Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 11:18 AM

THE West Perth Football Club wishes to announce that Jay van Berlo and Ashton Hill will be the respective captains of the Falcons WAFL and WAWFL teams for the 2017 season.

West Perth has welcomed the Joondalup Falcons into the club for 2017 and beyond in an exciting new move for the Falcons will see the male senior, reserves and colts teams, and female senior, reserves and youth teams all come under the one banner for the same time.

As preparations heat up ahead of the 2017 season, West Perth is pleased to announce the captains and leadership group of both senior outfits.

Jay van Berlo has been reappointed once again as captain of West Perth.

It will be his second straight season as sole captain after sharing the duties in 2014 and 2015 with 2013 premiership teammate Luke Tedesco.

The 28-year-old has now played 144 games with West Perth winning the 2008 and 2016 Breckler Medals along the way either side of his time with Fremantle in the AFL.

He will now look to continue his strong leadership during 2017 while bringing up his 150th game along the way to earn life membership at the Falcons.

West Perth has a new vice-captain following the departure of Laine Rasmussen with 2014 Sandover Medallist and 2015 Breckler Medal winner Aaron Black named deputy to van Berlo for the first time.

The rest of the West Perth leadership group is made up of veteran midfielder Matt Guadagnin, emerging key position star Tyler Keitel and two more exciting young players, Luke Meadows and Blake Wilhelm.

Meanwhile, West Perth is delighted to announce Ashton Hill as the female captain for 2017.

Voted by her peers, Hill is excited about the recent inclusion of female football at the Falcons.

"Being a part of West Perth is a huge opportunity for us and a big step forward for women’s football," Hill said.

"Having access to the same resources and facilities as the guys will make a big difference for us both on and off the field. It’s an honour to put on the red and blue and we are looking forward to a big season ahead."

Hill has come from a football loving family, starting her passion for the game by kicking with her brother then joining the school team at Mater Dei College.

Following the pathway through Youth Girls to the WAWFL, she won the WAWFL reserves fairest and best in 2014, her debut year, then again in 2015.

Captaining the team in 2016, she led the side to the reserves premiership and was also awarded WAWFL reserves fairest and best runner-up.

"Being captain of the inaugural West Perth women’s team is pretty special," Hill said.

"We have such a great bunch of girls and I couldn’t be happier to be leading them this season."

Hill, a homegrown talent, is highly regarded on and off the field making her a very fitting female representative to lead the club.

She will be supported in the leadership group by 2016 fairest and best recipient, Laura Pugh.