Established in 1986 the West Coast Eagles are one of the most successful clubs in the AFL, appearing in more finals campaigns than any other team in the history of the competition since their inception.
Based in Perth, Western Australia, the Eagles were given just 160 days to assemble a team before they entered into the Victorian Football League in 1987. They played their inaugural match on 29 March 1987 at the Subiaco Oval in Perth, beating Richmond (20.13) 133 to (16.23) 119 in front of a crowd of 23,897 people, before reaching the elimination finals a year later in 1988. The team now currently plays at the 60,000 seat capacity Optus Stadium in the Perth suburb of Burswood, and the club’s highest recorded home attendance was marked in 2018 at 59,608.
Having lost in the previous year’s Grand Final to Hawthorn, the Eagles won their first premiership in 1992, beating the Geelong Cats to win the premiership flag. They are the first non-Victorian team to win an AFL Grand Final title and have since won three more premierships in 1994, 2006, and most recently defeating Collingwood in 2018 to make the side the most successful non-Victorian team in the modern era.
The club’s biggest rivals are the Fremantle Dockers, also based in Western Australia. Twice a year the teams take part in the Western Derby, which has been played 50 times since 1995 with West Coast winning 30 of those matchups, and Fremantle winning only 20.
As of 2020, the Eagles currently field teams in the AFL, the AFL Women’s League (AFLW) and the Western Australian Football League (WAFL). Their women’s side entered into the AFLW league at the start of the 2019/2020 season and is currently captained by Emma Swanson who was listed in the 2017 All-Australian squad.
The senior men’s team is currently managed by coach Adam Simpson, who replaced John Worsfold in 2013, taking the team to two Grand Finals in 2015 and 2018 and was named in the AFL All-Australian team for 2018.
The Eagle’s mascot is the Australian wedge-tail eagle and the team traditionally plays in a royal blue and gold guernsey, symbolizing the golden landscapes and blue oceans of Western Australia.