A WAFL team will clash with a side from the North Eastern Australian Football League for the first time in next year's State game in Sydney.
The Black Swans will do battle with the NEAFL on May 24 as part of the AFL's State league program, with West Perth premiership coach Bill Monaghan at the helm.
WAFL operations manager Cameron Knapton said WA were likely to be tested by a restructured NEAFL which will include 14 teams from the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT after the league was reduced from two conferences to one at the end of the 2013 season.
"It will be all of those four State leagues merged into one so it's going to be a challenge," Knapton said yesterday.
"Bill Monaghan has been offered a position as coach by the WAFL and has accepted, which is great and we will be working with him as to who his assistants will be."
The match will be played as a curtain-raiser to the game between Greater Western Sydney and Richmond at Giants Stadium.
WA snapped a 22-year drought against Victoria when beating a VFL side in Northam this year, the host State kicking 10 of the last 13 goals on May 11 after trailing by 25 points at half-time.
Three stand-alone WAFL games will be played on Monday, June 2 to help celebrate the WA Day long weekend, while four Friday matches will be staged in consecutive weekends as part of the Easter and ANZAC Day rounds.
Knapton said having the fixtures on June 2, when there were no AFL games, was a good result for the WAFL.
"That's a big one for us, having that traditional WAFL day available again with no clash with the AFL as there was last year," he said.
"We are hoping the WAFL community gets behind that traditional day and we get big crowds so we can say 'that's a day we don't want the AFL clubs to go back into the marketplace'."
There will be keen interest when AFL partner clubs East Perth and Peel clash as fully aligned teams for the first time in round one on March 22.
Total player payments have been increased to $280,000 per club, with match payments set at $230,000 and a marquee player allowance of $10,000 starting next season.
The veterans' allowance was increased from $10,000 to $20,000, while others benefits including travel costs and medical insurance were raised from $10,000 to $20,000.
·Subiaco have bolstered their ruck stocks by signing former West Perth big man Frank Stockley. The 23-year-old played 26 league games for the Falcons in four seasons.