Pingelly’s $9.1 million recreation and cultural centre will play host to reigning premiers South Fremantle in a country WAFL fixture on April 17. The multi-million-dollar facility will host its biggest sporting event since it opened in August 2019 when the Bulldogs clash with Peel Thunder in round 3 of this year’s WAFL competition. South Fremantle’s country zone is the Upper Great Southern, which has produced Sandover Medal winner and Bulldogs life member Haiden Schloithe. Brookton-Pingelly’s Tom Blechynden won a WAFL premiership with the Bulldogs last season and will be returning to play in front of his home fans. After consultation with the Upper Great Southern Football League, the Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre was the venue chosen for the Bulldogs’ country clash. South Fremantle chief executive Cameron Britt said the club was looking forward to taking a game to Pingelly. “We’re genuinely very excited about this country game opportunity, bringing WAFL football and the South Fremantle Football Club to Pingelly into our Upper Great Southern region,” he said. “We have an outstanding relationship with the region, and we want to maintain and strengthen this into the future, so for us it’s about bringing footy to the regions, and making our club and game content more accessible,” he said. “The Pingelly centre is an outstanding facility, and a benchmark standard for country regions. “We had four players from the Upper Great Southern play in our 2020 premiership (Tom Blechynden, Haiden Schloithe, Kade Stewart and Jarrad Doney), so it’s clearly a region rich in talent and our club wants to help promote and acknowledge this.” The game is likely to be played at the traditional 2.10pm Saturday timeslot. A WAFL women’s game is also being planned between the two clubs as a curtain raiser to the men’s fixture. “Our WAFL players, and no doubt Peel’s, will be engaging with the local community and ensuring that this is an activity that celebrates football, country clubs, our regions and our people,” Britt said. “With Peel our opponent, fans can expect to see several Fremantle Dockers AFL-listed players, so in a large extent it’s WAFL and AFL coming to Pingelly, which makes the concept ever stronger and more compelling for local audiences. “Incredibly excited — for us, this is about giving back a bit, but also showcasing our brand and professionalism as a 120-year-old WAFL club and the reigning premier.” Brookton-Pingelly Football Club president Tony Kirk said the event was a major boost for the region. “It will make a big improvement to the town,” he said. “Both clubs have a good following, so it will be magnificent to get people into the town and we can showcase the game and hopefully it snowballs from there. “Hopefully it opens the gateway for the club and association and opens the path for more games in the future.” South Fremantle will run a football clinic the morning after the match at the same venue and hospitality packages will be available on game day, including inclusive of a pre-game lunch for fans.