HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
|Date of Birth||3rd April 1969|
GAMES: 318 – West Coast Eagles 253; South Fremantle 60; WA 5
PREMIERSHIPS: West Coast 1992 and 94
HONOURS: Norm Smith Medal 1992 Grand Final; West Coast Eagles Club Champion 1997; Runner-up Brownlow Medal 1994 and 97; All Australian 1991, 93, 94, 96, 97
There are many passionate football observers who will debate the impressive claims of wing wizard Peter Matera to be rated the best player to don the West Coast Eagles Guernsey in the club’s 20 years of AFL action.
However, while Matera’s 253 Eagles game included two seasons when he was runner-up in the Brownlow Medal, the club today boasts recent Brownlow Medallists’ in Ben Cousins and Chris Judd – and that certainly clouds the debate.
But nevertheless, Matera is right up there and few could forget his dashing five-goal performance from a wing of the MCG to help the Eagles create football history and take the Premiership Cup out of Victoria for the first time. Matera made it a double with the Norm Smith Medal for best-afield as well.
Born and bred in Wagin, in the deep south, Matera was one of three brothers to play football at the highest level, following Wally to AFL ranks and then being joined by Phillip. While the trio never played together, the latter two did share many glorious moments on-field.
All three came via South Fremantle and it was Peter who set the football world abuzz in 1989 as he pressed claims for selection in the West coast squad. He had been at South’s for two seasons, but was deemed ‘not ready’ for the higher playing field – until he was the only WAFL player selected in the WA State-of -Origin side to do battle against Victoria.
He stepped up to that challenge impressively and, naturally, was drafted to the Eagles and while his initial impact was slow – he played five games in the 1990 season – the speed that he was soon to show on AFL grounds around Australia was being ready to be unleashed.
The next eight seasons saw Matera’s games-played tally never drop below 20 in a season and it wasn’t until 1999 that injury slowed him down and he finished with 16 matches for the year.
Matera was an integral part of the West coast battle plan, being given free licence to run with the ball and even in his later years when he was used off a half-back flank it was not unusual to see him streak across the midfield and have a shot on goal.