From “The Vault”
Stories from the Club’s 68-year history
Supercoach Bill Taggart
It was not until the 1958 season that Applecross JFC had grown sufficiently to field an Under 18s side as well as the Under 16s side. The Under 18s were very fortunate to secure Bill Taggart as their coach. Bill had an interesting history prior to coming to the club. Originally from Victoria, he was approached by the great Norm Smith in 1949 to join Fitzroy but Footscray would not release him. In 1950, after playing for the Footscray reserves, Bill decided to come to WA and commenced playing with Subiaco (29 games).
As he was living in Fremantle, he sought and received a clearance to East Fremantle where he played 13 games and was captain of the reserves in 1953 and 1954. He was approached by East Fremantle committee to coach the new 1958 Applecross Under 18s. Bill agreed on the condition that the team was called the “Bulldogs”, stemming from Bill’s past association with Footscray. It is alleged that the South Fremantle Football Club complained about the nickname which was dropped soon after.
In 1959 the Under 18s won the first premiership flag for the club with a win over Melville. John Rowan had taken over the captaincy from Graham Owen. John was the first player from the club to play for East Fremantle and Bill Taggart went on to coach the East Fremantle 3rds (now colts) in 1962 and to a premiership in 1963.