AFL and WAFL finals: locals to feature for West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers, West Perth

Northern suburbs products Stephen Hill and Matt Priddis.
Northern suburbs products Stephen Hill and Matt Priddis.

A RIVETING weekend of football finals await with local stars set to play a big part – and not just in the AFL.

WAFL side West Perth will look to earn itself a grand final berth when it faces Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Sunday.

The second semi-final closes out an exciting trifecta for district footy fans, who will have watched a number of local products do battle at Subiaco Oval in West Coast’s match against Hawthorn and Fremantle’s clash with Sydney.

On Friday, Eagles guns Mark LeCras, Jack Darling and Matt Priddis as well as Hawthorn dynamo Bradley Hill will be among the players with histories in local junior football.

LeCras first played at Cervantes before joining Whitford, Quinns and finally West Perth from where West Coast recruited him in 2004.

Darling dominated for Sorrento Duncraig at junior level, his domination rarely swaying as he made his way through the Falcons’ ranks and into the Eagles in 2010.

Hill followed in the footsteps of older brother Stephen via Quinns and West Perth, but their paths took a different turn when the older Hill was selected by Fremantle in 2008 and his younger sibling went to the Hawks in 2011.

Priddis represented Sorrento Duncraig as a junior, playing state football at Subiaco where he won a Sandover Medal before famously claiming the AFL’s Brownlow Medal last year.

And while Eagles midfielder Mark Hutchings did not play his junior days in the district, he had a big impact as a West Perth premiership player and Simpson medallist in 2013.

Hutchings battled injury at the beginning of the season, but has forced his way into the line-up and looks on track to play his first AFL final this weekend.

On Saturday, it will be only the older Hill brother, who was named in the preliminary All Australian squad on Tuesday, with ties to Perth’s far north when the Dockers face the Swans.

Fremantle recruited Sorrento Duncraig product Josh Deluca in last year’s draft, but the 19-year-old, who has struggled with injury, has yet to play an AFL game.

Outside Perth, Adelaide could be the team to watch for local fans, with West Perth and Whitford product Nathan van Berlo representing the Crows as they take on the Western Bulldogs in Melbourne on Saturday.