Claremont coach Ash Prescott believes state league clubs have extra motivation when they come up against the Fremantle-aligned Peel Thunder.
The Tigers and the Thunder meet this weekend in a top-of-the-table clash at Revo Fitness Stadium this weekend, with both sides boasting 6-2 records and healthy percentages.
Prescott told Sports Breakfast both players and coaches relished the challenge of taking on a partly-professional outfit.
“They’ve got full-time coaches that are sitting there from Monday to Friday plotting your demise and being able to work on strategy,” he said.
“There is that little element of ‘okay, let’s try and test ourselves against a predominantly AFL-run team’.
“It’s a good challenge. I think that’s pretty unique in the WAFL.”
Prescott said he was expecting the Thunder to be at their best on the back of a loss to Subiaco last weekend.
“The Fremantle Dockers are really in that premiership window at AFL level and they’ve been able to add some unbelievable state league talent in Wagner, Josh Corbett and the like,” he said.
“We know across every line they’ve got AFL class and WAFL class, so we’re just going to have to be at our best all over the field.
“Hopefully we can get some ground position and put them under a bit of pressure and get the four points.”
Claremont lost gun key forward Jack Buller to Sydney in the AFL mid-season draft last weekend but their forward line had no issues in their 84-point win over Perth last weekend, with the returning Alex Manuel leading the way with five goals.
Prescott said it was nice to see Manuel firing after a pre-season interrupted by injury and illness.
“I think we had nine goal-kickers, so that’s really pleasing,” he said,
“With or without someone like Jack Buller you don’t want to be too one-dimensional, you want to be able to spread the ball around and kick it to different players inside forward 50.
“We feel we’ve got the balance pretty right. Some of the smalls have been coming on well and there’s some young players like Talon Delacey, Zac Mainwairing, Tyron Smallwood, Anthony Treacy.”
The clash between Claremont and Peel gets underway at 2:10 pm on Saturday.