WAFL names state squad
Western Australia has named it's state squad for the 2021 state game against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval, but now have for a new coach after Michael Broadbridge resigned from his post, citing COVID-19 risks associated with travel.
Broadbridge has been coach of the state squad since 2017, leading the Black Swans to historic interstate wins over Victoria and South Australia in 2017 and 2018, last at the helm for the Sandgropers loss to the Crow eaters in May 2019.
The match is set to be played at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday May 15th, despite concerns over WA's recent coronavirus cases that has seen restrictions imposed in the Perth and Peel regions.
A young side has been selected for the clash, with 22 players in the 30 man group in the running to wear the black and gold for the first time.
Claremont have the most club representatives with eight players named, the Tigers currently top of the ladder unbeaten after five rounds.
Three time Simpson Medallist (twice in state matches) Jye Bolton leads the strong Claremont contingent, speedsters Jake Patmore, Anthony Treacy, Ben Edwards and Lachlan Martinis also included.
South Fremantle have six players named in the squad, new recruit Blake Schlensog amongst the inclusions as well as Sandover Medallist Haiden Schloithe, Matt Parker and small forward Cody Ninyette.
Subiaco also have six state representatives, five time state player Leigh Kitchin and 2019 Sandover Medal winner Lachlan Delahunty along with Ben Sokol the household names.
Reigning Sandover Medal winner Sam Fisher gets a chance to press his claims for an opportunity in the mid-season draft next month, as does Peel Thunder young gun Tyrone Thorne and West Perth utility Noah Pegoraro.
West Perth coach Geoff Valentine will take the reins after Broadbridge's resignation, saying he is looking forward to the opportunity to coach the state.
“I’m thrilled to be afforded this opportunity and can’t wait to work with such a hard-working and committed group of young men,” Valentine said.
“We feel we have a great balance of pace and experience throughout the squad, with a number of players in fantastic form over the first month of the WAFL season.
“There are some really proven players named and we are looking forward to the challenge of travelling over to Adelaide next week.”
The two states will compete for the Haydn Bunton Cup for the first time since 2019, South Australia the current holders after their seven point win at Optus Stadium two years ago.
IMAGE: The West Australian.
2021 State Squad
Claremont: Jye Bolton, Lachlan Martinis, Ben Edwards, Anthony Treacy, Oliver Eastland, Jake Patmore, Bailey Rogers, Callan England
East Fremantle: Josh Schoenfeld, Cody Leggett, Cameron Eardley
Peel Thunder: Tyrone Thorne
South Fremantle: Cody Ninyette, Matt Parker, Chad Pearson, Blake Schlensog, Noah Strom, Haiden Schloithe
Subiaco: Greg Clark, Lachlan Delahunty, Leigh Kitchin, Harry Marsh, Ben Sokol, Kyle Stainsby
Swan Districts: Sam Fisher, Corey Gault
West Perth: Tyler Keitel, Noah Pegoraro, Connor West, Keegan Knott