The West Coast Eagles State U23 Amateur Team battled strong winds as they fell short against the Victoria Amateur Football Association (VAFA) on Saturday 7 July in Melbourne.
The Western Australian side started strong with just three points separating the two teams at quarter time. Both sides turned the ball over early as they shook off the nerves.
The first goal of the day for WA came from the boot of captain Harrison Whiteside who kicked truly from the fifty, but it was Cameron Yukich who sold the candy to dribble a shot through the goals which set the commentators and the match alight to put the WAAFL in front.
The match at Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham was situated just metres from the beach as the swirly winds made for challenging conditions. Dark rain clouds rolled over the ground threatening rain just before half time but cleared to sunny yet cold conditions.
After half time the WAAFL managed to push their lead to 15 points after Max Bentley kicked an impressive goal from outside the fifty.Unfortunatly the VAFA dominated the play after this kicking five goals to one in the second half to run out 16-point winners 9.6 (60) to 6.8 (44).
The Victorian side consisted of players from the Premier B to Division 4 grades in the Victoria Amateur Football Association with the players aged 27 and under.
The WAAFL side saw six players return to the State U23’s program in Chapman, Collova, Hall, Stanton, Whiteside and Yukich with Connor Tolley moving up from the State Colts Program.
Despite a heavy tag in the second half Matthew Ah Siu was voted Best on Ground overall while Luke Pearson was voted by the VAFA as WA’s best player.
WAAFL: 2.4 5.4 6.6 6.8 (44)
VAFA: 2.1 4.3 6.6 9.6 (60)
Goals: Harrison Whiteside, Cameron Yukich, Jack Prendiville, Lewis Stanton, Jake Anderson, Max Bentley