As far as practice matches go, the hit-out for the WAFL Eagles against Swan Districts achieved precisely what it was designed to. For both clubs.
For the Eagles it was a chance to blend a handful of AFL-listed players into a combination that included 16 WAFL-listed combatants with the purpose of meshing them into a team.
The result was so irrelevant no-one kept score, but it was a tight contest – the perfect hit-out in the build-up to the start of the regular season.
The intensity of the contest and the pressure of the Eagles was paramount in this clash on the MCG-dimensioned second oval at Mineral Resources Park.
All of the club’s AFL-listed players made strong contributions, with ruckman Tom Hickey the best of them before sitting out at three-quarter time.
Young defender Ben Johnson showed dexterity of movement and skill with his ball use; midfielders Xavier O’Neill and Brayden Ainsworth gathered plenty of touches; while Harry Edwards organised the defensive structure and showed his growth after 12 months in the system.
Jamaine Jones, the former Geelong-listed small forward who is training in the hope of being added to the senior list in the next fortnight, did his chances no harm with a polished performance.
Brady Grey, also in the chop-up for a senior gig, produced a trademark bullocking performance around the ball.
A number of WAFL Eagles showed the benefits a second season at the club with standouts being North Beach midfielder Sam Lamont, Kingsley’s Andrew Fisher, Daniel Acres, from Cervantes, and Scarborough’s Joel Ashman were all under notice.
Former Claremont utility player Jalen McGee was influential while key forward Jarrod Humphries, a relative of defensive star Lewis Jetta, was lively and finished with five goals.