The West

Skimming from the top for WAFL State game
Skimming from the top for WAFL State game

Four WAFL clubs will supply just three members of the State squad as the lopsided nature of the league is reflected in the make-up of the team to play a North Eastern Australian Football League side in Sydney this month.

Simpson medallists Paul Johnson (East Perth) and Luke Blackwell (Claremont) are the only players from two clubs that have supplied much of the State team in recent seasons.

And Perth captain Paul Bevan, who last year helped the Black Swans beat Victoria for the first time in 22 years, is the sole selection from the Demons. Winless Peel have no one in the 30-man squad finalised yesterday.

The match against the NEAFL team - the combination of Queensland, NSW, ACT and Northern Territory leagues - will be played as the curtain- raiser to the Greater Western Sydney-Richmond clash at Spotless Stadium on May 24.

Four members of East Fremantle's stingy defence were included, with key back men Tom Howlett and Brock O'Brien in line to make their State debuts alongside regulars Andrew Stephen and Steven Dodd.

WA's need to lock down on former Essendon forward Alwyn Davey, now playing for the NT Thunder, meant West Perth back pocket Laine Rasmussen was included in the squad.

West Perth's premiership ruckman Chris Keunen was named, but State coach Bill Monaghan has been reluctant to use more than one genuine big man during his time with the Falcons.

Monaghan believes Swan Districts forward Tony Notte or Lachlan Delahunty, who has starred for Subiaco after being recruited from the VFL this year, could play a role in attack and as the back-up ruckman.

"We need to be flexible and while we could play both Johnson and Keunen, Notte is pretty reliable mixing roles up forward and in the ruck," he said.

The strong form of Tallan Ames, Justin Simpson, Ryan Davis and the speedy Blaine Boekhorst has helped lift Swans to second on the ladder and underwrote their inclusion. The improvement in Chris Deluca, George Hampson and Chris Phelan has steered Subiaco into top spot and they were rewarded with maiden State call-ups.

- Small forward Rhys Waters will miss Subiaco's next two games after being suspended for striking Swan Districts key defender Brent Latch.

A striking charge against Swans key forward Tim Geappen on Dylan Elliott from the same match was withdrawn yesterday.

The West Australian

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