THE West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s are set to take on the Victorian Amateur Football Association this weekend, looking to become only the second WA Amateur Football League team to beat the Vics on home soil.
After eight weeks preparation that included matches against the WA Country Football League and Peel Football League, the WA Amateur Football League state side heads to Victoria looking to recreate the famous 2006 victory at Sportscover Arena, Elsternwick.
West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s Coach Chris Gerreyn said he hoped travelling to Victoria would bring the best out of the team.
“We like to think the challenge of going over to Victoria will bring the best out of the boys” He said
“The team came together really well last year and the challenge is going to be backing that up”
Gerreyn said selection for the 2012 team would be different than that of the 2011 team which competed at the Australian Amateur Football Council National Carnival in Adelaide.
“I think the Carnival showed the difference in the states in the type of footy they play” He said
“This year we will be looking to include stronger, mature bodies”
This years’ match against the VAFA will be the beginning of the tri-annual series – a three year competition between Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Under the tri-annual series rules, each team plays each other once with the team who finishes at the top of the ladder at the end of the series crowned champion.
The West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s finished in second place in the 2008-2010 tri-annual series, defeating Tasmania and Victoria but suffering a narrow loss to South Australia in their final game. Victoria, after having already defeated South Australia, claimed the series on percentage.
If the West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s were to beat the VAFA in Victoria, they would become only the second WA Amateur Football League side to do so.
The West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s have had more recent success against Victoria however, defeating them by one-point at Fremantle Oval in 2009, but it’s the Victorians who have bragging rights after defeating WA in the final of last year’s AAFC National Carnival.
It will be a new look West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23’s side this year though, with only six of last year’s team being selected to represented WA this year.
The full team is as follows: M. Alexander (Stirling), R. Rohizat (Swan Athletic), J. Bollen (North Beach), D. Mumford (University), X. Foley (Trinity Aquinas), J. Pantano (Fremantle CBC), J. Guidi (Collegians), L. O’Connor (Kingsway), B. Grace (Whitford), J. Grierson (Trinity Aquinas), C. Hutchings (Kingsway), J. Delborello (Kingsway), F. McDougall (Bullcreek-Leeming), T. McNamara (Trinity Aquinas), M. Breen (University), B. Sneeuwagt (Trinity Aquinas), D. Chambers (Stirling), R. D’Alton (North Fremantle), A. Walker (Trinity Aquinas), L. Conca (Trinity Aquinas), M. Bluett (Whitfords), Mitch Dwyer (North Beach), Emergency: J. Nuich (Swan Athletic)
Past state programs has seen many WA Amateur Football League players rewarded with All-Australian selection, some of which have also gone on to WAFL clubs.
Last year six West Coast Eagles State Amateur under 23 representatives’ were rewarded for their performances at the AAFC National Carnival with All-Australia Selection, with two making their way onto WAFL lists over the off-season.
Cale Potts (North Beach), Josh Stott (North Beach), Joe Boys (North Beach), Cameron Manuel (Swan Athletic), Curtis Jack (Kalamunda) and Michael McCann (North Fremantle) all earned All-Australian selection, with Boys and Manuel now also playing with East Perth and Perth respectively.
Bounce down for the match against the VAFA is at 11:30am AWST.