The West

Royals won t load up with Eagles
Royals won't load up with Eagles

League leaders East Perth intend to field a team flush with WAFL-listed players in this year's finals series rather than a line-up dominated by AFL players, according to Eagles development coach Adam Selwood.

The Royals are guaranteed to host a second semifinal against Subiaco at Medibank Stadium next weekend as they strive for their first premiership in 12 years.

And Selwood, who spends from one to four days a week at West Coast's WAFL affiliates, said plans were in place to retain the same mix of players who had driven East Perth's success during the home-and-away season.

Only six West Coast-listed players ran out for the league side which thumped Peel Thunder by 66 points at Bendigo Bank Stadium last Saturday.

Sixteen Eagles are eligible to play for East Perth in the finals, with Dylan Main likely to bring the tally to 17 by lining up in today's clash with Claremont at Medibank Stadium.

However, Selwood said AFL players would not be rushed into East Perth's line-up in big numbers if West Coast were knocked out of this year's finals race. "If West Coast are in the finals, then everyone who's fit and available will keep playing either AFL finals or WAFL finals," he said.

"If it doesn't happen to go that way, there's discussions in place at the moment that there might be some guys that need to go in for long-term surgery.

"There's other guys who have hit that five-game threshold. If they want to play, we'll weigh up every one on its merits and whether it's beneficial for them.

"It's important that the core group of players that have played throughout the whole year (at East Perth), there's preference that we find a role for them first and foremost and then obviously pick a side that we think is going to win the grand final.

"So there'll definitely be a strong mix of WAFL-listed players and AFL-listed players.

"It won't be just to rush everyone back from the AFL and try to field the strongest side we possibly can."

Scott Lycett (six games), Jeremy McGovern (six) and Sam Butler (seven) are among those not guaranteed to play WAFL finals.

The Royals are clear premiership favourites after losing just three matches and are expected to make the grand final at Patersons Stadium on September 21.

Tickets to the season decider are now on sale.

"It won't be just to rush everyone back … and try to field the strongest side we possibly can."

The West Australian

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