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West Coast Eagles

Team announcement: Intrigue at selection

A familiar face was missing, some young shavers and an experienced utility player were on the flight; that was the wash-up as the West Coast Eagles headed to Melbourne for Saturday night’s clash with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

Click here to view our final 22-man team

And to throw a little more intrigue into the 24-man travelling party, ruckman Nathan Vardy sported the cub suit and tie, as opposed to the usual polo and travel shorts.

Two hundred game veteran Chris Masten was the man missing from the squad, having been left out for what looms as an interesting match-up against one of the AFL’s most improved teams.

Emerging forward Jake Waterman is in the team as the replacement for Masten, finally getting his chance after overcoming a couple of untimely injuries. Also making the trip east are strong midfielder Brendon Ah Chee, fresh from a sky-scraping hanger in the WAFL last week, and rapidly-developing key defender Harry Edwards.

Ah Chee and Edwards, 18 – and the youngest player on the list – were named as emergencies.

Waterman has twice been in calculations to return to the team, playing his only game of 2019 in the round one loss to Brisbane, but was ruled out by injury.

He had a hamstring strain a few weeks ago and last week could not be considered because of a nasty cork that bled in his thigh. He has kicked 13 goals in three WAFL games and deserves another opportunity.

Vardy was dressed in the club’s formal attire as part of a light-hearted player penalty system. Unfortunately fellow big man Tom Hickey could not be considered because of a hamstring strain he received a fortnight ago against Geelong.

He strained the muscle early in the best game of his short stint at West Coast, having arrived at the club via a trade from the Saints during the off-season.

While Ah Chee and Edwards travelled with the team, the rest of the players who missed selection will have the weekend off playing duties as the WAFL has a bye for an interstate clash with South Australia.