“Potential draftees” knocking on the door

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

South West football could be heavily represented at this year’s AFL National Championships with six players from the region selected in two junior squads.

Jarrad Faziolli (Cardinals), Damon Greaves (Busselton), Matt Young (Augusta-Margaret River) and Durak Tucker (Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault) have been selected as part of the first intake into the under-18 squad, while Matt Fokkema (Augusta-Margaret River) and Nathan Ireland (Bunbury) were picked in the under-16 program.

The players will now participate in the WA State Academy program for the next three months in preparation for the AFL National Championships, with a second intake of players to come later this month following trial games.

After that, teams will be selected from the 16s and 18s squads to represent WA at the AFL National Championships in June and July.

WA Football Commission South West talent and coaching coordinator Jamie Douse said this was the best intake for the 18s squad in recent years.

“They are all potential draftees,” he said.

“Durak plays down back and is a very reliable defender. Damon is a bit like Dustin Fletcher in that he has long arms. Both can play on either a tall or small forward.

“Fazz (Jarrad) has been playing as a small forward. He will run in the midfield but has been doing his best work in the forward line.”

Each player had been representing their respective WAFL club at colts level in recent weeks.

“They’re all at the top of the tree down here and are playing good footy in the WAFL,” he said.

With the second intake just two weeks away, Douse believes these four might not be the only ones in the under-18 squad.

He also says Jakeb Shine (Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault), Lachlan Riley (South Bunbury) and Cameron Davidson (Collie Eagles) have strong cases as potential additions.

“They are all there about at the moment,” he said. “They have two more games to impress selectors.”

The State 18s schedule includes trial games against a WA Country Football League representative team and WAFL 21s side, while the State 16s will play trial games against a State 17s team, WA Country Football League colts and WA Amateur Football League colts.

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