The Foxtel Cup will be contested by the country’s best state league clubs for at least the next five years following the success of the inaugural competition.
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WAFL premiership fancies Claremont host VFL powerhouse Williamstown at Patersons Stadium on Saturday in the grand final of the interstate knockout competition, which AFL game development manager David Matthews said had been a hit with fans.
“We are very excited and pleased with the first year of the Foxtel Cup,” Matthews said.
“All clubs who have participated really enjoyed the additional challenge and experience the competition provides.
“It is pleasing that we were able to play matches in seven different states and territories and the competition has rated very well on Fox Sports, so much so that it has been locked away for another five years.”
Foxtel Cup participants have been forced to juggle responsibilities in their state leagues and the interstate competition this season and, although there are some kinks to be ironed out, they agree it has been a worthwhile experiment.
Williamstown coach Peter German said interstate rivalries and travel had been beneficial for both the competition and the players’ individual development.
“One of the great successes of this competition is that it really is state against state in many ways,” German said.
“It’s been really beneficial and I know the players have really enjoyed the travel and the experience of being able to deal with all the pressures of performing when you do travel.”
Both Claremont and Williamstown are expected to field strong sides in the grand final on Saturday.
The Tigers received a boost when versatile big man Beau Wilkes had a striking charge withdrawn by the WAFL tribunal last night.