The WAFL Eagles kicked off their 2024 campaign on Saturday, falling to Swan Districts by 64 points at Steel Blue Oval.

Coach Kyal Horsley credited the Swans for their strong performance and said the Eagles will take a lot of out of this game going forward.

“We’ll take lot of learnings from the game, majority of our team were 22 and under, and they would have taken a lot out of what was a really strong opposition in Swan Districts,” Horsley said.

“Swans challenged us with their style, and we couldn’t get our game going in the first half.

“To our players’ credit, they regrouped and showed some real spirit to get the game back to two points, but to the Swans credit, they won some big contests at the end of the third quarter and kicked the last three goals to take away our momentum.

“The energy spent for the comeback hurt us in the last term, we ran out of legs and the scoreboard really got away from us, which was disappointing for all the effort and good moments we had in the first three quarters.”

Top Three

1. Trey Ruscoe

“Trey captained the team in Jackson Nelson’s absence (injury) and led the group really well. He was a threat all day up forward and got rewarded with three goals, but more importantly, he was selfless and created better shots for his teammates.”

2. Loch Rawlinson

“Loch was really impressive in his first game of league football. He worked hard connecting the ground for us, and when his opportunities arrived, he took them and kicked three goals.”

3. Josh Rotham

“It was a strong four quarter performance from Josh. He was encouraging and helping his teammates all game, while also defending well and made some big spoils. He gave us real bounce in offensive transition.”

AFL listed players:

Andrew Gaff:

“Solid game from Gaff, he competed hard inside and laid nine tackles. He ran hard to connect the ground for us.”

Alex Witherden:

“Witho’ defended well and gave us some real drive out of the back half.”

Zane Trew:

“He had a slow start to the game but was a real standout in the third quarter, and a big part of our fightback.”

Clay Hall:

“He ran really hard for us and used his hands well. He will learn a lot from the way Swan Districts challenged us with their style, I’m excited to see his development from the game.”

Harry Barnett:

“He competed well in the ruck and gave our mids some good supply. It was a tough day to be a ruck with the way the ball was moved around the game, but he kept working hard throughout.”

Jordyn Baker:

“Jordyn gave us some drive out of the back half and opened the game up with some nice offensive plays. He worked hard defensively under challenging circumstances.”

Coen Livingstone:

“He competed really hard in his first game of league football. He led us for contested possessions with nine, and will take a lot out of the game.”

Harry Edwards:

“In his return from injury, he had a slow start but built into the game well and made a real impact in the second half. I look forward to seeing him build off this game.”

Tyrell Dewar:

"We got to see moments of his best with his use of speed and skill, while also connecting the ground well for us, and he was rewarded with two goals."