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Up to eight Fremantle players are set to run out when East Fremantle take on Swan Districts in the WAFLW grand final at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
Both teams are captained by Fremantle players, with Evie Gooch leading East Fremantle and Ebony Antonio leading Swans.
Philipa Seth and Gabby O’Sullivan are also set to line up for the Sharks while Swan Districts will likely have Gemma Houghton, Ashley Sharp, Stephanie Cain and Ange Stannett.
Seth, the East Fremantle vice captain, said that she will enjoy the chance to go up against her Freo teammates, but isn’t expecting anyone to go easy on each other.
“I think, there will at least be a little bit more banter on the field, we tend to get into each other a little bit more,” Seth said.
“I guess at the end of the game I’m always thankful that I get to play with them on my (AFLW) team rather than against them.
“I think it’s a bit of fun, because we learn so much about each other in the Freo season, to come up against each other (in the WAFLW), it’s a good challenge as well.
“It’s more fun, it’s exciting that we know each other, we’ll give it a go and see how it goes.”
While East Fremantle are the reigning premiers from the former WAWFL league, this grand final is the first in the inaugural season run by the WA Football Commission.
As such, there are other firsts as well, with the game being broadcast live on Channel 7 and ABC radio.
While the AFLW players are used to the attention, for most of the players, the cameras may take getting used to.
Antonio said that the key would be to embrace the occasion.
“It’s quite exciting for the young ones that have never played on TV,” Antonio said.
“I think I’ll probably speak to my girls before the game. We’ll walk out on the oval and get them together and tell them to really have that moment to soak it in and enjoy it.
“As soon as we go back in, we’ll start to focus on the game. It’s really important to enjoy the day, to soak it in, get all the hype around the cameras and whatever else will be there on the day.
“It’s just important to enjoy it and get that out of the way and then focus on the game.”
Both teams head into the clash following impressive wins against minor premiers Subiaco.
East Fremantle qualified for the grand final a fortnight ago with a 28-point victory in the second semi final.
Swan Districts then eliminated the Lions a week later with a 45-point win.
While East Fremantle won two of their three clashes against Swan Districts in the regular season, this is the first time both teams have met at full strength this year.
With the best talent on the park, Antonio is expecting a hard-fought contest.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty brutal game to be honest,” Antonio said.
“There will be a few Freo girls playing and some Eagles-listed girls playing – there is also some really good up and coming under 18 girls playing as well.
“We’re expecting a tough contest through the midfield and it would be great for the fans at home to be able to watch on Channel 7 as well.”
The inaugural Optus WAFL Women’s Grand Final will be played between East Fremantle and Swan Districts at 2.35pm this Saturday, September 14 at Mineral Resources Park, Lathlain.
- Saturday, September 14
- Mineral Resources Park, Lathlain
- $5 entry at the gate, kids U16 free
- Kick-to-kick at every break
- Food and beverage options
- Giveaways & kids inflatables
- 10.15am - Rogers Cup Grand Final - South Fremantle v Peel Thunder
- 12.10pm - Reserves Grand Final - South Fremantle v Claremont
- 2.35pm - WAFLW Grand Final - East Fremantle v Swan Districts
- WAFLW Grand Final broadcast live on Channel 7 and ABC Radio 720AM