SIX FALCONS IN WA STATE SQUAD

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 6:27 PM

AARON Black, Steven Browne, Rohan Kerr, Shane Nelson, Andrew Strijk and Jay van Berlo have all been included in Western Australia's initial squad preparing to play the VFL in Northam on Saturday May 11.

The six West Perth players have been rewarded for their outstanding form so far this season that has seen the Falcons remain unbeaten after five rounds following strong wins over East Perth, Subiaco, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder.

While Jordan Jones, Chris Keunen, Laine Rasmussen, Luke Tedesco, Ray Bartholomew and Michael Pettigrew deserve to be considered somewhat unlucky for also not being included for the initial squad, the six players in the mix have had outstanding starts to the season.

Young midfielders Black and Browne have both continued to emerge as two of the best and most exciting prime movers in the competition.

Both Strijk and van Berlo have returned to West Perth this season full-time after their times on West Coast and Fremantle's lists respectively came to an end, and have been tremendous with Strijk playing a new role half-back and van Berlo playing a variety of different roles.

Browne is having another tremendous season mostly off half-back but also spending time up the ground in the middle or on the wing while Kerr has made an immediate impact on arrival from Carlton this season highlighted by his six goals against Peel last Saturday.

The initial squad of 33 will commence training at Fremantle Oval at 5.30pm on Monday April 22 and train another four times in the lead up to the game including a session at Northam (4pm Friday, May 10). 

Claremont premiership coach Marc Webb will coach the side after leading the Tigers to both the WAFL and Foxtel Cup flags in his first season as a senior coach last year.

Webb said he was excited about the opportunity to coach WA and looking forward to leading the WAFL’s top players into action against the best from the VFL.

“As a player it was something I always aspired to do and now to have the opportunity to coach the State side is great. We haven’t beaten the Vics for quite a while so it’s going to be a great challenge,” Webb said.

He will be assisted in the role by current East Perth and former State coach Brian Dawson, former State 18s coach, Dockers and Claremont player Brad Wira, and ex-East Perth and Carlton player Adam Pickering.

Players will be added to or removed from the squad based on form and fitness in the lead-up to the game, with a final side to be named at a jumper presentation on Wednesday May 8.

WAFL fans can select their own side and have the chance to win some great prizes in the WAFL State Team Competition proudly supported by The West Australian by visiting – www.wafl.com.au/stateteam

WAFL STATE SQUAD

Claremont – David Crawford, Anton Hamp, Trinity Handley, Jake Murphy, Ryan Neates, Ian Richardson, Mark Seaby

East Fremantle – Steven Dodd, Rory O’Brien, Andrew Stephen

East Perth – Paul Johnson, Brendan Lee, Garry Moss, Josh Smith, Craig Wulff

Peel Thunder – Paul Bower, Marlon Motlop

Perth – Paul Bevan

South Fremantle – Sean Tighe

Subiaco – Jason Bristow, Brett Mahoney, Jarrod Kayler-Thomson

Swan Districts – Tallan Ames, Tim Geappen, Kyle Hams, Graham Jetta, Wayde Twomey

West Perth – Aaron Black, Steven Browne, Rohan Kerr, Shane Nelson, Andrew Strijk, Jay van Berlo

BY CHRIS PIKE