WAFL 2022: East Fremantle set to be without four stars for rescheduled clash against West Coast Eagles
East Fremantle are set to be without up to four of their best players for their rescheduled WAFL clash against West Coast, which will be pushed back to next weekend.
The Eagles were forced to ask the WA Football Commission to shift their fixtured game against the Sharks at the WACA Ground on Saturday because they could not fill a side as a result of COVID and injuries.
Both clubs are understood to be happy for the game to be played at East Fremantle Oval from 2pm on Saturday, May 14, which was set to be a bye for all 10 clubs because of the State Game between WA and SA at Optus Stadium the following day.
The Sharks have four players named in the initial WA squad, with forward Jono Marsh, captain and key defender Matthew Jupp, ruckman-forward Brynn Teakle and half-back Cam Eardley all in contention to represent their state.
If they are picked by new WA coach Cam Shepherd and his assistant coaches, it means they will not play for the Sharks, leaving coach Bill Monaghan without four pivotal players.
Marsh kicked a season-best six goals in the Sharks’ win over East Perth in Northampton at the weekend, while Eardley collected 40 disposals, Teakle kicked two goals from seven marks and Jupp played a crucial role in defence.
The winless Eagles are hopeful they will be able to field a team, with Zane Trew the only AFL-listed player available for this weekend, while the club is understood to have had about 15 fit players to play in the WAFL.
It’s the second time the Eagles have been forced to delay a clash against East Fremantle this year, with a pre-season game in March called off because of COVID and injuries ahead of their round two AFL clash against North Melbourne.
East Fremantle football boss Brad Dodd said while it wasn’t ideal the club wanted the game to go ahead as soon as possible.
“We’re committed to keeping the season moving forward,” he said.
The Sharks and Eagles have been intertwined for most of 2022, with the AFL club stripping them of stars Hugh Dixon, Luke Strnadica and Tom Joyce on the eve of their season in the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period to help ease their injury crisis then.
The WACA Ground is not available next weekend because of redevelopment, meaning the nearly three-decade wait for a return to WAFL football at the venue is set to be extended until the Sharks’ clash against Subiaco on May 28.
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