jess Sinclair as hardest to beat, while saying the 1997 and 98 East Fremantle combinations were  a terrific group of players.   Roser was an inspirational player for East Fremantle, a man who never took a backward step, and an on field leader. Shark supporters still talk about the deeds of Wayne Roser.



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