Friday, July 29, 2016 - 1:48 PM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth looks to stretch its winning run over Perth to 11 with the Falcons hosting the Demons at HBF Arena on Saturday with the chance of entering the WAFL's top two if results go their way.

West Perth has a chance to enter the WAFL's top two with a win at HBF Arena over Perth on Saturday but the Demons have shown strong improvement the second half of the year and will be looking for a first win over the Falcons since 2011.

The Falcons might have lost to East Perth two weeks ago before the bye last week, but with South Fremantle having lost three straight now they remain only percentage out of second position.

If South Fremantle loses to East Fremantle on Saturday and West Perth beats Perth, the Falcons will be in second position by the end of the round setting up a clash of the top two teams with Subiaco next Saturday at Kingsway.

That would be a significant effort by West Perth after it fell to a 1-4 record earlier in the season. The Falcons have won nine of 11 games since heading into Saturday's clash with Perth.

The Demons might have lost in Cunderdin to Peel Thunder last Saturday, but prior to that they had won three straight matches over East Fremantle, Claremont and Subiaco in some of their best and strongest form in years.

However, beating West Perth is something that Perth has struggled to do for a long time. The Falcons have won the last 10 meetings with the Demons since 2011 by an average of 44.5 points.

Going back further, West Perth has won 24 of the last 29 games against Perth over the past decade.


West Perth coach Bill Monaghan knows that the Demons are a significantly different proposition at the moment though.

"They've been going really well and they've been playing with great passion and enthusiasm. Their midfield is as strong as anyone's going around as well," Monaghan said.

"It's been a yearly thing for Perth to try and find a forward structure that kicks enough goals based around enough talls, but Spencer White is back now and Angus Graham is as well, and Sam Garstone has been standing up for them.

"Those talls make them significantly different to what they might have been previously against us. They are a fantastic story and Earl has them playing good footy. The players are certainly motivated to play their best footy against them after the bye though."

Perth will also be celebrating the 100th WAFL game of star midfielder Clint Jones.

While 84 of those games were played at South Fremantle where Jones was a premiership player and dual fairest and best winner prior to his 149-game AFL career with St Kilda, he has been outstanding on return to the WAFL this year with Perth.

Jones is averaging 33.9 possessions a game, representing WA and being a favourite to give Perth back-to-back Sandover Medal winners.

West Perth regains some important players following the bye to take on Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday including midfielder Trent Manzone returning from a four-week suspension handed down following the Falcons' Round 13 win over Claremont.

Before being suspended, Manzone was an important part of West Perth's midfield averaging over 23 disposals a game prior to that afternoon when he also suffered a nasty hand injury.

Andrew Strijk also returns for West Perth after being a late withdrawal a fortnight ago against East Perth but Steve Potente and Nick Rodda are two players who remain sidelined.

Ruckman Seva Mozhaev is a chance to come back into the league side for the Falcons as well to either support or replace 178-game veteran Chris Keunen.

Another veteran Luke Tedesco has also been added to West Perth's extended squad and is a chance to come in for what would be the 152nd game of his career.

Kris Shannon is the only out of the West Perth team at this stage from the one that lost to East Perth two weeks ago. He is averaging under 13 possessions a game this season.

There will be plenty of interest on West Perth's reserves as well on Saturday with the return of premiership midfielder Matt Guadagnin from a knee reconstruction. It will be his first match since Round 16 last year.

Perth will regain wingman Brett Wolfenden from a week's suspension to play West Perth on Saturday at HBF Arena.

After missing the first two games of 2016, the 110-game veteran has been a strong contributor for the Demons in his second season at the club averaging over 16 possessions and kicking six goals.

Rowan Brookes, Callum Walley, Mitch Browne and Corey Byrne are four other players in contention at the selection table for the Demons.

Last week in the reserves against Peel at Lathlain Park while the league side played in Cunderdin, Brookes had 16 possessions and a goal for the Demons, Walley booted four goals, Browne had 26 disposals, 13 marks and a goal, and Byrne finished with 25 touches, seven marks and two goals.

Brennan Stack has lost his place again in Perth's forward-line after a goalless showing last week against the Thunder with Kristian Cary also out of the Demons side.

WEST PERTH (10-6, 3rd) v PERTH (6-9, 7th) – HBF ARENA, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Broadcast –
91.3 SportFM