Big chunk of state pride at stake

Coach Marc Webb (centre) instructing WA players.
Coach Marc Webb (centre) instructing WA players.

The game has an early 12.15pm start at Jubilee Oval and admission is free. It will be telecast live by ABC TV and beamed back to Victoria. In WA, the telecast will be delayed until 2pm.

WA has not beaten Victoria in a State clash for more than 20 years but is eager to avenge a nine-goal flogging when the two teams last met in 2010.

The Black Swans last tasted success against Victoria in 1991 when a team coached by Barry Cable beat the Big V by 76 points at the WACA ground. Ruckman Paul Harding was the star.

WA have beaten Victoria 24 times in 86 matches, including State of Origin, State league and against the VFA, since the first meeting in 1904.

The initial WA squad of 33 players started training together at Fremantle Oval two weeks ago. They will have their final hit-out before the big clash at 4pm at Jubilee Oval on Friday.

WA Football Commission director of pathways and competitions Grant Dorrington said the match would be a great opportunity for the community to see a top-quality game of football in their own backyard.

‘This is going to be a great contest and we encourage everyone to come along, enjoy the spectacle and support WA,’ Mr Dorrington said.

‘We also want to reward the hard work and effort that the community has put into preparing the ground for a major event and urge all WA football followers to visit Northam for the game.’

Mr Dorrington said the WA Football League views interstate contests as an integral part of football development in the State. They not only provide a unique learning experience for players but an opportunity to recognise and thank key club leaders for their contribution to the WA game.

The WA team will be coached by Claremont’s Marc Webb, who will take over the top job for the first time after assisting Chris Waterman last year.

‘State footy is always something I’ve wanted to be part of, to test myself against the best,’ Webb said.

‘We haven’t beaten the Vics for quite a while, so it’s going to be a great challenge.’

Shire of Northam president Steven Pollard said the oval would be ready for the clash, after being declared not up to standard for a NAB Cup game between the Fremantle Dockers and the Western Bulldogs earlier this year.