WAFC Chief Executive Michael Roberts says a lack of travel for West Coast’s reserves side is advantageous should they choose to remain in the WAFL competition.

West Coast has until the end of the month to decide whether they will trigger a two-year extension with the WAFL or join an expanded VFL national reserves competition. 

Currently, 14 of 18 AFL sides compete in the VFL, with each Victorian, Queensland and New South Wales-based side represented. 

Both South Australian teams and West Coast have expressed interest in joining the competition, however, Fremantle is reportedly keen to maintain their current relationship with Peel Thunder.

Roberts told SportFM he was optimistic about the chances of West Coast staying put in the WAFL competition, believing it is the best competition for player development

“We’re still very hopeful that they will see that the WAFL is the best for their players to develop. Don Pyke has been very open with this in saying that,” he said.

“He’s looking at this purely as how does he develop the West Coast Eagles playing list, for those that aren’t playing in the AFL.

“We think it’s a very strong competition. We think the fact that you don’t have to travel is probably an advantage to the Eastern States.” 

Travel has recently been a topic thrust into the limelight for both WA clubs. 

Numerous Victorian clubs have dismissed complaints from WA teams regarding travel loads because of the business-class perks some players and club personnel receive. 

The WA clubs have since hit back stating those perks do not outweigh the travel loads and expectations they have. 

Roberts believes the lack of travel for West Coast is an unusual advantage when compared to the VFL sides should they choose to stay put in the WAFL. 

“We don’t usually say that travel is an advantage for us when compared to the Eastern States. 

“Their VFL competition is played up in Queensland, New South Wales will probably end up being played in Tassie in a couple of years and maybe even South Australia. 

“Their players are going to be travelling all over the place, whereas we’ve got probably what we regard as the best state league competition here in our own backyard. 

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for players like, Oscar Allen to come back, play measured minutes, not have to jump on a plane and go somewhere, get himself right and prepare for AFL.” 

The Eagles reserve side has significantly improved on the past two years’ results – sitting in 9th with three wins under their belt. 

IMAGE: West Coast Eagles