The West

Coach Bill Monaghan believes as many as eight WA players from the side to clash with a NEAFL representative team in Sydney today could step up to the AFL.

Former Fremantle squad member Haiden Schloithe heads a list of Black Swans in contention to be drafted. West Perth's Shane Nelson, Nic Rodda and Kody Manning, Subiaco's George Hampson and South Fremantle's Ben Saunders are also catching the eye.

"There's probably a group of six or eight players who are still in a draftable category," Monaghan said yesterday.

"That's one of the upsides of representing your State.

"It's a good way for people who spot talent to see how they go against other good players.

"But they have to perform at a certain level, do the right things and hopefully someone will give these kids a chance.

"Whilst that is a reality and it's something we have touched on, we need to make sure the players' primary focus is to concentrate on the team.

"If they all play their role and do what is required, then they will be noticed by the scouts.

"But we can't have 23 players pulling in different directions, then no one looks good."

Monaghan said the significance of WA's win in Northam last year, when the Black Swans beat Victoria for the first time since 1991, had not been lost on the 2014 team.

He said steps had been taken to make sure complacency wasn't a factor in the wake of that drought-snapping victory.

"It's something we have talked about, that last year's result was fantastic for our competition and for the players who played," Monaghan said.

"We have an obligation to carry that on and make sure that our standing in the State leagues doesn't slip back.

"It's something we have been really open with the players about, that it's a danger (game) for us and we have to respect the opposition. They are keen as a playing group. Both the blokes who played last year and the guys that are new this year, that that doesn't happen."

The clash with the NEAFL combined side is set to replace WA's regular meetings with Queensland in the past two decades. It is part of a restructuring of interstate football.

The NEAFL team features former AFL players Eddie Sansbury (North Melbourne), Darren Pfeiffer (Carlton/Port Adelaide), Will Sierakowski (Hawthorn/North Melbourne), Cleve Hughes (Richmond) and Matt O'Dwyer (Sydney).


Blacktown today, 10am; live stream on NEAFL website


B: Klemke Barton Mills

HB: Sierakowski Riseley O'Dwyer

C: Brabazon Vandenberg Pfeiffer

HF: Baxter Derickx Ellis

F: Dunne Hughes Turner

R: Pettit Payne Burge

Inter (from): Grose Rioli Shreeve Grayson Ilett Geary Stubbs Sansbury


B: Stephen Ames Jones

HB: Dodd Howlett Rasmussen

C: Hampson Blackwell Cook

HF: Manning Notte Davis

F: Bevan Saunders Hams

R: Keunen Nelson Lee

Inter: Schloithe McNamara van Berlo Boekhorst Rodda

The West Australian

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