A NEW era begins for the WA Football League in 2019.
For the first time in its history the WAFL will be a 10-team competition after the alignment between West Coast and East Perth ended in favour of the Eagles fielding a stand-alone team.
The inclusion of the Eagles removes byes from the fixture for the first time since Peel Thunder’s introduction in 1997.
Despite the changes, one thing will remain the same-the players will be hungry for success and fighting for premiership glory from the first bounce.
2018 premiers Subiaco may have a new coach in Beau Wardman, but they remain perennial favourites and will be looking to make their sixth straight grand final appearance this year.
Fellow 2018 grand finalists West Perth replaced longest-serving coach Bill Monaghan during the off season, but new man in charge Geoff Valentine says he is confident his playing group can again be one of the teams to beat.
The WAFL’s most successful club in East Fremantle will be looking to turn around their poor form of the last few years with Monaghan now at the head, while cross-town rivals South Fremantle will turn to youth after losing more than 600 games experience through retirements last year.
Claremont, Peel, East Perth and Perth will also be looking to make a mark on this year’s competition.
The women’s competition has also undergone a transformation this year after the success of AFLW.
Claremont, East Fremantle, Subiaco, Peel and Swan Districts will each field teams in 2019’s inaugural WAFLW season,with South Fremantle holding a provisional license to join in 2020.
The nine-team WA Women’s Football League (WAWFL) will continue from April 14 as a reserves competition.
WAFL 2019 starts on April 6.
Click on the team names below for a more in depth 2019 season preview.
WAFL Round 1
Perth v West Coast: 12.40pm @ Mineral Resources Park (formerly Lathlain Park)
Subiaco v East Perth: 2.15pm @ Leederville Oval
*All games on April 6